I was a college senior, in my last semester of school, when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. She died four months later, in May. Her death changed my life because though I did graduate with a degree in Journalism, as I write this, it is 37 years later, and I have been a registered nurse for 33 years.

Nursing was not on my short list of careers when I started college. I wanted to be a sportswriter or work within a professional sports organization like the Phillies. But mom’s death changed my journey and though I would have loved if she had lived much longer, I am grateful that I found nursing.

So, this May, like every other since 1982, I celebrate who my mom was and remember how grateful I am for the 22 years that I did have with her. And as we all know, but sometimes forget, the time we have with our loved ones is not guaranteed so take it from me, make the most of YOUR time.