May 14, 2015
and so it is.......
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