Heart attack at 39. Actually, probably many small attacks culminating in a big one. Heart attack symptoms were not general knowledge back then. She had upset stomach, heartburn, and fatigue for several days. Became too weak to care for my sisters (10 and 7) and me (2 months). Doctor came to house and recommended the hospital. Ambulances were just transportation back then. No treatment en route and she was briefly seen in ER, but no treatment or diagnosis, before being admitted and put in a room. She sat up in bed and gave my father a list of personal items to bring from home. He was waiting for the elevator when she had a massive attack and died.

Sorry about your mom. Lung cancer is a tough one. Guess it is fortunate you don’t remember much of what she went through.

Did your dad remarry? Mine did when I was two but they divorced when I was four. Although she and my baby sister moved hundreds of miles away, my stepmother remained part of my life until she passed four years ago.

Have you heard of the book Motherless Daughters? Great study about the effect of losing a mother on daughters at different ages.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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