Note: This post will be long. I am not asking for pity, I am just venting. I am not sleeping well at night, so blogging is something I need to do right now...
The lyrics to one of Patty Loveless' songs keeps playing in my head, "Life's about change and nothing ever stays the same." How true. The past two years have been quite the emotional rollercoaster. I got married, Granny suddenly passed away, I got pregnant, Grandpa Bill passed away, I had my baby...then my mom passed away.
My mom kept her illness a secret. She was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in December of 2005. Mom was always positive about everything, so I was not surprised when she beat the cancer. After five years of being in remission, the damn thing returned. Since 2010, my mom did not live a good quality of life. Due to the many rounds of chemo and various surgeries, she never felt 100%. Now fast forward to April 17, 2012. She was having surgery to get a colostomy bag placed. Mom faced many complications from that surgery. She stayed in Indy for many weeks, came home for about a week and a half, went back to IUPUI hospital, and then she was transferred to the Select Specialty Hospital on her 53rd birthday- May 23rd. While Mom was in Select, she was worried (and so was I) that she would not be released in time for when I had my baby. Well, she started improving and was released on July 3rd. I had my son on July 11th. She did not feel well at all the day I had Liam, but she was there and that is all that mattered to her. My birth photographer captured beautiful moments of my mom and Liam on their first meeting. I am so thankful I have those photos to cherish forever.
So I have my baby, mom is home, and I assume all is well. It was not. My mom started not feeling well again, but occasionally she would have good days. I had my 2 week postpartum doctor's appointment, and mom asked me if she could watch Liam while I went. So I dropped him off, and I went to my appointment and even ran some errands afterwards. She seemed to be doing good and enjoyed watching Liam. Boy did things start to change...
On Sunday August 12, mom woke my dad up saying she needed to go to the hospital. She thought she was just really dehydrated and needed fluids. She was wrong. She was admitted and was later told the bad news. The cancer had spread, and there was nothing left the doctor's could do. They gave her 2-3 months. The next night my world changed. I was home alone with Liam- Clint was on travel for work. My dad came over and told me what the doctor's had said. We both cried and cried. I felt like someone slapped me in the face. This could not be true! Mom had beat the cancer before, so why must it win this time? After he left, I sat in the rocking chair holding my son and bawled like a baby.
Well then the bad news kept coming. The doctor's soon said she only had 1-2 weeks left. Mom was transferred to the VNA Hospice Facility, where we assumed would be where she would pass. If you knew my mom, then you should know she was a strong woman who stayed positive no matter what. Suddenly she started doing good again- her bowels were working and the NG tube was removed. And guess what? Mom got to go home! They set up home hospice care for her, and a hospital bed was put in the living room at my parents house. On Wednesday August 29, mom went home. The doctor's then said she had 2-3 months again. Unfortunately, they were wrong. On Friday September 14, I watched my mom take her last breath. An image I will never forget.
If you read my last blog, I said I really do believe Liam was suppose to come into my life when he did. I truly do believe this. Being on maternity allowed me to spend every day with my mom. A week before she passed, her vision became blurry. So it made my day and hers when I held Liam out in front of her and he did the cutest baby laugh he had never done before. She smiled so big. It was an awesome moment. I started keeping a journal for Liam- writing about our visits with his Memaw and what all she said about him.
Since she knew her time was ending, she planned out her Celebration of Life party and wrote her own obituary. She wants people to gather and celebrate her life and share stories. Mom was never one to want a traditional funeral where people wear black and sit around and cry. I told her I was still going to cry and so would many others! Lol
So many memories were made during the past 6 weeks. I turned 30, which was sadly my last birthday with my mom. Birthdays and holidays were always a big deal to her. My mom was never an emotional person, but she cried when she realized for the first time she could not bake me a cake. I told her the cake did not matter. Having her there for my birthday was the best present ever.
I am so thankful for my wonderful husband. He has been amazing during all of this. He has been on baby duty while I deal with everything. I am also thankful for having such a good son! Liam started sleeping 6-7 hrs at night when he hit 4 wks. Well he is 9.5 weeks old sleeping 10 hours at night! Woo hoo! He also melts his momma's heart with his big gummy grins. I can be crying and sad, then Liam will look at me and give me one of those grins. So you see, he was meant to come into my life when he did. I am sooooo glad mom got to meet him. He would lay up on the hospital bed and sleep with her. Then one day when she was at the Hospice facility she let him try the littlest drop of chocolate milkshake. She said she had to do "Memaw things" while she had the chance. Liam licked those little lips and kicked his little leggies in excitement! So mom told Clint he needed to bring Liam home chocolate milkshakes...haha!
I would tell my mom everything. I would call her just to tell a story about work, something one of my animals did, or some silly gossip I heard. I also went to her for advice on many things. It is going to be hard adjusting to not having her be a phone call away. My mom wrote my sister and myself a letter before she passed. One thing she said in mine was if I have any questions go to the Bible or ask God. Good thing He is a good listener because I will have many questions!
I get my ability to talk a lot from my mom. I would call her to ask a simple question and end up chatting for over an hour. The day before I had Liam, I went to see my mom. She was in bed not feeling well. I was very pregnant and very swollen and had a hard time getting comfortable sitting on the bed. Well we got to talking and next thing you know 4 hours had passed! She was so easy to talk to, and it seemed like we never ran out of things to discuss. Thanks to her I also have a love for animals. There were times I would joke around saying she loved animals more than people...on some days I believe this was true! :)
My mom was spunky, fun, and she would speak her mind not caring what others thought. I am proud to say she was my mom. No words can express the pain I feel losing her. Even though I saw her take her last breath, I do not have closure. I feel like my heart has been ripped out. I have went through every stage of emotion. I am purposely staying busy so I do not have to sit and think about it too much. I feel my breaking point nearing. I know I will have a big grieve session, but trying to prevent it helps make me feel like this is not a reality. I miss my mom. I want her back. I know she is no longer in pain, but it still does not fill the void of her being gone.
I do want to thank everyone who called, texted, emailed, wrote on my Facebook wall, sent cards, etc. I may not get back to each and everyone of you, but please know I do truly appreciate all the thoughts and prayers and kind words.
A good friend sent me this verse today, and I would like to share it:
Proverbs 4: 5&6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."