Gwendolyn Cofield

In Memorial


The last day of October 2018 didn’t just represent Halloween, but the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Significantly, 40 years ago that month, my mother died of breast cancer. Then, there were no special months, 5k walks, or 3 day runs. Instead, you leaned on family and friends to get you through a surreal and shocking experience. She died just a few months after her diagnosis. Time taught me her cancer had to be very advanced when diagnosed and she very likely waited too late to get early treatment. I tend not to dwell on the date someone dies, so I don’t want you to think I’m sharing out of profound sadness. Rather, the milestone is cause for great reflection. That I survived the loss… I had family like my Aunt/godmother who stood in the motherhood gap. I became diligent about my breast care… I found an outlet through 5K run/walks and supporting organizations like Susan G. Komen. I found inspiration in all of the survivors! Yes, I always miss her and at times I asked why we lost her. Other times I feared I would follow in her health footsteps. But 40 years later, I am stronger, and I used her as an inspiration to stay as healthy as possible. Most importantly, I firmly believe she looks down at me, proud of the woman I have become.