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  • I remember you having a career and a family before it was fashionable.

    I remember you playing Gin Rummy with Aunt Jessie and how you’d cheat when she wasn’t looking. Every time you would discard a 2 and she would pick it up and you’d call her a ‘ninny picker’.

    I remember your hands. Strong fingers that would braid my hair in the morning, would knead the dough for a pie, or would trim fabric for a dress pattern.

    I remember that in the midst of the depression you had to drop out of 10th grade and get a job to support your family, as the only working member, with seven adults to support.

    I remember you taking care of me when I had German Measles. I couldn’t go on vacation with my older sisters and it didn’t matter cause I had you all to myself. We watched a Margaret O’Brien movie together on TV, The Canterville Ghost.

    I remember you walking the hallway each night with my crying baby brother. Trying to soothe him because he was forced to wear a brace between his feet at night to keep his ankles frozen in an outward position. He had a congenital birth defect.

    I remember you eating hot chili peppers. So hot the acid would eat through the tin on the cans that sat in the pantry a little too long.

    I remember how you taught me to make miniature scissors out of a common weed.

    I remember you calling my small breasts peanuts and me calling your large breasts watermelons.

    I remember you asking me to let my little brother play with me and my friends. Reluctantly, I agreed, and I cherish those days.

    I remember your middle name and how you hated it. On the return address of all your postage you'd put P.U. Cox.

    I remember how you always took my brother’s side no matter what. Even when he was clearly in the wrong and he knew it.

    I remember you stopping at Tony and Pete’s Italian Restaurant on the way home from work, to place bets on the horses at Hollywood Park with a bookie who worked in the kitchen.

    I remember you teaching me how to drive and parallel park. The day I went for my driving test, you didn’t bother to tell me where we were going. I passed the test even though I had never learned to drive in reverse.

    I remember on a trip to Tijuana, you ditched dad at Caliente Race Track and he found you playing softball in the street with some young boys.

    I remember the look on your face that evening before dinner when you told me you were going to lie down for a while because your shoulder hurt and your hands were tingling.

    I remember I asked the paramedics to cover you with a sheet as they rolled you out to the ambulance. I had never seen you naked before.

    I remember the night you died. I was 17 years old. It was a very warm November night and there was a Santa Ana wind condition. It was 2am, and the branches from the Eucalyptus trees were swaying and casting strange shadows from the street lamps as I walked. I walked for a long time that night, unable to face the reality that was too surreal to comprehend, life without you.

    Mom, I remember everyday, just how much I love you and miss you. You were gone too soon.


    In a recent survey conducted by the American Heart Association, 6 in 10 women said that the major threat to their health was breast cancer; only 1 in 10 said it was heart disease. But in 1999, while cancer was killing 264,000 American women (41,000 of whom died of breast cancer,) cardiovascular disease killed almost twice as many (513,000) -- and it's the same story every year. In fact, each year since 1984, more women than men have died of heart disease.

    Many doctors don't get it either. Less than half the doctors in one recent survey considered heart disease to be a major threat to their female patients. Worse, less than half of all women receiving regular medical care say that their doctors have ever talked to them about reducing their risk of heart disease.
    This silent killer of women is rampant on the streets of our nations because heart attack symptoms are much different for women than men. They don’t have the massive chest pain that men experience. Their symptoms go unchecked as possible indigestion or back pain, causing many more DOA’s at hospitals than men. Coronary disease is much more insidious in women attacking the small veins and arteries to the heart which bring the symptoms of shortness of breath, mid back pain, neck pain or left shoulder pain. Take the time to talk to your doctor about the symptoms you have and supply him or her with your vital family history information.

    Moms, Grandmas, Sisters, and Wives, we owe it to our families to take good care of ourselves. To care for ourselves so that our children will learn from our example.
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