It seems like a lifetime ago. A bad dream. I married into a family and life changed. One of my favorite people, was my husband’s step-grandmother. She only spoke Spanish. I only spoke English, and yet the two of us loved each other. She was the mother to my father-in-law and she had a daugther, named after her, Georgina, whom we all affectionately called “Moni”.
Her name had been “Moni” since she was born, when my father-in-law, just a small boy, went to the hospital to see his sister. As he looked through the window into the nursery he said to his dad, “Poppa, she is moni.” He was trying to say she was beautiful in his native Spanish language.
Moni was beautiful. She was one of the most beautiful women I have ever come to know. She had an amazing smile, a wild side and such a good heart. She laughed often and shared laughter through her sense of humor. Moni was also courageous.
I can’t tell you the day it happened. Not even if I tried to think of it. I just know one day, I learned Moni had breast cancer.
Her husband, whom loved her like the characters of a Nicholas Sparks book, changed their diet. Her son, stayed a little closer to her side. I cried.
Moni had a double mastectomy. She still smiled. She still laughed–though perhaps a little louder. She was a warrior and refused to let breast cancer defeat her.
This is the only picture I have of Moni, she is with her mother, at my Jacob’s fourth birthday party.
Look at her smile. I remember her arriving at the party this day. Her hair had so much bounce…her smile was amazing and I thought she looked like a supermodel. She laughed and played with the children, offered a helping hand.
Moni was educated. She had so much to live for.
Moni’s story ends tragically. Breast Cancer took one breast, then another and eventually devoured her body. The one thing it didn’t take was her spirit. Her sense of humor remained in tact.
It’s been a decade or so since my heart broke and my world became a little less beautiful due to Moni’s death. Even as I write about her and the thousands of memories of Moni flood my soul, my tears stream down my face.
It will take us all to find a cure. Allstate is on a mission to help every woman diagnosed with breast cancer by offering a free Silver Lining Companion Guide, helping them and their families through the experience unfortunately too many of us have to endure.
The numbers are staggering–More than 250,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each year.
That moment I heard about Moni’s diagnoses seemed surreal. A resource like the Silver Lining Companion Guide perhaps would have made us all a little more prepared. Allstate, through its ongoing efforts to support the well-being of women, is distributing the Silver Lining Companion Guide as a free resource to everyone impacted by breast cancer–it includes practical tips, important information and inspiration.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the US, other than skin cancer and second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.
While Silver Linings shared in the Companion Guide do not take away the confusion, pain and emotions that often come with a cancer diagnosis, they do provide the balance, perspective and hope needed to get through the difficult times.
I love that the Silver Linings Companion Guide is also available in Spanish, to accompany the English version currently being shared with woment nationwide. It’s a beautiful thing and may be the very thing to help you and your loved one through the darkness.
Visit Allstate.com/SilverLining to download the free guide and learn more, or pick up yours a select Allstate agencies nationwide.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.