Thursday, September 2, 2010

Blue For My Mom


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.

25 comments:

  1. I'm calling my Mom. Thank you for sharing that.

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  2. I lost my Mom last month to cancer. this is a lovely and fitting tribute to a well loved lady. hugs to everyone and their Moms too.

    xoxo

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  3. That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

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  4. What a heartfelt message. You're such a sweet daughter, she must be smiling down on you=]

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  5. ((((((MARY))))) I bet your mom was as gorgeous, strong and classy as you are. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  6. You almost made me shed a tear. Hugs to you and your family.

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  7. ((((HUGS))))

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

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  8. That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing. ((hugs))

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  9. I am sorry for your loss. I look forward to the time when no one will say "I am sick." Like the Bible promises. (Isaiah 33:24). Big Hugs!

    Your Mom sounds like a beautiful woman.
    Big Hugs.

    Loving the Blue btw! Thanks for sharing. :O)

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  10. Big hugs, I love blue too!

    So as fellow blue lover I say thank you for sharing your blue nails and the great story of your mother!

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  11. I appreciate you sharing so much.

    I lost my mother freshman year of college just before Christmas. She was 1/2 my family all in one and losing her was a big loss for me and my sister. To be honest, I am surprised i managed to get up and go to my classes since she has been the only cheerleader i've had that urged me to get an education. I'm in my last year and I truly believe something gave me strength to pull through the sadness while away in college.

    My mom loved red but she never thought she looked good in it. I think I will wear a red polish next. I wonder what she'd think of my polish collection now... :)

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  12. You did make me :**( I know you miss her!!! I miss my mom too. She raised a wonderful, generous daughter :)

    Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Mary that was a loving and beautiful tribute to your Mother. How horrible for her to have had that disease. My Mother died from heart disease which was a complication of the breast cancer. The chemo was so strong that it damaged her heart. She had cancer for 5 years. It kept coming back and she kept fighting it. It was a very tough battle for her. I found out later how very bad she wanted to die. It's something you never forget but the day of a Mother's death is even worse. It's good that your Mother didn't have a long, painful death. I know how painful it was for your family. It's wonderful how you can see parts of our Mother in the rest of your family. She sounded like a wonderful women. I feel that you are just like her. Big hugs and kisses to you.

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  14. Thank you for sharing this, Mary! My thoughts are with you...

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  15. This was a very touching post. Thank you for sharing this with your readers.

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  16. Thank you for sharing the beauty of the blue caught my eye and your words touched my heart. I am sorry for your loss.

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  17. So beautiful and so touching! I couldn't help to shed a tear. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  18. I never got to know my mom, thank you for sharing your story Mary. big hugs!

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  19. Thank you for sharing this, Mary. That was beautiful, very beautiful.

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  20. thank you for sharing your story with us all. my great-uncle has throat cancer and the hospital just upped his morphine yesterday...it's only a matter of days. cancer is horrible. im sure your mother is your guardian angel watching over you.

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  21. this is the first time I have read your blog and I just wanted to say that your wonderful tribute to your mom touched me. I hope my children someday recall me even half as fondly as you remember her.

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