This is a little off-topic post today, but I wanted to share a little piece of someone very close to my heart with you. My darling Mom loved anything and everything that was blue, so in tribute to her, I'm wearing blue today on my nails Orly Lunar Eclipse). It was 7 years ago today that we lost her to the disease that seems to affect all of us in one way or another these days, cancer. Seemingly healthy, she was diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer, primary colorectal cancer, on August 18, 2003. 15 short, yet long days later, she was gone. In hindsight, we were all lucky that she didn't have to suffer or go through painful treatments only to lose the battle, because it was untreatable at that point. We were lucky that she spent her last days at home and never had to spend time in a hospital. But most of all, we were lucky to have had her as our Mom.
I relive that brief time in late summer of 2003 many times, but it's especially on my mind this same time every year. I still recall watching Regis & Kelly with her that morning (one of her favorite shows, not mine!), sitting with her while she napped knowing that this would be the last time I saw her in this lifetime, and standing next to my Dad when he gave her the oral dose of morphine that we all knew would put her body into a deep enough sleep to allow her organs to give up the fight. She knew this too, because Hospice had done a thorough job explaining the process of dying. If she was scared, she never showed it. She passed away peacefully at 3:33 AM on September 2, 2003, surrounded by my brother and Dad, with Frank Sinatra playing in the background. I am the third of four children and my Mom used to always buy us many identical things like little plastic cups, books, and toys when we were kids. She'd mark them with dots to signify which one belonged to each of us, and my things were marked with 3 dots for the third child, my brother's with 4 for the fourth child, and so on. When she left us at 3:33, I took that as a clear sign that I was, even in death, her favorite. I hope my sisters and brother are reading this~ha-ha!
My Mom never worked and considered her job to be raising her family. She took it very seriously and I couldn't have asked for better parents. She made us a hot breakfast every day before school, she shared her love of books, music and animals with us, and she was instrumental along with my Dad in giving me an idyllic childhood that I am thankful for every single day. I never saw her wear nail polish (let's hear a collective gasp here!), but she was seldom without her signature red lip stick and White Shoulders perfume. Every now and them I open up that bottle I confiscated from my parent's house and it makes me smile. She used to have me style her hair and do her makeup for some of the bigger events she'd attend and she was always so happy to have me do that, although I enjoyed every minute of it.
As a child and into my adult years, I never liked being told "you're just like your Mom." Not that I was, but you know how people say that. As I've gotten older, I now realize that I could receive no greater compliment, although trust me when I tell you that I could never come close to being as good of a person as she was. She was so fun, I can't even begin to tell you all of her hilarious antics. She was fair, kind, loving, smart, generous to a fault, and she thought her children were capable of accomplishing anything. She was my greatest cheerleader and no one will ever, ever love me and believe in me like she and my Dad have.
I can see her mischievous smile and immense organizational skills in my niece, her gentle nature in my nephew, her love of animals (especially turtles!), rainbows, and The Wizard of Oz in my daughter, her love of dance and music in another niece, her curiosity and quizzical expressions in yet another niece, and a bit of her wild side in my littlest niece. While we continue to miss her every day, she lives on in our memory, in us, and in her grandchildren.