On February 21st, 2010 another young woman became a motherless daughter. This time it happened on the world stage of the Vancouver Olympics. Her name is Joannie Rochette. What was supposed to be one of the most joyful and exciting moments of her life became wrought with grief.
As a big fan of hers, I wept along with the rest of the world as we watched her overcome her grief to realize a dream she held her whole life, a dream she shared with her mother.
I also wept because I knew, yes I knew more than she did at that moment. I knew what it was like to lose your mother at 22 years old. I knew how deep and how long the grief would last. That it would creep into her life with every milestone. That it would blindside her in the middle of mundane tasks which her mother taught her to do. Or that years from now, she may weep as she made up the guest list for her sons wedding, a son who her mother would never know. Yes, I knew the magnitude of her loss. My heart ached for her.
Watching Joannie overcome her grief and continue to compete that week was one of the most inspiring moments in all of Olympic history. It was such an amazing example of resilience in the face of adversity. Beyond the Olympics she has become a huge inspiration to the world. She also has made the best of this situation by becoming an advocate for women’s heart heath.
For my fiftieth birthday my sweet husband gave me the “iheartmom” pendant Joannie designed for Birks. We are not sentimental gift people, but this pendant means so much to me. Not only is it very pretty, it represents a very important part of who I have become in middle age. It represents the importance of taking care of our health. Not only for our own good but also for that of our loved ones.
I made a commitment to myself in 2008 to get over the yo-yo dieting and get healthy before I hit fifty. I want to be a healthy wife, mother and one day a grandmother. I work hard at taking care of myself and my family so that we have many happy years together.
One of my missions in my work with Weight Watchers is to help others learn to care for themselves and create healthier lifestyles. For their own good and that of their loved ones.
I have been fussing about this beautiful pendant making sure I care for it so that I can keep it forever. If Therese Rochette had fussed about her own heart by making healthier choices, Joannie would still have her precious mother.
How careful are you with your one precious heart of gold?
“If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.” ~ Emily Dickinson