Choose Health, Moms and Dads!
Friday, March 20, 2015
Yesterday, the entire nation of college basketball fans, and especially the state of Iowa fans, watched in stunned silence as the Iowa State Cyclones lost to University of Alabama at Birmingham in the NCAA tournament by ONE point! One point. The team that had predictions of going to the Sweet 16 at the least and the Final 4 by the most optimistic fans and even the ESPN talking heads.
Believe me, I bet those players, such as our revered Georges Niang, and the coach, Fred Hoiberg were more heartsick than the rest of us. On top of the blame that they heap on themselves, the newspaper's call in line was glutted with more blame assigned by all those armchair coaches across the state - printed in today's paper so we could all read and nod our heads in agreement.
It's on those "no body loves me, every body hates me" days that we can agree on one thing. No matter how low we feel, there is always ONE person that still loves us and roots for us -- MOM. A little sentiment that I ran across on Facebook summed it up perfectly:
Love your mom no matter what you go through and no matter how much you argue because in the end, she'll always be there for you.
For some reason that random little posting, the kind that you scroll by and ignore most days, hit me like a ton of bricks. Why, you ask? Because I don't have a mom anymore. Granted, I'm 58, but I'm also orphaned. The two people who truly loved me unconditionally are gone. My dad lived a long, contented, mostly healthy life. He rode an exercise bike 5 miles a day until age 94. He watched what he ate and kept his weight in check. He followed his doctor's instructions. One day at age 99 he simply went to sleep and didn't wake up.
My mom died at age 66. She had surgery for cancer that would have been cured by the surgery had she not had a heart attack right after surgery that killed her. Obese for her entire adult life, she was diabetic and had high blood pressure. The doctor flat out said, that her weight was the most significant contributing factor.
Not a day goes by that I don't wish that she was still here with us. She was so smart. A gifted writer, poet, and teacher. She was a fabulous resource like our own personal "Suri" in the family. Need to find a tutor for my elementary school age squirrely son? She was on it. Need a pair of periwinkle dance shoes for my middle school daughter? She found them. Mind you, this was PRE-internet days. No e-bay, no Craigslist. She helped me budget, refinish furniture, and provide a non-threatening comeback to a boss that picked on me. I always thought she'd be there when I needed her.
I want more than anything to be that kind of mom for my grown kids. The one person that they can turn to even though they each have a spouse or significant other in their lives. I've hunted up spa packages in my son's city so he could treat his wife for an anniversary. I've listened while my daughter vented about her low down dirty ex who left her for another woman while admiring the fact that she puts on a cheerful face to her kids and encourages them to love their father. I want to be here for them until I am so old and infirm that they have to switch the roles and be there for me. Even then, I'll never stop loving them and being proud of them. No matter what.
There are just roles that moms - and dad's fulfill. BUT, not if we ignore our health and succumb to health issues that WE CAN CONTROL. Like weight. That's why I choose to be the healthiest that I can by eating healthy and exercising. God willing, someday when I'm old like my dad was, I'll slip into sleep like he did and just not wake up.
Please think about this the next time you are craving unhealthy food or making excuses about why you can't exercise. Control what you can. Make the choice to be healthy not just for yourself, but for you kids and your grandkids.
And I hope that when those ISU basketball players and Coach Hoiberg left the locker room with their heads hanging, they either went into their mom's arms or picked up the phone and called them -- for a little comfort that only a mom (or dad) can give.
Take up the challenge moms and dads out there -- lose weight, get healthy, stay healthy. Your kids, no matter how old, still need you!!