Football Star’s Letter to His Dying MomMark Burton
Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams lost his mom this month to breast cancer. This morning he published heartfelt words that will move you to tears.
For one of our last conversations, not long before she passed, I wrote down what I wanted to say on a notepad, because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to deliver the words without breaking down. Swollen and emaciated, she looked like a ghost of the woman I had known.
“Mom,” I said, pulling a chair up next to her bed. “I just want to tell you how I feel about you. I’m upset and I don’t know how to take this because I’ve never been in this situation.”
She stopped me.
“This is what I want you to remember me by,” she said. “None of your aunties made it to the age of 50 and today I’m 53. I’ve stolen a few years and have enjoyed every minute, especially thanks to those two incredible granddaughters you’ve given me. You and your sisters are safe and know how to maintain and live and survive.
“My job here is done.”
Spontaneously, her words changed my perspective. There I was, upset beyond everything, and she’s never batted an eye, cried or complained. In those last days, when a family member would leave the room to cry, she could hear them around the corner and she would demand that the tears stop.
“I’m going home,” she’d say. “You gonna cry because I’m going home? This is supposed to be a celebration.”
The challenge my mother laid down: Fight breast cancer for every woman who comes after you, who will suffer as you suffered. God willing, no woman will feel as though she has to face this disease alone.