My mother was diagnosed with cancer when I was 4. I didn’t know much about it, just that she went to the doctor a lot when I was a kid. As I got older, I came to understand that my mother was a survivor. She had beaten breast cancer. We went to walks in Metro Detroit to help raise money for research, participated in the Relay For Life every year, and for 11 years, we didn’t really give it much thought.

Then, when I was 15, I came home from football practice, and the house felt different. My dad looked sullen. My mom had the sad look on her face that was noticeable because she almost never looked that way. My parents sat my younger sister and I down and told us that Mom’s cancer had returned. “Metastasized” was the word they used. We thought it had been in remission, but apparently that wasn’t entirely true. It was at stage 4 by the time they were able to catch it. They told her she had about 2 years.

The survivor in my Mom had her fighting and she lasted 8 years. She passed away in 2009 at the age of 56. She was my best friend. We talked daily, and I was lucky enough to be able to help care for her before she passed. I even gave the eulogy at her funeral. Losing my mom at 23 was devastating.

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“The letter is the most important possession I have. It’s a way Mom communicated with me from beyond. It’s one of my most prized possessions.”

– Joe Karasin
Mom Sends Letter from Heaven

I was helping my dad clean out some items in the house one day. We had a hospital bed in the family room, and Mom kept a table next to it. On her table was a bag that she kept things she needed in (crossword puzzle books and other small items). I picked up the bag and started to go through it. In the bag, there were some papers folded up. I unfolded them and saw my name at the top of the first page. Joey…that’s what she called me. The letter went on for 2 pages, telling me how much she loved me, and how being a mother was the highlight of her life. As I read on, I was so touched that in her last days, my mom wanted me to feel reassured that I was a good son and that she loved me.

Years later, I recall everything about that day and that moment. The letter is the most important possession I have. I’ve moved 4 or 5 times since that time, and I have a special box I keep it in. I cherish it, as it is a way Mom communicated with me from beyond. It is almost like being able to have a conversation with her at any given time. How could a son want anything more?