"This road to the cure that seems never-ending is continually shortened with the support from each and every one of you."
My name is Mallory Kohlmeier and I am Pam’s daughter. I wanted to be given the chance to express what your support to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada, my mom’s legacy, means to me; it is appreciated beyond words. My goal is to give you a better understanding of what it’s like to lose someone so close from this terrible disease. Not so you can feel my pain, but so you can realize just how much your support is valued.
At the youthful age of 4 years, 5 months and 23 days, something happened to me that would change my life forever. Of course at that age, I had no idea the effect of losing a parent, and simply convinced myself my mother would be coming back any day. It wasn't until a year or so later that reality had set in. I was sitting in my dad’s bedroom amusing myself with my own reflection through a television screen, when I saw the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. An angel flew across the room and stopped in front of the black screen. She waved at me and smiled while I sat there in shock, staring now into my mother’s beautiful blue eyes. It was at that very moment I knew she was in a far better place; somewhere other than here on Earth with our family, and her smile assured me that everything would be okay. Ever since her passing, I’ve experienced the feeling of little wet drops landing on my cheeks when I lay in bed at night. I call them angel kisses. One day, my cousin asked me why she sometimes feels a cold drop on her cheek before she falls asleep at night. I told her I was certain they were angel kisses and we both knew right away who they were from. In fact, a few years back I thought it would be interesting to see a tarot card reader. Before she laid 3 cards down and only knowing my first name, she said she immediately sensed a very strong bond between my mom and I. After revealing that she knew about her passing, she told me my mother wanted me to know that she kisses me goodnight every night before I fall asleep.
"I pray every day that a cure is found for this dreadful disease so that no one else has to experience the loss of a loved one to breast cancer"
Whenever I feel a struggle, whether it is physically, mentally or emotionally, I remind myself of the pain my mom was faced with every single day and the strength she had to conquer her perpetual struggle through cancer. I have a very close relationship with my mom, these past few years more than ever. I go to her with all of my problems and I know she does her best to help me through them.
Aside from all the wonderful signs that point to the fact that my mom is around me all the time - helping me grow and mature every day, there come struggles, with any loss of a loved one. When I was in high school, it all came crashing down. It had hit me. I was growing into a woman and facing responsibilities that I was so unfamiliar with. Now don’t get me wrong, my father does everything he can to make my life as easy as it can be, but there will always be that void no one on this Earth could come close to filling. I felt lost; I was entering stages in my life where teenage girls need their mothers the most. I had lived my life up until this point holding all of my emotions inside. I was scared to be happy when I talked about her, that someone would think I didn't care. I was scared to grieve, that someone would feel sorry for me. It eventually got to the point where I couldn't bear to be at school. I avoided all social situations and isolated myself from those around me. My dad and I thought it would be best if a got some professional help. I was nervous about it at first. At that age, I had the idea that seeing a psychologist meant you had to be close to crazy! Instead it gave me the opportunity to talk to someone I trusted and who I knew wasn't going to judge anything I needed to say. After almost a year of meeting with her I felt I was confident to start facing my problems on my own.
I am no longer scared to grieve about my mother’s death, and I can be happy when I talk about her. I have the privilege that no one else will ever have. I am Pam Kohlmeier’s daughter, and that’s definitely something to be happy about. This wasn't the first, and I am certain it won’t be the last struggle I face. The day-to-day battle becomes easier with each passing moment as I come to appreciate everything my mom left behind. She left me with a father who loves his children with every fragment of his heart, a brother who I can relate to deeper than anyone on this planet, and grandparents who have passed on their passion for ending this terrible disease. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and I know I have become a better person from the experiences I've been faced with.
"Millions of families are going through this same battle, and it is people like you that give them hope of one day ending this awful disease."
I've learned to take life day by day. I try not to take anything for granted and I am thankful for everything I have. I do my best not to complain about my situation, because I know that there are billions out there with far less. I know that I’m not alone in this struggle and my family and friends are by my side every step of the way, as I am for them.
I pray every day that a cure is found for this dreadful disease so that no one else has to experience the loss of a loved one to breast cancer. This road to the cure that seems never-ending is continually shortened with the support from each and every one of you. Millions of families are going through this same battle, and it is people like you that give them hope of one day ending this awful disease. I hope you now can get a sense of what your support means to me and my family. And maybe you too, can think of my mother’s strength and perseverance when you are faced with your next big struggle.