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Sunday, August 4, 2013

My mom has Cancer

I'm not sure I need to say anymore right?  It's everything I never wanted to hear. But it's true.  In early March of this year my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 endometrial cancer. A few weeks ago she was sent home from the hospital with Hospice care. And the truth is: my mom is dying. 

Tomorrow I will do the hardest thing I've ever had to do.  I have some one on one time planned and I will essentially tell my mom good-bye.  And though I know this will not be last time I see her, it will be a time that I will tell her how much how much she has meant to me over the past 34 years.

I want to tell her:
  • how much I love her.
  • how much I will miss her.
  • no one loves my girls like she does.
  • no one has ever taken care of me like she has.
  • I have never wished she wasn't my mom.
  • I regret not calling her more when she was well.
  • I'm so sad that my girls will never know her I like I knew her.
  • I cry almost everyday that she won't physically be there to see my girls graduate from high school, or go to prom, or meet their first boyfriend, or be there when they get married...
  • thank you for all the prayers that have been sent up for me and my family.
  • I hope my girls are as proud of me as I am of her.
  • she's so strong and so brave and so beautiful.
  • thank you for sacrificing so much over the years.
  • I can not imagine my life without her. I can't fathom a life that I can't pick up the phone and call her and tell funny stories about Avery & Ellie.
My mom has taught me so much.  She taught me:
  • ironed clothes are better than wrinkled clothes.
  • it's better to be overdressed than underdressed.
  • when in doubt, wear a slip.
  • the proper way to fold a t-shirt, underwear & towels.
  • not to get mad when kids break stuff.  It's an accident.
  • moms would do anything for their kids.  Like coming over in the middle of the afternoon to hold a crying, cranky newborn while her daughter takes a nap.
  • how to be creative.
  • you should wear pantyhose on your wedding day (even though I didn't).
  • how to be tactful in most situations.
  • you can be a successful working mom.
  • most importantly, how to be a mom.

There's so much more that I want to tell my mom. And so much more that my mom has taught me.  I never, ever thought I would be in this place.  It's awful. It sucks. It's the worst thing ever. And I assure you there is nothing that can be say to make anyone feel better. But do know that I appreciate your prayers; well wishes &; good thoughts.  I appreciate you asking how my mom is doing. And how I'm doing. I appreciate your offers to watch my girls. And to clean my house. I appreciate those that have brought food to my parents. It all means so much.

I go back and forth between being thankful that I have this time with my mom.  That I can tell her how much I love her.  How lucky I am to have her as my mom.  How lucky my girls are to have an amazing Gigi.  And the other side of me is mourning those times I know she is not going to be there. The times I want to call her and ask if she wants to get a pedicure, does she want to go school shopping with me, does she want to take Avery to Branson on a girls trip...mourning all those times I thought she would always be around for.

And the sadness comes to me at weird times.  I'll be driving down the road and just start crying. Sometimes in the shower my eyes tear up.  Looking at old pictures of my girls often makes me sad.  Seeing my dad being such an amazing, loving caretaker to my mom is just about more than I can handle.

So I'm not sure how much longer I have with my mom.  I go see her almost every single day.  It's tough right now.

But I've always said my hope is in Christ.  I know that my mom is a Christian and when she is called home, she will not be missing us here on Earth.  She will be rejoicing in Heaven with Jesus and those that have gone on before her. And though I will be terribly sad and never get used to a life without her, she will be in such a better place.

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8 comments:

Jana Melberg said...

Jennifer I can't even begin to know what you and your family are going through. I think and pray for all of you everyday. This made me cry. I have different memories of your mother that took place a long time ago, even before you came along. I wish I could be there to give all of you a hug especially your mom. I know you don't know me as a cousin but I love you and your family like a family does. Love and prayers and strength to all of you. Love, Jana Kay

Anonymous said...

Honey this will be one of the hardest things you ever have to do in your life. But it's beautiful that you get the chance to say all of the things you want to say. Your grief and tears will continue on, but you will forever see your mother everywhere you look, when you hear music, when you are cleaning your house and you hear her reminding you of how to do it, when you are shopping, driving your car and seeing her in the seat next to you and you will always feel her near you when you need her. I know it's hard to imagine your life and your girls lives without her here. It is very difficult to be planning Brooke's wedding without my mom. But, it does give me comfort to know she is not in pain, and I know she will be there in spirit. It is so very, very sad. But, like you said it is a much, much better and joyous place where she won't be worried, but can still see you all and watch over you. You mom is such a precious, sweet woman and you are too. Love you sweetie.
Dawn

Tabitha said...

Oh, sister ... So beautifully written! Your mother IS a very special woman. Definitely one of a kind :-) She has been my "Momma C" for as long as I can remember. For all the fond memories I have of her, I know you have a million more.

I know it doesn't change things, but her memories will live on forever. Every day I see Kathy in so many things in life - ESPECIALLY in my girls. Having this type conversation with her was hard enough for me as a daughter-in-law. But I'm grateful I did. And as hard as this time with your mom will be, you will forever be glad you took the time to do this.

I love you and your family! I will be praying for you tomorrow ... strength, wisdom and courage <3

Sheryl Carver said...

I think about & pray every day for you, Jennifer, and Kathy & your whole family too as you're going through this difficult time. What a great idea to spend time with your mother, explaining all of the things you're going to miss about her, and just how special she's always been to you. What a great idea, and so glad you do have the time to do that with her, will create an even more special memory for you to remember. Love & hugs, sweetie!!!

Stephen Jones said...

You may have noticed my posts from Oklahoma the last week. I was in town with my family to have this very conversation with my mother who has stage 4 lung and brain cancer. I've watched the treatment hurt more than it helped and I know shes ready to go home. Her doc reccomended hospice Friday. I am thankful for two Sundays at church with her and the opportunity to thank her for being my mom. I'm sorry any of us have to go through this.

Stephen Jones said...

You may have noticed my posts from Oklahoma the last week. I was in town with my family to have this very conversation with my mother who has stage 4 lung and brain cancer. I've watched the treatment hurt more than it helped and I know shes ready to go home. Her doc reccomended hospice Friday. I am thankful for two Sundays at church with her and the opportunity to thank her for being my mom. I'm sorry any of us have to go through this.

Brian Watson said...

Jen, the first time I tried to read this I couldn't make it all the way through it. And again finally finding the courage to finish reading it, my heart breaks for you, your girls, and your mom (my aunt).prayers continue for u all

Brian Watson said...

Jen, the first time I tried to read this I couldn't make it all the way through it. And again finally finding the courage to finish reading it, my heart breaks for you, your girls, and your mom (my aunt).prayers continue for u all