Making lemonade…and Scrabble words

The other story I submitted for my mom’s memorial service earlier this year:

Even when she was faced with great obstacles in life, Mon always wanted to try and make the most of the situation and have fun where possible. When she was going through chemo in 2005, I would go to the hospital with her during her treatments, and we’d pack up some games to take with us, generally having a variety to choose from, but almost always coming back to the classic Scrabble each time. Under normal circumstances, we were fairly evenly matched, but wouldn’t you know, almost every single time we played during those chemo sessions, Mon would win the game, beating her journalist daughter quite handily, to the point that I would jokingly accuse her of cheating by sneaking something into the chemo meds she was receiving.

Some days we would get to enjoy our Scrabble games in one of the private rooms, laughing and talking our way through the minutes and hours to pass the time, though sometimes there wasn’t a private room available and Mom would get treatments in the common area, sharing a space with other patients who were also receiving chemo. But that didn’t stop our fun — we still brought along our Scrabble game, and nearly every time we played it in the common area, someone else would watch us and comment on how great it was for us to pass the time in that way, making the most of a tough situation.

One woman made a point to come over to us and proclaimed, “I’ve been coming here for a long time, and I don’t think I’ve seen anyone have more fun during their treatments than you.” And that woman was probably right — Mom had a way of knowing how to enjoy life, even during the toughest of times.


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