A couple of months ago I decided to resume my blog to share my feelings about my mother's battle with cancer. At that time her cancer had worsened and she was feeling sick and experiencing a great deal of pain most of the time. I made one entry in my blog about how unfair I thought it was that someone so good had to suffer so much, but I haven't written about anything since then. I've had plenty of thoughts, feelings, emotions, and especially questions, but I either didn't have the time or the energy to write about them until now. After fighting with everything she had and never for one second giving up her faith or her belief in a miracle my mother left this world on October 25, 2014. Normally in a case like this people would say that the person "lost the battle" with their disease. I'm not going to use those words, though, because my mother didn't LOSE anything...she WON and her reward was a new, healthy, pain and disease-free life in a place where she will forever be surrounded by loved ones and happiness.
I know I am not the first person to ever lose a parent. Many people have experienced the death of one or both of their parents long before me. My own son lost his father after only 24 years. I was lucky enough to have my mother as a part of my life for 53 years. My mother wasn't just my mother though - she was also my best friend and my confidant. During my entire life we never lived very far apart, and even when we didn't live close enough for daily visits we still talked on the phone (or more recently texted) every day. We talked about everything, and she always helped me through the difficult times. As close as we were though, we were polar opposites in almost every way. If she said something was yellow, I said it was green. If she said it was cold, I said it was hot. We didn't see eye to eye on politics, religion, how Trey should live his life, or how Emily should be raised. She was content, even happy, with the simple things, but I always wanted more. When I told her about the last car I purchased her response was simply to ask "why"! She told me what she thought I should and shouldn't do, and I usually ended up doing the opposite. She never hid what she thought or how she felt about what I did (I guess in that way we are alike). When I showed her my tattoo at the beach a couple of summers ago her only comment was "If you're waiting for me to say I like it, I don't"! I think that's what made our relationship so special though...we could voice our opinions, disagree, even have some pretty serious arguments, then five minutes later act as if nothing had happened.
Although I know my mother is in a "better place" now, that doesn't stop me from asking why she couldn't have been healed here; why she was taken away from the people who needed her; and why she had to suffer so much during her last few months. I realize I won't get an answer to these questions, but just as I did after Eddie's death I'm still asking them. I will miss my mother terribly for the rest of my life. Not a day has gone by during the past two weeks that I haven't picked up the phone to call or text her, expected to see her when I walked into her house, or thought of something I just had to tell her about right away! I have been truly blessed with the love and support I've received from family and friends during this time, and I will be forever thankful to those who have been here helping me along the way. But I have also been truly hurt by some I thought would be here and weren't. That is definitely the kind of thing I would have talked to my mother about, and I can hear her now telling me..."Honey, focus on the positive, the people you know you can depend on. Those who are supposed to be in your life will be there for you when you need them the most. If they're not, then you don't really need them."
As my mother would want, I will try to focus on the positive and on all of the good things I have in my life. I am thankful that I still have my dad, Trey, Emily, an extended family, a home, a job I can retire from in just a few months, and the best friends anyone could ever ask for. Most people would probably be content, satisfied, and maybe even happy with what I have. But of course (just as my mother knew) I'm never satisfied and am always looking for something more...there's an important piece missing from my life, and I think it's time to start working on finding it.
"Love is the seed of all hope. It is the enticement to trust, to risk, to try, and to go on." ~Gloria Gaither