Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011... This About Sums It Up

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Post From Wes

It's been a LONG year folks. I apologize once again for my lack of regular and consistent communication, but my heart just hasn't been into my blog. I want to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers throughout this year and wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

The main reason for this post was to make sure that this Facebook post of my son's didn't get lost forever in the depths of Facebook archives. It meant so much to me when he posted it on Halloween and I'm just now getting around to adding it to my blog. I really don't mean to be so morbid during this holiday season, but my life lately has seem to become a little bit of a mission to leave my fingerprint somewhere, anywhere, for my grandson (and future grandchildren?) to see. Thank you Wes for writing this love letter.

Most people think of October 31st as Halloween and until recently, I did too. When is Halloween 2 on AMC? Which 1980s wrestler should I dress up as? How much candy can I eat before my wife says “stop it Wes, you’re embarrassing yourself?” These were all questions I asked myself leading up to Halloween. That is until earlier this year when my mom, Marge Lauer, learned that she had breast cancer…now I think of October 31st as the last day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But more than that, it’s a day that I would like to use to honor my mom and the battle she has fought over the past several months.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not a mama’s boy. If fact, I don’t call my mom nearly enough and talk to her less than my wife does. This is not because I don’t love my mom or because I am terrible son…it’s because I am very lazy person. And when I do write these types of commendations, they’re usually about my dad. But my mom has shown nothing but strength and courage since receiving life-altering news that would cause me to curl up in the fetal position and listen to Radiohead (a truly miserable band) for several weeks and that deserves some recognition. Because I may be too lazy to call my mother, but I’m not too lazy to post something on Facebook (it’s all about generational preferences…and yes, I just categorized myself in a younger generation than I deserve to be in).

I’ll never forget hearing the news; my wife told me (go figure) right before I went out to cut the grass. As I was mowing, I teared up between songs on my iPod (it’s a very odd feeling crying to Ice Cube's Check Yo Self). I got through it though and went about my day. But I kept thinking about it and thought so bad for my mom. If I was taking it that bad, how was she reacting? Anyone who knows my mom knows that she can be a little emotional…she must have been a wreck, right? And then I saw her and she was handling it better than I would have ever imagined. She was calm and even made jokes about it. She had a sense of motivation that I had never seen from her before. After 30+ years of smoking, she quit prior to finding out she had cancer and hasn’t had a cigarette in 10 months. And as part of her recovery, she is dieting and much more active now that she is done with radiation. These are life changes that are difficult for anyone, especially a cancer survivor (I know if I were in that situation, I’d throw myself a pity party and probably eat a whole bunch of Halloween candy…I’d quickly resemble Jonah Hill before he lost all that weight and started to look like an alien). But I digress.

All of this has made me realize that after years of wanting to be like my dad and giving my mom a hard time over her quirks, I had it all wrong. I still love my dad and hope to be the father that he has been to me. But when I need inspiration, I now look at my mom. So before we get dressed up and hand out candy tonight, please think of someone in your life who has been affected by cancer. And remember that even though Breast Cancer Awareness Month ends today, we can always honor those struck by this disease and should do so more than just one month a year. For me, that means calling my mom more.