My Mother: Ellen Lanier Teague
As many know by now, my mom passed away yesterday (4.26.10) around 5:00pm. I want to do a quick write up of her life as tribute.
She was born in Raleigh, in 1954. Growing up during the integration of public schools, she accepted everyone. She was a track star, cheerleader, and prom queen. And she was wicked-smart. After getting accepted to UNC for business, she decided to finish up at NC State, getting two undergrad degrees. Not sure when, or how she met my father, but after only a few years of marriage, they divorced. She remarried my stepfather Ed, who loved her deeply. She worked decades at NC State in computer programming and student records. Our house, growing up, was literally 2 blocks from her office. She loved walking to work. Over time, she chose to deal with her troubles in isolation. But she still loved. She came to almost every game I played in high school. She attended my high school and college graduation with pride. She was ecstatic for Rachel and me when we won the ring. She loved the beach. When she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, she got her hair cut and dyed before starting chemo/radiation. In other words, bring it on. They gave her 6 months tops, and she gave them 2 years. When a tumor began growing in her brain, she battled on, getting more and more intense radiation. It grew over the midline of her brain and caused stroke-like symptoms. She was moved to a hospice for the last 4 days of her life. Though she could not talk, her eyes were alive and we learned to communicate through squeezing hands. Really sad. But she had family and friends constantly at her side, and died while holding my grandfather's hand.
She always told me a few things when I would go back and forth from her house to dad's:
"I love you very, very, very, very, much."
"Different people think different things."
She taught me how to see the good in others first. She taught me how to fight for what I knew was right. And she taught me the frailty of life. So raise a glass to the life of Ellen Teague sometime this week. We are especially thankful for our family and friends and their prayers during this time. We could not do it without you.