The Mile High Mamas Miracle
posted by: Amber Johnson
I was biking home after dropping off my kids at school when my iPhone rang. Little did I know that message would be the makings of The Mile High Mamas Miracle.
Every Mother’s Day, I issue an invitations for Denver moms to tell their story. One year, it was their own experiences in becoming a mother; for another, it was their favorite mom moments. Last year, I launched a Mother’s Day contest where entrants wrote an essay about their Mom Hero–whether it was their own mother or a peer or someone they admired. All of the entries were so inspiring and I published 20 of them the week of Mother’s Day.
With so many amazing stories, I knew I wouldn’t be able to choose (plus, I felt I was biased because I knew some of the women who submitted). The Grand Prize winner would receive a day of pampering for two at Allure Skincare and Lash, True Bliss Massage AND Rooted in Tradition Acupuncture so I asked the PR rep of the salon to make the final selection.
She chose Brenda Lane’s My Mom, My Hero, Advocate and Artist.
As a side note, I was in the middle of a very stressful season of my life. We were [unsuccessfully] selling our home, permits were delayed on our new one, I had umpteen end-of-the-year responsibilities–from recitals to graduation parties to assisting at a wedding reception to my daughter’s own birthday bash and Sixth Grade Continuation.
The timing is an important note in this miracle because it was almost two weeks after Mother’s Day when I finally emailed Brenda to let her know she had won. I didn’t hear back from her. Five days later, I emailed the PR rep to see if she had made contact. She hadn’t so we resolved to call her.
That was before I received the message on that fateful day while riding my bike home. It was from Adriana, Brenda’s partner of 15 years, who requested I call her back because she wanted to to share the beautiful backstory of Brenda winning the grand prize.
The experience that unfolded was the makings of miracles.
Adriana shared that just eight weeks ago, Brenda’s mom Sylvia had been living a busy and happy life as she finished illustrating a children’s book when she experienced some back pain. The next weeks that ensued involved a visit to the ICU, a nursing home, hospital visits and finally, her health had declined so rapidly that it was time to send her home with hospice.
The family was gathered together with her mom on the brink of death when Brenda received my email that she had won the Grand Prize. She didn’t have the strength to tell her mom but it was a hospice worker who said, “Brenda, you have to share this with her. This is your moment.”
So Brenda stood by her mom’s bed and shared the news that her “Mom Hero” entry had won. Adriana read the essay to her mom in what would become her final lucid moments. “It was the last gift, the last words Brenda was able to share with Mom,” said Adriana.
Sylvia Lane died four hours later.
“So, I just wanted to thank you for this. This miracle,” Adriana told me during our phone call. “Tomorrow is Sylvia’s service and we will read that essay. This has been the one thing that our family and close friends keep talking about. This was the perfect moment for all of this to happen and has helped us come together as a family.”
Here’s the thing. Our Mother’s Day hero contest wasn’t some big nationwide competition but for this family, it was a touching reminder that by small and simple things, miracles happen.