My younger daughter Leslie was born fighting.
My contractions were intensifying as expected. She was about ready to be born when suddenly the birthing team went from gently encouraging me to an emergency call to action. The baby’s heartbeat had changed. Something was wrong. Out came the forceps; within moments Ms. Ehm made her assisted appearance with umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. But to everyone’s delight she arrived screaming, letting the world know she meant business. I should have known then. This baby would be my Warrior Daughter.
When we left the hospital the head nurse smiled, put my daughter in my arms and said, "Here, take her. We’re glad she’s going home; she disturbed all the other babies his week." I was terribly hurt by this flippant remark. Yet looking back I now understand that Leslie was probably just leading all the other newborns in a nursery protest of some sort or another. It was the first of many other causes she would champion.
In high school the Teachers Union went on strike and there was a huge gathering of students to speak out about what their teachers were doing. Leslie begged me to allow her to go downtown to take part in the protest. I agreed, providing she wasn’t going to lead the march. That evening I turned on the news and who was in front of the cameras telling the world how she felt? My Warrior Daughter.
Twelve years ago Leslie shared important news. Though she could have had babies of her own, she felt that there were already too many children who had no one to care for them. Two trips to China later, I am the proud grandmother of two wonderful, beautiful granddaughters. Thank you Warrior Daughter for these gifts!
I could regale you with another 100 ways this woman has both tested me and rewarded me with her fight to do what was right and good. However, I’m sure you already get the picture.
Two years ago Leslie informed me that she had joined a boxing club. This would be her chosen form of exercise. I strongly voiced my mother’s objection and kept my fingers crossed she wouldn’t get hurt. "It’s just exercise, Mom," she said. "Sure, Leslie," I answered (insert eye roll).
This week I received a mailing from her informing me that she's agreed to go three rounds in the boxing ring as part of a black tie event called "‘The Fight to End Cancer," and I was invited to attend. This is an excerpt from that email:
On May 30th, 2015, at 51 years of age, I'm going into the ring to fight. Anyone who knows me knows I've been a fighter all of my life. I always refer to it as "the good fight" - the relentless pursuit of goodness and what's "right."
Not only will I get to take on an opponent and go three rounds in a real amateur bout, I'll also get to raise my fists against the evil that is cancer. Because every drop of sweat and every punch thrown and taken will be in solidarity with those who have faced the disease and won or lost and for everyone who loved those fighters.
Of course, I’ve already made my donation to support Leslie and the plague that is cancer. But will I attend the event? I’m on the fence about that one.
What sane mother wants to pay money to possibly see their kid get beaten up? I love you fiercely, Warrior Daughter, but you must understand I just might not be ringside that night.
However, if truth be told …. I just might not be able to stay away.
If anybody reading this blog would like to support Leslie and help in the "The Fight to End Cancer" you can make your donation at: The End to Fight Cancer/LeslieEhm.
Remember no amount ($5, $10, $15) is too small. It all adds up to ‘bigger sums’ and will go towards helping Leslie reach her goal.