It’s still so surreal. It feels like just yesterday that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.
It was so quick, so aggressive, so painful, so hard to watch. I have never experienced anything like it, and I hope to never have to again.
Every single day I flashback to those few weeks in the hospital where I watched the most important woman in my life fade away. She was so strong through it all. After she saw and spoke with her grandbabies, it was clear she just let go.
I distinctly remember this day like It was yesterday. Dad and I were walking down the hospital hallway. We could see ahead that the nurse just came out of Mom’s room and whispered something to Grandma. As we approached, Grandma wailed “she’s gone”! Amazing how that was the one time none of us were in the room. She didn’t want us to see her take her last breath.
What a gut-wrenching feeling to rush into that room in complete disbelief. I kept calling and yelling for my “Mommy”, a term I only used as a child. We knew this day would happen, but until it did nothing on earth could describe that feeling.
There are so many triggers that cause me to cry as I remember and reflect: the day the doctor told us it was terminal, the day she asked to see the grandchildren to say goodbye, driving past the hospital where we all spent so much time or driving past Calvary Temple where her funeral was held, hearing her favourite songs or seeing commercials for her favourite tv shows.
I’m very thankful for this technology age and the internet for the simple fact that those who weren’t able to attend the funeral or get a copy of the newspaper that day can see that, her memory lives on and can be shared. She was such an amazing, loving woman.
Recently one of her church sisters emailed me to check in on me and our family. She included some of the heart-wrenching details of a few of the prayers her and my mom shared as Mom realized it was time for her to accept the journey into her heavenly Father’s arms. As I read the email, I felt Mom reading it to me, telling me everything would be ok and that she was watching over us.
Sometimes I’m inconsolable. Many times I have to pull over at the side of the road or just sit and stare at my computer screen at work while I cry. That’s my reality, and I don’t apologize, never will. Those around me know…
I know my Dad experiences what I feel, multiplied by infinity. 42 years with your soulmate, just gone. I’m so proud of him, as I’m sure Mom is too. He’s been a soldier through this and it’s a long hard road but we all have to lean on each other as we move forward. I’m so glad he’s returned to his love of music to help him cope.
I constantly think of my little sister and how Mom passed away on her birthday; how she has been strong through it all and doesn’t see it as a negative but more of a sign that Mom wanted to share that last day with her, forever. Happy birthday Lisa, I love you.
There are the countless happy memories I’ve had with my Mom. The joys we shared, the hilarious laughs and cackles. Her presence at the births of all of her grandchildren. The strong connection we had…and still do.
All is not lost. Every decision I make, she’s there. I can hear her telling me to be wise and think things through. I can also hear her cussing me when I’m about to make a not so great decision too haha!
It’s so true that these things take time, grieving takes time, healing takes time. Every day it gets a little easier, not a lot, but we’re headed in the right direction.
After all, this was my Mom, the woman who gave me life, the woman who sacrificed so many things so we could have what we have today, the woman who I hope, if even in the slightest, to emulate.
It’s my mission, and her will, to make sure I live this life without regret, being mindful of my health, bringing up my children in love, caring for others who are not as fortunate and sharing a little bit of happiness every single day.
Ok Mom, I got this, and I’ll be rockin purple everywhere I go! I love and miss you so much.
Lovingly your firstborn, Natalie Elizabeth