Ten Lessons for Enriching Life Learned by a Cancer Survivor. Lesson Five: Honor Your Parents and Guardians.

Editor’s note: A Tenth Anniversary Remembrance is a CancerForward series of blog posts attributed to the late Mariana Dieste Mead, MD, who fought pancreatic cancer for four years. In their original format, the posts are excerpts of “Ten Lessons for Enriching Life Learned by Confronting Death” written by Dr. Mead in collaboration with Clare Broun Johnson. The CancerForward series appears July 29 through August 9, 2012.

by Mariana Dieste Mead, MD (1955 – 2002)

I’ll bet you as teenagers see your parents as silly, stupid, impossible, cheap and mean. I remember that’s what I thought when I was your age. Now, I look back on my parents’ wisdom and realize they were right about 98% of the time.

Families come in all shapes and sizes. Each of you has a parent or guardian relationship that I group together when I say: your parents love you dearly and want only that which is best for you. You might find this hard to believe over the next five years as you complete high school, but it’s the truth. If I have one regret, it is that I did not cherish my mother and father while they were living.

I think of our conflicts…my embarrassment. Mom died just before I entered medical school. Dad died when my daughter Eliza was a baby. If only I had them with me now to reminisce, to tell me everything is going to be okay. What I would give to listen to them ramble on about falling in love; about how deprived they were during the depression, or the importance of taking piano lessons! I would love to know more about my childhood…I would love to hug them tightly…to say I love you, and always will.

Don’t take for granted these most important people in your life. They deserve your respect, so honor them. Value their principles and opinions. Lean on them in times of trouble. Learn from their experience and insight. Your parents and guardians love you, and they can and will sustain you, if you let them.

Editor’s Note: Lesson Six: MAKE WISE CHOICES will appear in the next installment of CancerForward’s blog, to be published August 4, 2012.

Category: Cancer

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