This was Sharon Kaplan and she was resilient.
CONTENT WARNING: The I Am Resilient Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this post and on this website will include topics that you may find difficult.
Thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate our mom. Her departure from her physical body happened fast. She pulled a Sharon and left us early on Tuesday, February 23 at 2:55am.
Mom, your strength, resilience and perseverance are admirable. You dedicated your life to raising me, Alana and Zena while ensuring that the entire city of Winnipeg had clean teeth. In fact, you were so passionate about your career as a dental hygienist that you worked up until a few weeks ago.
We will never understand why you were taken from us so fast and so early but we will work hard at keeping your legacy alive.
Our mother did everything in her power to make sure we were set up for success. She did everything she could to give us a good life. It’s hard to pick just one story to share but there are a few moments that really stick out for us:
Her daily morning texts and love notes to us brought us comfort. She worked very hard to ensure that Alana and I had a good life and education. She sacrificed a lot for us. She loved going on family vacations with us and was always the first one at the pool to make sure we got the best lounge chairs. In fact, we always went away around this time each year so I guess you can say we had one last family vacation.
She was our biggest fan – always the first to like all of our social media posts, edit my work and share our wins with her friends.
She was always the first one to a party and the last one to leave the dance floor.
Facebook facial recognition always thinks I’m my mom – when I post pictures of me, Facebook asked my mom if she would like to be tagged. People think we look alike and neither of us could ever see it.
Mom, I am honoured to be a spitting image of you and will always make you proud.
Our mom loved making lists and notes, which you could often find on any scrap of paper or her left hand. In honour of her, here is a list of some of the things she loved the most (aside from her daughters):
1. Spending time with the Waterloo crew, going for birthday dinners and backyard hangouts
2. Her job. She was so dedicated to her work, as evidenced by the many coworkers and patients who’ve expressed their condolences.
3. Her friendships.
4. Her dental school friends who she would let loose with.
5. The weather channel, which was the soundtrack to her sleep.
6. Zena, our 16 and a half-year-old cat.
A few years ago, for our mother’s 60th birthday, Alana and I flew in to celebrate with her. We took her for dinner at her favourite restaurant, Rae and Jerry’s and threw her a surprise party. But first, us 3 girls spent the day together at Thermea… The outdoor baths and spa place. It just so happened to also be the coldest day of the year, -42°. Upon our arrival, we learned that the hot tubs were not working and they tried to turn the temperature up in the cold tubs. We thought it was hilarious because we were so excited to hang out in the hot tubs but we made the best of that situation and spent the day relaxing together, getting massaged, and laughing. Whenever we were together, no matter what happened, we made the best of any situation.We were with her, holding her when she took her final breaths and peacefully left us. The memories we made together will always, and I mean always, be a blessing.
We love you mom.
Love Blair + Alana
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????Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada