My Mom got pregnant and married at a very young age. She had a son. My Dad was in the military at the time. Then came me :) My Dad cheated on my Mom and finally they divorced & she re-married my step Dad when I was 4. She did not love my step dad and she told him that, but she knew he would be a good Dad to my brother and I and he was ok with that as he loved her that much. He was a very good Dad to us and took very good care of my mom, brother and I.
Along came my younger brother. My mom and step dad tried and tried to have a baby for several years and just when they quit trying....there he was lol.
My mom and dad both worked full time. Mom always fixed our meals and kept up with the housework. Then Dad decided to invest some of our $$ into a bar. Long story short, mom and Dad were working day and night and then got into the partying scene due to drinking at the bar. The fighting and cheating began and all of our money was lost...we pretty much lost everything due to my Dad's horrible business dealings and mom was fed up and left. (I was in high school by then...my senior year)
Mom moved on quickly to a guy who was a friend and an employee from the bar. I did not like him, nor did the rest of the family as we knew mom could do much better, but over time we learned to just accept him and tolerate him as my mom loved him and this is who she chose to be with. We loved her so much and didn't want to lose her or fight with her over him...so we all just put up with him lol....seriously. It was very hard to get to that point tho...but my mom loved him and we respected that and kept the peace for her sake.
My mom had a lot of friends. She was loved by so many people. She was fun and the life of the party. All my nieces and nephews were so close to her. She was either someones favorite auntie or Grandma. She was sooooooo good with all the kids!!! She was just a good good person. Her co-workers loved her. She touched so many lives in so many ways. I can't even describe to you what a great person she was. Perfect? no....but who is? lol.
Backing up a bit, after the divorce from my step dad and being in financial trouble for several years, Mom finally worked her butt off to afford a very nice home all on her own. She was so proud and had it fixed up so nice. Her and ding dong snuck off and got married too. Oy. But she was happy...and that is all that mattered. She bought herself a new car...calling it her Grammy car now that my brother had made her a Grandma x 2. She needed a nice new Grammy car.
Shortly after getting her new house and car, Mom, who was into fitness and walking, began to have shortness of breath. She kind of ignored it at first as it wasn't too bad, but I remember walking with her when I was down visiting and she was out of breath much sooner than I which was very rare and she was telling me her chest hurt off and on. We both didn't think much of it. Months passed and it was getting worse. She had gone to the doctor a few times for it but they couldn't find anything wrong. (Keep in mind she lived in a po-dunk little town) and was seeing doctors there). Mom was not feeling well and it was getting worse on a daily basis. They did find a growth on her lung but they told her it was no big deal and it was just a mass or growth that they could possibly remove. Mom became very very sick and finally went to a bigger town just an hour away to the doctor. Within a few hours, they were able to tell her she had lung cancer and was a stage 4. This was November, 2002.
She was in shock, we were in shock. We just couldn't believe it.
She began chemo. She never complained. I would go and visit her when I could and I can remember waling into her house and she had been lieing down and she came walking down the hallway....so thin...frail....and had aged considerably. I swallowed hard and just hugged her trying not to look as it I had just seen something that shocked the crap out of me....
We ran errands that weekend. I helped with the grocery shopping. We took her in to get her hair cut off as she was losing it anyways. We picked up paperwork needed in case of her death...we laid in her bed and cried and wondering...why her? She would hardly eat anything. She asked me to fix her a poached egg on toast one morning as she said her husband couldn't quite do it right...so I did and she sat and ate the whole darn thing and was bragging it up like no other. It was a weird weekend. It was like a dream. Like this wasn't real. My mom wasn't dieing. No way. I can't even describe the feeling....it wasn't real..but it was.
Mom lost her hair. She wore the cutest head band and looked so darn cute. You could tell she was embarrased, but after awhile...she didn't care. We almost lost her during a chemo treatment. The doctors had never seen someone with a reaction like that. Very scary day for her. I remember being down that weekend when she came home from the treatment. She walked thru the door and said..."I just about died today"....literally.
March 2003, I rushed down to be with Mom as she was in the hospital and not doing well. My other brother made it from Idaho and my other brother was there as he lived there. This was it.....she was really going to die...All of us still in shock and disbelief. We moved her to Hospice. What a wonderful wonderful place with such caring staff. They took good care of us and Mom. She was in hospice for a week. So tough sitting there and talking to her wondering if that was her last breath. The first few days in Hospice, Mom had us cracking up saying some silly things. I will try to attach a letter I wrote that goes into more detail about the things she was saying.
On Friday, my hubby came down. I had been staying the night at Hospice with my Mom and I was drained, exhausted, emotionally numb. I hadn't slept well and hubby told me I looked horrible and he was so worried. He was in a state of shock I guess from the condition I was in. He was very worried about me.....as I was 4 months pregnant with our first baby. We made the decision to go home as we were concerned about the baby with all the stress etc I had been under and the lack of sleep etc. It had taken it's toll but I didn't care. My focus was my Mom. She was still hanging on. The doctors had told me that when she goes...it could be peacefully or ...not...I was so afraid to see her struggle...it was something I could not bear to watch. I could also not bear to see her take her last breath. I was so afraid. I couldn't deal with it....I didn't want to see her be in distress and struggle. I had been there a week and a few days and finally decided I needed to go. It took me a long time to deal with that decision, but I was so afraid of harming the baby. To this day I struggle with the decision I made that day. I said goodbye to my momma and left for home. This was Friday afternoon. Sunday night at 7:30, the phone rang and it was my Aunt. "Your Mom passed away". I dropped the phone and........... lost it. My hero, my inspiration, my life, my mom....was gone at age 56.
Going back again a little bit, while in hospice with my Mom, when I couldn't sleep, I laid there thinking of baby names. My mom said she liked the name Ayla and she also told me I was having a girl. She was right....my little girl was born 6 months later. My mom's name was Tamara so we took the T from her name and added it to the name she liked Ayla....Welcome to the world...Baby Tiayla, September 10th, 2003.
So that is my story of my momma. Life will never ever be the same without her. I can't believe my little girl will be growing up without her Grandma here. My life and my heart have a HUGE void that cannot be described. I am still in shock and disbelief that she is gone. My mom will always be my inspiration, but I now have a new one...my daughter. She is my life and keeps me plugging along. I strive to be a good mommmy like my mom was. I have to keep "plugging" along for my daughter. My daughter coming into this world...saved my life. She helped fill a part of the void I feel for the loss of someone I loved sooooooooooooooooo much. I know without her...my life may have been a downward spiral with the death of my Mom.
This turned out way longer than I thought ....sorry....and wow...what an impact it made on me today...that was very unexpected...but it was good. A good cry is needed from time to time. Thanks for letting me share my story and I look forward to reading more from all of you. What a great post idea Kristie. Thank you :)
Here is the best mom in the world!
Here is the beautiful rock my hubby surprised me with on Mother's Day. It sits right in front of the tree we planted.
Here is the tree we planted for Mom
I know this is extremely long.....but here is the letter I wrote, that my cousin read for me. They had a get together for my Mom that I did not attend. I had said goodbye to her once and couldn't do it again.......
THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING. I AM SORRY I AM UNABLE TO ATTEND. I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO SEE ALL OF YOU AND TO HEAR THE STORIES YOU HAVE TO TELL. PLEASE KNOW THAT THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO TELL A FUNNY STORY….OR A SPECIAL STORY….OR ANYTHING YOU WANT. IT’S OK TO LAUGH….AND IT’S OK TO CRY. JUST REMEMBER…MOM IS HERE WITH US….AND IS LISTENING….AND WATCHING….SO BE CAREFUL NOT TO TELL ANY FIBS….CUZ SHE WILL GET YA SOMEHOW!! HAHAHA!
AS YOU ALL KNOW…MY MOM WAS AN AWESOME AWESOME WOMAN!! SHE WAS A GOOD FRIEND, MOM, SISTER, DAUGHTER, WIFE, AUNT, AND GRANDMA! SHE WAS SO LOVED AND IS SO MISSED BY SO MANY.
MY MOM AND I HAVE ALWAYS HAD A WONDERFUL RELATIONSHIP….FOR THAT….I AM SO THANKFUL , SO BLESSED…..AND I HAVE NO REGRETS AS FAR AS OUR RELATIONSHIP GOES. LOSING MY MOM HAS BEEN THE HARDEST THING IN THE WORLD FOR ME. I HAVE ONLY LOST MY GRANDPA…SO I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE TO HAVE GOTTEN THIS FAR IN LIFE W/O LOSING TOO MANY LOVED ONES. LOSING MY MOM HAS BEEN QUITE THE SHOCK FOR ME AND I AM FINDING MYSELF STRUGGLING FROM TIME TO TIME….TRYING TO DEAL WITH SUCH A LOSS. I ALSO HAVE TO REMIND MYSELF ON A DAILY BASIS….THAT LIFE DOES GO ON…AS DIFFICULT AS IT IS SOMETIMES….AND THAT I AM GOING TO BE OK. TAKING ONE DAY AT A TIME…IS ALL I CAN DO. WHAT HELPS ME GET THROUGH THE DIFFICULT TIMES IS REMEMBERING WHAT A CHARACTER SHE WAS HER LAST FEW DAYS OF LIFE. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE A FEW OF THE FUNNY THINGS MOM SAID/DID DURING HER SHORT STAY WITH HOSPICE.
MOM WAS HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME TALKING….SHE SAYS..”WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY VOICE?” “I SOUND LIKE A RETARD”….”THE OTHER SISTER”. (SHE GOT THAT FROM SOME MOVIE SHE HAD JUST SEEN).
ONE DAY MOM SAID SHE WAS AGAIN HAVING A HARD TIME TALKING…I TOLD HER NOT TO TALK….USE SIGN LANGUAGE…SO WHAT DOES MOM DO….YEP…FLIPPED ME OFF!!
ON HER FIRST DAY IN HOSPICE….THE COOK “COOKIE” TOLD MOM…ANYTHING SHE WANTED…JUST ASK…MOM OF COURSE….REQUESTED…STRAWBERRY MARGARITA’S…..2O MINUTES LATER….MOM WAS SIPPIN DOWN…NOT ONE…BUT TWO STRAWBERRY MARGARITAS!! SHE EVEN HELPED AUNT MIDGE WITH HERS!!
ANOTHER FUNNY THING THAT HAPPENED…..COOKIE BROUGHT A FEW OF US WHO HAD SPENT THE NIGHT…FRESH BAKED CINNAMON ROLLS AND MILK. MOM KIND OF OPENED HER EYES AND COOKIE ASKED HER IF SHE NEEDED ANYTHING……COOKIE THOUGHT MOM SAID NO…BUT MOM ACTUALLY SAID A COOKIE (SHE MUST HAVE THOUGHT WE WERE EATING COOKIES) SO COOKIE LEFT THE ROOM AND MOM KIND OF GOT MAD AND SAID….”WHERE IS SHE GOING”????? COOKIE CAME BACK IN THE ROOM AN HOUR OR SO LATER AND ASKED MOM IF SHE NEEDED ANYTHING….MOM POINTED TO OUR CINNAMON ROLLS. SO COOKIE WENT AND GOT MOM A NICE WARM BUTTERY CINNAMON ROLL AND COFFEE AND SET IT DOWN BY MY MOM….MOM TAKES A LOOK AROUND THE ROOM AT ALL OF US AND SAYS…. HA HA HA HA HA!!
SHE ALSO REQUESTED A BEER AND PIZZA ONE DAY….COOKIE SAID…”ALLS I HAVE IS MILLER”….MOM SAYS…”THAT’S OK…I’M NOT FUSSY”!!!
ONE OF THE FUNNIEST THINGS…ONE OF THE NURSES AT HOSPICE WAS A GAL THAT USED TO PLAY SOFTBALL AGAINST THE TEAM MY MOM AND AUNT MIDGE PLAYED FOR….SHE WAS THE PITCHER. AUNT MIDGE ASKED MOM…”DO YOU REMEMBER THIS GAL?? “SHE USED TO STRIKE US OUT ALL THE TIME….MOM SAYS….OH YA…I REMEMBER…..AND LOOKS OVER AT THE GAL…AND SAYS…..”THAT BITCH”!! WE LAUGHED SO HARD AT THAT ONE!!!!
THESE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE THINGS MOM HAD US LAUGHING ABOUT DURING HER STAY AT HOSPICE..THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SHARE THEM WITH YOU.
MOM WAS SUCH A TROOPER THESE PAST FEW MONTHS…..SHE NEVER COMPLAINED AND SHE FOUGHT HARD TRYING TO FIGHT OFF THE CANCER. I ADMIRE HER SO MUCH FOR BEING SO STRONG…AND GIVING IT HER ALL…FIGHTING TO THE END……AND NOT ONE COMPLAINT! SHE WAS SO STRONG…..AND OF COURSE….MORE WORRIED ABOUT ALL OF US THAN SHE WAS ABOUT HERSELF…..SHE WAS A REMARKABLE WOMAN..AND I WANT NOTHING MORE IN THIS WORLD…BUT TO BE LIKE HER!! I AM SO HONORED…SO BLESSED….TO BE HER DAUGHTER.
I JUST WANT TO SAY A FEW THINGS TO SOME PEOPLE…AND THEN I WILL LET SOMEONE ELSE HAVE A TURN…..
AUNTIE MIDGE…..THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HELPING MY MOM OUT WITH SO MANY THINGS….I KNOW THIS HAS BEEN SO HARD AND SO DIFFICULT FOR YOU…BUT YOU WERE THERE TIL THE END…IT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME TO KNOW THAT YOU WERE HOLDING HER HAND AND CREATING SUCH A PEACEFUL SCENE FOR HER AS SHE LEFT US. YOUR E-MAIL DESCRIBING THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL . THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR STAYING THE NIGHT WITH ME AT HOSPICE…IT MEANT SO MUCH TO HAVE YOU THERE WITH ME. YOU PROMISED MY MOM YOU WOULD TAKE CARE OF THINGS…AND THAT YOU WOULD BE THERE FOR HER…AND YOU KEPT YOUR WORD TIL THE END. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
DENNIS…..THANK YOU FOR TAKING SUCH GOOD CARE OF MOM WHILE SHE WAS SICK….I KNOW THIS HAS TAKEN ITS TOLL ON YOU AS IT HAS EVERYONE ELSE….BUT YOU TOOK SUCH GOOD CARE OF HER…AND IT TRULY SHOWED HOW MUCH YOU LOVED HER THESE PAST FEW MONTHS. I KNOW IT IS DIFFICULT TO MOVE ON…BUT JUST TAKE TIME TO SIT QUIETLY THINKING OF THE TALKS YOU AND MOM HAD ABOUT WHAT SHE WANTED….AND WHAT SHE HAD HOPED FOR AS FAR AS YOUR FUTURE….THINGS WILL GET EASIER WITH TIME…..AND MOM WOULD WANT YOU TO MOVE ON…AND MAKE THE MOST OF LIFE….I KNOW SHE DISCUSSED THIS WITH YOU….I THINK WHAT MIGHT HELP YOU TO “MOVE ON”…IS TO CHERISH THE MEMORIES YOU SHARED….AND TO MAKE HER PROUD…AND TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THE WISHES, HOPES AND DREAMS SHE HAD FOR YOU. MOM WILL ALWAYS BE CLOSE TO YOUR HEART…AND WILL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU NO MATTER WHAT…WHEREVER YOU GO.
DARREL AND UNCLE COON…..THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PROVIDING MOM AND DENNIS WITH MEALS WHILE SHE WAS SICK AND ALSO FOR FEEDING THE FAMILY WHILE WE WERE AT THE HOSPITAL/HOSPICE. THAT HELPED OUT MORE THAN YOU KNOW AND WAS APPRECIATED BY ALL OF US!!!
SHIRLEY (MOM #2)…YOU ARE AND WILL ALWAYS BE A VERY SPECIAL PART OF THIS FAMILY….MOM CHERISHED YOUR FRIENDSHIP VERY MUCH. THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE FOR HER. I KNOW YOU ARE GONNA MISS HER LIKE CRAZY…SO IF THERE IS EVER A TIME YOU NEED TO TALK…LAUGH…CRY…YOU CALL ME!!! AND PLEASE ALWAYS REMEMBER….MOM COMPLETELY UNDERSTOOD WHY YOU COULDN’T BE HERE WHEN SHE PASSED….DO NOT EVER FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THAT!!!
NANCY O AND EVERYONE AT PP&L …THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING YOU DID FOR MY MOM….ESPECIALLY PUTTING IN THE SKYLIGHT IN HER HOUSE…YOU ALL PULLED TOGETHER AND MADE THAT HAPPEN WITHIN A MATTER OF A COUPLE HOURS. THAT MEANT A LOT TO MOM….AND WAS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. YOU ARE ALL VERY SPECIAL TO MY MOM…THANK YOU FOR TAKING CARE OF HER….LOVING HER….BEING HER FRIENDS!!!!
DYLAN….”MEMAW” LOVED YOU SO VERY MUCH AND SHE WILL BE WITH YOU ALWAYS AS YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL. YOU BROUGHT SO MUCH JOY TO HER LIFE….HER FACE LIT UP EVERY TIME YOU CAME OVER AND WHEN SHE HAD TO FILL ME IN ON ALL THE SILLY LIL THINGS YOU DID. YOU WERE AND WILL ALWAYS BE….VERY SPECIAL TO HER!!!
MOM….I LOVE AND MISS YOU SO MUCH…..PLEASE KNOW I WILL BE OK…AND I WILL MAKE YOU SO PROUD OF ME. I ONLY WISH YOU COULD HAVE BEEN HERE IN SEPTEMBER FOR THE ARRIVAL OF YOUR GRANDDAUGHTER…OR GRANDSON. AND PLEASE DON’T WORRY…WE AREN’T GOING TO NAME HIM BRUCE IF IT’S A BOY!!! HA HA!!
I MADE A PROMISE TO YOU…THAT YOUR GRANDAUGHTER…..OR GRANDSON WILL KNOW GRANDMA TAMARA AS IF YOU WERE STILL HERE….AND IT’S A PROMISE I INTEND TO KEEP. I KNOW YOU WILL BE WITH ME THROUGH EVERYTHING….AND I KNOW YOU WILL BE A GUARDIAN ANGEL FOR MY SON…OR DAUGHTER….PLEASE GUIDE ME THROUGH MOTHERHOOD….AND LET ME KNOW…WHEN I MAKE A MISTAKE…OR WHEN I DO SOMETHING GOOD!! MY HOPE….MY DREAM…IS TO BE THE BEST MOM I CAN BE….JUST AS YOU WERE TO ME!! I HOPE TO BE JUST LIKE YOU IN EVERY WAY!! YOU TOUCHED SO MANY LIVES….IN SO MANY WAYS…MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW!! I LOVE YOU MOM!!
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR GIVING ME THIS TIME TO SPEAK. I AM TRULY SORRY AGAIN FOR NOT BEING HERE. YOU ALL HOLD SUCH A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART…FOR ALL THE LOVE AND SUPPORT YOU HAVE GIVEN MY MOM OVER THE YEARS…..AND ESPECIALLY WHILE SHE WAS SICK. WE ALL LOST SOMEONE SO SPECIAL…SO DEAR TO US…..NO ONE WILL EVER BE ABLE TO REPLACE SUCH A REMARKABLE PERSON.