My husband and I went to see a movie tonight, No Reservations. It was a fun romantic comedy. The heroine’s sister had died and she had taken on raising her niece as the child had no other family. The heroine was trying to take on the role of a single parent never having had children of her own. It was a cute movie. I kind of felt sorry for the surviving sister suddenly having to change her lifestyle to accommodate raising her niece.

At one point in the movie the child was missing. After a frantic search they finally found her at her mother’s grave. She was crying and said” I’m afraid I’ll forget her”.

I lost it at that point and suddenly started crying. I remember that fear. That my kids would grow up without me and not remember times we had shared or how much I had loved them. I don’t remember a whole lot about my own grade school years, just bullet points and generalizations about the climate in my childhood home. I have scattered mental photographs of my childhood in my head, just bits and pieces.

If I had died shortly after I was diagnosed, as was expected, I don’t know how well my kids would have remembered me. What would their bullet points have been? What mental photographs would they have saved?

I talk to many women now diagnosed with cancer who have that same fear. Some have children who are still toddlers…they worry that they will not live long enough that their children will remember them at all. It’s a heart-wrenching fear.

Since cancer I know I’ve made a point of spending a lot of one-on-one time with my kids. I spend a lot of mom-and-me time with the two of them together, and also make a point of spending individual time with each of them frequently. Before I was more the field trip mom and the mom who was around being the hostess when their fiends were over.

Now we have lunch together a lot, we go out for coffee frequently, we go for walks at the county park, we go shopping together. Just this week I’ve gone out to lunch twice with my eldest daughter, she and I have also gone to walk and talk at the local county park and have gone to a book store together. I spent three days of “mom and me” time at a hotel with my youngest daughter this week– we took pictures and are making a scrapbook of our special trip.

I want my kids to have lots of memories of me and of our family and the time we’ve all spent together. I want them to always know that they are important to me and that I love them and love to be with them. I want to really know them and I want them to really know me. I don’t ever want my children to forget me or how much I love and cherish them. I want us all to be saturated with memories of good times spent together. I want them to have good memories of their childhood home.

We’ve become very close over the past several years and I am so thankful for that.

My kids and my husband are the reason I fought so hard to stay alive. They are why I am still here.