And the Winner Is…


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Tonight is the night of the biggest award show in Hollywood- the Oscars! A few weeks ago, a woman came into my mom’s shop looking for an outfit. She ended up purchasing a beautiful, flowing white dress and matching duster.

It was to wear to the Oscars.

It has always been my mother’s dream to own her own dress shop. She majored in Home Economics and became a pharmaceutical rep until she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember the day she decided she was going to retire with extreme clarity.

We were sitting on our new porch, maybe one or two weeks after we had moved, having breakfast in our pajamas. Mom had on one of her white linen nightgowns and I was in dog pajama pants and a t-shirt. She was flipping through the local newspaper when she saw a “for sale” ad for one of her friend’s shops on Main Street. All of the sudden she paused, put the paper down, looked at me and said, “Amy, I think I’m going to buy this store.”

“Are you serious Mom?”

“Yep.”

“Ok, let’s do it!”

Mom retired from her job of 23 years, only to go into the retail business. At least once a week now, she tells me how it has always been her dream to sell dresses. She loves to make women feel beautiful and good about themselves, and she is brilliant at it.

Every time Mom walks into her store she tells it good morning. When she leaves at night, she wishes it sweet dreams. Half of it she does jokingly, but I can see it in her eyes that she truly loves the shop. She is living her dream.

It’s odd to think that, if it weren’t for her cancer, we probably wouldn’t be where we are today. If it weren’t for her cancer, Mom wouldn’t have even thought about pursuing her dream of owning her own store. She was happy, had a stable job with wonderful people, and there was no reason to seek out anything else.

Cancer does something to people. It changes them. Most think it’s for the worst, but my mom is living proof that it can make dreams come true. The mindset that breast cancer gave my mom is, “there isn’t anything I can’t do,” and that includes following the dream she had since she was a little girl.

I am sitting here, watching James Franco and Anne Hathaway host the 83rd annual Academy Awards show. Oprah is on stage, Kirk Douglas presented the award for Supporting Actress, and one of my mother’s dresses is in the audience. As the show goes on, my pride only grows. It almost brings me to tears to know that my mother has accomplished everything she has. She is a mother, a survivor, and a phenomenal business woman. She is living her dream despite everything that has tried to knock her down, and that dream is sitting in the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, making a woman feel beautiful.

Thank you Mom, for showing us all that we can do it. I love you so, so much. This is one of my proudest moments.