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Letter to my mom who died 2/10/07


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You were always there for me since I was a little girl.

You have been the center of my universe, my best friend, my confidante and my mother for a period of time that goes beyond memory. I sit here numbed and beyond grief knowing that this bond has come to an end. I struggle with the feelings I have. On one hand, I love you enough to not want you to suffer. I am grateful that you did not suffer as others have. Yet, the other side of me, the more selfish side, mourns your loss and simply cannot let you go. I miss you!

It seems unfair in so many ways, that I am left here alone for God only knows how long. Yet, when there are 32 years separating me from you, how could I not realize that at sometime or other, I would be the one to carry on? I just never thought about it. Nor did I ever want to accept the reality of that bitter fact. Mothers, after all, are supposed to be there forever. But, Mothers are human like anyone else, and they leave us eventually. I just can't believe that my Mother has left me.

The last year has been the hardest for us. We sure weathered an incredible storm, mom. It all began with the flu and ended with lung cancer spread to the brain, heart, & liver. In the myriad of hospital stays, physicians' visits and endless calls and so much more, we were more bonded yet sepearate than ever before. The roles reversed for this time and I became your great advocate. You trusted me!

I got fired for the time and 'weakness' you and Dad's illness portrayed to the company i worked for....Shame on them! I have come as close as i have ever have been to true hate...the same man who fired me for what he perceived as weakness (2 ill parents) has suddenly been diagnosed with bone and kidney cancer himself....isnt it terrible that i do not truly empathise....)God, please forgive me! He made (by terminating your daughter, who supported you) your life and your fight for your life pretty much impossible. Unforgiveable to me for right now!!!!!!

There were so many mountains for us to climb. We searched for answers to questions. We sought advice and direction. We found all the help we could locate. There was no stone left unturned. I worked harder than I have in my life to keep you in my life. My resourcefulness knew no bounds. There was nothing I would not do to help the greatest person I will ever know. I reminded myself of a gladiator at war, but against the world. So many times, we fought together and we won, mom. Yet, it appeared that each time we got up from the storm another one blew our way. Yet, we never lost our resolve, our determination. That was until the most recent time, a time when as you said what will be will be. It came so suddenly and so unexpectedly. Yet, looking back with hindsight, I suppose we both knew it was coming. But some other day, not today.

You were weary of all the battles. I battled on for you. There was nothing I couldn't or wouldnt do for you. But I didn't have the final say. There was something more powerful than my will, my determination and my love that decided it was time or you to go. God decided it was time for you to go on. Though I rallied and still do against his decision, I learned that there are some things beyond our control.

Though it is a blur for me and a morphine-like induced dream for you, that last day was not terrible. People describe death as a horrific process. It wasn't that way for us. As with everything else you ever did, you did it your way. A mother right until the very last moment-you chose your moment to go. You were so relaxed, you were truly just sleeping. I remember Dar had closed your mouth. I can’t ever remember you so totally relaxed! Wow mom! You chose for me to remember our last moments as one of sweetness, love, devotion and caring. I remember holding you in my arms, singing to you as I cried, sleeping with you, praying with you, making sure you had your rosary beads every moment, playing the Elvis Christmas CD you loved, telling you that we would all stick together and be okay, and how much I loved you, making sure that everyone was able to speak with you on the phone or in your room privately, trying to just be the mom you have always been. I truly hope I pulled it off. I remember telling you it was time to wake up and then realized you just couldn’t, even thoug you tried so hard. I remember having to summon the courage to let you go, realizing I was being selfish. I remember saying that is was ok to go. Then I told you it was ok to go and that I would be fine and kissing you goodbye. That I would see you again, that it has truly been a wonderful life, over and over. I know you heard me mom. I wish I had said more! I wish I had told you that you were always my ‘main’ as I used to call you when I was so little. Do you remember? I wish I had said everything there was to say but maybe I did indeed… in word and song mom. Maybe I really did.

I will always remember the questions you asked me and how you trusted me so! Telling you the results of the latest PET scan and telling you about other people who have had similar news and how they survived still. Heather, will it always be like this? (when the brain mets happened). What now Heather? (when you last got brought by ambulance with cardio effusion), Can we go have a cigarette (after the ct scan of your heart). And I told you that we would, a little later. A few days later, when I accepted the fact that you were not going outside with me, I smoked for you, blowing the smoke into you, even against all the rules, mom. I just did not care all that much. Remember uncle junior playing Wild Wood Rose? I cannot recall that without crying mom. The last week of your life, I spent the entire time with you. I ran the show for you, Mom, that last week, I hope I did a darn good job. I remember the smiles you gave me and how beautiful you were….every time I walked into your room…I will never forget that mom! I miss you so mom! I still wonder if i did all the right things mom, I wish i would of brought you home....i just could not because of sirena. She is so sad still mom, she misses you every single day. i know in my heart you would of put her first every time....that would of been just too much mom. but it still makes me terribly sad, heartbroken to have to choose.

During the summer, we talked about the tough times. We talked about how I took care of things. You said, "What would I have done without you?" I answered you with, "Well, no need to worry about that because you didn't have to do without me." Now, I ask the same question back to your spirit, "What would I have ever done without you?"

Your love and devotion as my mother has enabled me to be strong. You have instilled in me integrity and caring, a fierce protectiveness of my children, and you showed me that no matter what, you do what you need to do. You taught me how to overcome obstacles, without losing optimism. You taught me to look forward, rather than backward. You taught me to accept that sometimes, despite our greatest reservations, that we simply must bear things as they are. Though you also taught me to fight, and you also taught me probably the greatest gift, how to hope when hope seems hopeless. Now, I am required to bundle all these into one package and go forward into the most frightening role of my life-a motherless child.

It is a harsh reality when you know you no longer have a mother here on earth. For as long as there is a parent on this earth, then someone always loves you, cares about you, and there is a tie to earlier years. There are always the memories, the someone who knew you way back when. I thank God for the family you and dad created for us, that there will almost always be the ‘someone who knew you way back when’. I thank God for our dad, who does remember ‘way back when’. What a wonderful legacy mom & dad!

Yet, as I go through this winter season, I know that you are not really gone. I know that the bond carries on between us. There is nothing stronger than love. Love defies the dimensions of the universe. Love is timeless. Love is endless. It has no beginning and consequently it has no end.

Now, as I go into the spring, the first one ever alone without you, I thank God for his deliverance. I know his hand played fatefully that day. I thank him for the peace and serenity he has brought to you. While I feel heartbroken that he took you, the greater side of love overcomes me. I am glad that you are happy. I will forever be grateful for the final gift you gave to Sirena, Mom. That is a true testament of your love.

While I thank God for all these things, I never forget to thank him for the greatest gift of all-a Mother. God, in his wisdom, gave me the best. He gave me a person of great strength, intelligence, good humor, and guts. Above all else, he gave me a Mother who had the capacity to love her daughter to the greatest depth of her soul. I thank him for this for now and forever.

I love you, Mom.


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