Wednesday, May 07, 2014

8 Years

Eight years ago, my mom passed away from breast cancer at the age of 53.  May 7th.  The day after my dad's birthday.  If you've ever seen someone get very sick from cancer, and watch them slowly die, it is terrible.  I remember asking my dad to tell her that it was okay to go.  I couldn't watch her like that anymore.  It was so, so painful.  You remember them that way for a long time.  I am thankful that I am far enough away from it now that what she went through at the very end is not always my first thought of her.   Reading the letter that she wrote us, she was `glad' that she was able to die slowly (over 1.5 years) to get to spend that special time with us.

{Still loving my tea time!}

I'm glad that over time I feel more at peace with it.  I'm glad that my joy has returned.  I'm thankful for all that I do have here on earth.  I'm thankful for the amazing mother that I had for 27 years of my life, who along with my dad, has given me a positive outlook on life.  I'm thankful that she was not afraid of dying.  I'm thankful that she fought hard and didn't complain `Why me?'.  I'm thankful that she was at peace knowing that we would be great mothers ourselves one day.  I wish she had known that dad would be okay.  She was worried about him.

{Checking out the deals and couponing!  I'm in grade 6 here.}

It still hurts though.  There are several times when it hurts the most.  One is when something joyful is happening.  A celebration.  I know she'd want to be there.  I want her there.  Family was her #1 priority and we knew it.

{Mom speaking at our wedding `Both give 100%'}

The other time it hurts is when I see how other grandparents are involved in helping with the grandkids.  I know not everyone has this but everytime I hear it, I feel a little stab. It doesn't mean that I'm not happy for the other person, but it's a reminder that my mother cannot come and help me out when I need it.  I have Gary's parents who are usually able to help if need be, but, it's different for me.  Also my parents house was right across the street from ours....I am looking out the window now at the trees that were in their backyard.

Her death changed my life forever.  It made me recognize first hand that anyone can get sick and die at any time.  Each day is a gift.  I will be so thankful if I get to live to be 60 years old and see my grandkids.  Sometimes I say to God, `Please, let me see my kids graduate high school', or `Please let me see them get married' or `Please let me know my grandkids'.  I know my genes are terrible.   I don't live my life in fear, I just know that it is likely that I will get cancer at some point.

It is so, so, soooo awesome growing up knowing that your parents are so proud of you and love you very much.  Sure, the cabbage patch kid was great, but the ever ready listening ear and the `Way to go, girl!' helped make me who I am. 

I miss you mom.  I wish you could be at Nya's 2nd birthday party, she's such a little monkey.  And she's so cute.  I think Kai is a mini me in personality and Koen is a mini Opa.  Gary is a great husband.  You would be so impressed with his cooking and he's also so great with the kids.  The amount of grandkids you have in 8 years is pretty wild.  Dad is doing so well with Joanne and fulfilling his dreams.   Thank you for all that you did for us.  I didn't realize how much it was until I had three little kids of my own.

Love, Louise


  1. Beautiful tributes to both your father yesterday and your mother today. Trust you will be comforted with wonderful memories today.

  2. Thinking of you today, Louise, and the love you and your mom shared:)

  3. I was thinking of you this week leading up to mothers day. What a lovely tribute

  4. I am crying my eyes out! Beautiful Post Louise. I feel your pain. I know how scary cancer is and I pray the same things for my family...I just want to see them grow up. I want Anthony to see them grow up. I want to know that they will get to a certain point and be OK. I know your mom is looking down on you! She IS so proud of you and celebrating with you in Heaven. Thanks for sharing your heart!

  5. Anonymous4:45 PM

    Beautifully said. Its amazing to have had such a meaningful mother/daughter bond. I'm glad you have many positive memories to reflect back on.

  6. Anonymous6:47 PM

    Thank you for sharing about your mom. She sounds like such an incredible mother/woman. I love the photos you have of her. I'm sorry for what today represents. Praying for you today. Ashley

    {I accidentally deleted your comment so pasted it here ;)}

  7. Your journey of grieving is so similar to mine. I pray often that I will live long enough to see my kids settled into their adult lives. When I hear them crying for me, I think to myself "that is what it will be like when I die". Losing a loved one changes your thinking in everything. I too have started to focus less on the grief of my mom's death and more on the wonderful memories. It took me a long time to get to this place. I often wish that my mom had died "slowly", so that I could have prepared for it and told her all the things I wish I had said. I can see the other side though and how horrible it would have been to see her suffer. I am sorry you had to experience that. You always give such wonderful tributes to your mom. Thank you for sharing.