May 25, 2015


I just wanted to show you, that life goes on. I remember when my mom was first diagnosed, I told one of my good friends that they may have to step in when my mom is gone, to peel me off the floor. I didn't think I'd have the capability to parent my child, I didn't think I'd be able to function in my day to day life. But I'm hear to tell you, the hardest part was definitely the process of cancer, I feel much stronger now than I ever would have ever anticipated. Maybe it was the fact that I was glued to my mom's side during this whole journey, or maybe it was the incredible support we received, or maybe it was watching my mom stare down life with so much strength and humility, but I am embracing my days. Once you face one of your worst fears, life gets a lot simpler. You realize how much stuff people complain about that isn't anything at all. You see with razor sharp focus what is important. You also  gain confidence knowing that you can do hard things. Believe me, I never, ever, would have expected myself to be this strong after everything, but you are a lot more resilient than you think. 

I finally mustered up the courage to go through all of mom's photos last night. As hard as it was to see her beautiful face, and feel all the teary-eyed pangs of missing her,  I was so thrilled to see someone who truly lived her life - so many wonderful vacations with friends, so many sweet moments with my dad, not to mention how absolutely remarkable she was as a mother and grandmother. She loved her life so thoroughly, and only wanted more of it. You can't ask for more than that. That's what I wish for everyone I love - to be so amped about their lives. My biggest goals now are to really enjoy my days and to keep the family bond strong, because mom really was the glue to it all. I think she'd be happy knowing how much my brother, dad and I check in with one another. Since her death I look for little signs of her everywhere. Sometimes a robin will just sit next to me for a long time in the garden, and I'll think of her. I'll see a perfect rose open up, and think of her. I'll feel the sun on my face and think of her. I'll laugh so hard with my daughter and husband, and think, this is how she felt with us. She's really a part of me now, and there is tremendous comfort in that. xoxo

May 14, 2015

and so it is.......

Hello friends, it is with the deepest sadness that I let you know on May 4th, my dear mom passed away.  These past 15 months have been the most profound of my life. I had to learn to say goodbye to someone who meant everything to me and our family. She was the heart of us. It's safe to say I have cried almost every day since her diagnosis, trying to prepare, but never fully able to. On May 1, she was admitted into hospice. When I arrived, I was the only one in the room with her for awhile. I laid down beside her and burst into tears, and told her how much I loved her and how more than anything in the world, I wanted to take this cancer away from her. She wiped my cheeks and said, "I know you love me dear. It's going to be okay, we knew this was coming for awhile." Here she was, in the face of death, and she was still mothering me. She fell asleep shortly after. I never saw her awake again after that. Those were the last words she'd say to me. Well, those words and when she first saw me walk in the room, she noticed I was wearing a black t-shirt and told me to wear brighter colours, which made me giggle. Over the weekend, her hospice room was filled with friends and family members, quietly whispering in her ear, kissing her cheeks, saying their goodbyes. It was incredibly moving.
My mom's doctor came in and said that she had never worked with someone like my mom before, so selfless, never complained throughout her whole year. I was so touched that she told me that. Sometimes I would sit in the hospice on my own by her side, reading and holding her hand. Even though she slept the whole time, I wanted her to know I was right there, that it was okay to die. I really didn't want her to die alone. On Monday, May 4th, she had a steady stream of visitors all morning, and when we had all gone home for dinner, she passed away, just with my dad by her side, exactly how she would have wanted it. We all rushed back and just sat with her in her room for awhile as a family, gathered by her side - walking out of that room was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Then someone told us to look outside, and the sky was lit up by the most beautiful rainbow I've ever seen. It felt like it was stretching right from below her room across the ocean. It was as if she was shouting to all of us that she was happy, that she was finally through this gruelling fight.
This year we learned how truly remarkable our support system is. My mom's circle of friends formed the molly maids, and would visit her regularly to clean her home and fill up their freezer with homemade meals. My mom's good friends would regularly collect her laundry, would bring by dinners almost nightly, would plant gorgeous flowers in her garden for her to look at, they just kept showing up and making sure that she didn't have to focus on anything other than feeling ok. I honestly can't talk about them without tearing up because they put the most positive spin on the hardest year we've faced.
Then there's my incredible friends - whether it was my friend Caroline who visited my mom weekly, bringing her treats or working in her garden, or my friend Janet who would pop in to see mom with specialty teas, or my friend Tammy, who made my mom the most beautiful quilt covered in hearts to remind her that she's always surrounded by love, not to mention that Tammy also fed my entire extended family when my mom was first diagnosed. Or my friend Forbes who dropped off a box full of projects for my daughter and I to work on with my mom. Then there's friends who never even met my mother, like Lynnette, who gave my mom and I matching bracelets, that were infused with positive energy. Or Kim, who gave me a gorgeous stone to cling to for hope. Leah gave my mom a book about survivors of her rare form of cancer. Tricia, who regularly dropped off little gift bags with goodies for my mom or treats for our family to elevate our spirits. It's also friends like Alicia, Kitty, Kerry, Pete who kept texting me to check in and see how mom is feeling. I've always said, it's not the quantity of people you are friends with, it's the quality.
Today was my first day back to work, and it was a good distraction because I work alongside wonderful people. But as soon as I got in my car for the drive home, I fell apart. I wish I could talk to her again. That's the part I'll probably never get used to, because we used to talk almost daily. And even though I've got the most tremendous support system (especially my incredible husband and daughter) - there's still no one who can replace your mom. I am so glad she is through her battle, but I sure do miss her. xoxo