Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Mom

The silence and sadness my mother and I felt as we got ready for her birthday lunch so many years ago is one that brings me so many mixed emotions looking back.  I treasure that one last lunch with her that we could pretend everything was okay.  One last time that we could shut the real world out and forget what was looming. 

My world had crashed down around me. Twice.  First with her initial terminal diagnosis and second with the knowing the cancer was back and going to win.

After that day we couldn't ignore the signs that her cancer was back with a vengeance and that the time had come to say our final goodbye, her battle was coming to an end.  The battle with cancer she had been so fiercely fighting for months had taken its toll on her physically and emotionally. She was ready to stop fighting and it broke my heart but I understood. 

She had been given 3 days to live at her initial diagnosis.  3 days.  The 11 months we had after that initial diagnosis were a gift.  Taking care of her 24/7 as her body deteriorated is something I wouldn't trade for anything.  As a teenager it was something even then I saw as a way to give back to her for all the years she had taken to raise me.  As a thank you for everything she had given up for me.

Her birthday every year brings me such mixed emotion.  I'm glad she is in a better place - free of worry and sickness, but I miss her more than I can put in to words.  Losing her left a hole in my life - one that exists even today over a decade later.

I'm only left with beautiful memories and the peace of knowing that nothing was left unsaid. I miss her so incredibly much and choose to be the best mother I can be each and every day because of her.


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