Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

My Mom


My mother asked me a couple of years ago, with all the stories that I had written, how come none were written specifically about her.   I had really not given it much thought, even around other Mother’s Day holidays.  Pretty much, I decide to write last minute, when something really has my attention.  And in general, I have tried to keep my stories in a direction meant to help people.

But in the latest chapter of my life, my mother is playing a very important role.

When I actually stopped to think about all the things that I have to be thankful to my mother for, and I do not often stop to do anything, especially thinking, my mother has actually witnessed, and supported me a lot… A LOT!

Though I do not know all the details, and was clearly too young to know any better, evidently I was “trouble” from the moment I first saw daylight at birth.  Then when I was six, my mother would hear me diagnosed with tumors (they were benign, located in my gums) for the first time.  Divorced when I was three, we lived with my grandmother who would help take care of my sister and I.  My mother worked second shift, and with being in school during the daytime, that meant that we never really got to see each other except on the weekends.  And time would be split every other weekend, with visitation from my dad.

In my teen years, I was not easy to deal with.  I was resentful towards my stepfather for us constantly moving from one town to another.  And of course, there were other teenage issues I was dealing with.

But at 22 years of age, things changed dramatically, when I had informed her that I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  But through it all, she offered me support.

Eight years ago, when I nearly suffered a fatal heart attack caused by cumulative damage from radiation therapy from my treatments over a decade earlier, my mother was there offering support.

Over subsequent years, I have faced several more severe medical emergencies, and my mother was there offering me support.

And today, as I fight to protect my rights to see my daughters, my mother is there, offering support.

Mom, there are so many things you have taught me.  You introduced me to radio with Bohemian Rhapsody on WAEB 790am.  I heard my first song by my favorite group Chicago, “Wishing You Were Here” while waiting in line for the Thunderhawk roller coaster at Dorney Park.  You taught me how to get my thrills by riding any amusement ride without fear.  You taught me not to be afraid and face the darkest things life can face, by watching scary movies.  You taught me to be a pain in the ass, to fight to be treated with respect.  You taught me to speak up.  You taught me to fight.  You taught me to never give up.

So that is my story about you Mom.

I love you.  Your granddaughters love you.  See you again real soon.


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