The Ineligible Contest Entry

The ladies at SITS recently advertised the P&G Thank You Mom contest. Lucky winners will receive $1,000 for a special day with Mom and a video camera to record the whole thing.

As soon as I read the details, I was raring to enter. Then I saw the fine print in the contest rules. “Employees of Procter & Gamble, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotion and internet agencies and their immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each are not eligible.”

Dang. My company, a communications firm, has P&G as a client. I’m out.

Still, I was compelled to write the entry. Do you think I could have won?

My mother disappeared a little over a month ago. She wasn’t kidnapped in the middle of the night, nor did she go to the store for a gallon of milk never to return. The culprit, lying in wait for who knows how long, made itself known on April Fools’ Day and trapped Mom inside her own mind. The doctor called it a hemmorhagic stroke. Unchecked high blood pressure caused bleeding on the brain and a blood clot that rendered her helpless.


I was helpless, too, in a different sort of way. I didn’t know how much Mom was in my life until she wasn’t there. Before the stroke, we talked countless times each day. She watched my daughter every Tuesday. We went on at least one wild-goose chase per week — a white dress for a church function, a red trash can for the redecorated kitchen, or party favors for my daughter’s birthday. The hole her absence left was broad and deep.

Little by little, Mom made her return. In four week’s time, she’s gone from talking about dancing cats to scheduling her medicines on a chart. It is an amazing, blessed recovery, and I know she still has a long road ahead of her.

What has kept me from coming completely unglued is the circle of women my mother befriended over the years. The unwavering support they’ve shown my family has been simply amazing. Mom had a swarm of visitors every day she was in the hospital, and two of her friends helped us clean the house for her homecoming. Only a true friend would scrub your toilet.

How would I use the prize to reconnect with my mom? I want to celebrate her life, her recovery, and the friends who have been there every step of the way. We love food, we love flowers, and we love a good time. A garden brunch on a beautiful spring day sounds like the perfect fit.
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