My mom had ovarian cancer. I searched for ways to be close to her even though I lived far.
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My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on my parents’ 36th wedding anniversary. They called me together, while I was at work, to tell me the news. Our lives suddenly became very different lives.

My parents live in Ohio. I live in Washington, D.C. That’s 364 miles. This is too far.

I held my mom’s hand as she waited to be taken back to surgery. My sister, brother and I huddled close, afraid. My dad was focused, watching her, loving her and then waiting for hours in the same chair, refusing the coffees and sandwiches we tried to feed him.

I felt powerless. Scared. I felt proud of her courage and her faith. I felt bad for crying. I couldn’t help it.

I desperately wanted ways to make her feel better. To let her know that I was thinking of nothing else other than her recovery. That she consumed all of me.

I felt inadequate. Incapable of such a strong, selfless love. I wanted to be there for her when she needed me. Is this how parents always feel? Like they can’t love hard enough?

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