Whereas there truly is no one like your own mother, I have learned over the years, and through this battle, that mothers really come in all shapes and sizes. They may appear in different forms and at different times. They may be related to you, by blood or otherwise, or they may be complete strangers. But whether they be a sister or a friend, a nurse or guru, I would like to celebrate these incredible women this Mother’s Day.
My mother-in-law Monina is a quiet mother to so many. She would never acknowledge the sacrifices she has made, the love and support she has given; it just comes naturally. But today, I would like to recognize Monina and thank her for the generous, unwavering, wonderful mother she has been to me. I would also like to share a very special letter she wrote to me, one that defines and reinforces my idea of motherhood. It arrived at a particularly difficult time after my transplant and I instantly felt loved and cherished, protected and cared for.
Take a moment to thank all of the mothers in your life.
Dearest Phoebe and Nicolas,
I missed the late spring breezes of your marriage but have joined you in the full Meltemi of the challenge you are both facing.
I am enchanted to have gained a daughter such as you, Phoebe - a stylish sylph, witty and full of pep - an enhanced blonde ﬁnally in the family ...with straight hair no less. I am pleased!
But, I only knew one side of you. And now, I have seen another.
I have watched, full of admiration, how you manage and love Nicolas - with charm, wiliness and humour -and certainly far more patience than I ever had!
And now - I see how you continue to do so under the stress of these high winds. I have watched - again, full of admiration, how well you run your house, how organized and neat you are, and how well you cook. All things that enhance my son’s life.
But now - I can also see how well you write, how clearly you think, and how wise you are. I have witnessed how you have been stripped naked by life, temporarily deprived of adornments, hair, job, Coco and physical liberty.
Yet even in the face of such hardship you still make everything look beautiful - you have style...and as DV said: “...if you don’t have style you have nothing.”
But, we know that style is not all...and now, I see a woman of inner beauty brimming with strength, love, passion, grace and remarkable courage.
Know that we are all here for you. We’re in this together. To continue with my wind metaphor: We will stay in this MDAnderson “harbour” until the Meltemi blows over and we will prepare for smoother sailing in September 2015 - around the Greek islands with all sails unfurled - on some lovely boat.
With much love, my sweetest Phoebe,