Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another First

This Thursday will be a year since my Mom underwent a life altering surgery to attempt to save her life from cancer. For some reason I feel like blogging about it now rather than on Thursday.

One year ago I got up early and headed to Mt. Carmel East hospital to sit with my Mom before her surgery to remove the lower left portion of her lung. I was meeting my brother and his wife and my sisters at 7am ish. That particular morning I felt the need to stop off at Starbucks to get a peppermint hot chocolate, which instead turned out to be a peppermint mocha something….not bad I guess. I’m not sure why I remember that though? I remember what I was wearing…I remember taking my Mom’s teeth out before surgery….I remember every little detail.

I can remember sitting there through her surgery texting TT and Julie R. Those two kept my sanity that day. Between sobs and hugs, we as a family tried so hard to keep it together. We were plain exhausted that day. My mom was a very sick lady most of her life, so my family and I were so scared that she was going to die during the surgery.

When her surgery was over and we were able to go to her room and visit her, she was out of it. Rightfully so. She was on some serious pain medicine with a chest tube thus she wasn’t capable of carrying on a conversation. I sat in her room with her for awhile and watched her sleep. About the time she was waking up (hours later), she started hallucinating. It was so painful to watch. The strongest woman I knew was laying there struggling to remember what happened to her. And for the first time I heard my mom say that she was in pain. My mom NEVER complained. I swear from that moment on, my Mom was never ever the same woman. A part of her was lost that day.

From that day on life was never the same for my family. Over the next couple of months I’m sure you’ll hear about my struggles with the holidays, the date of her death, and my first full year without her. I know I’m lucky because I got 34 years with my Mom. Some people I know aren’t that lucky. I look at a friend of mine who just married a widower. His children lost their Mom when they were under the age of 10 or around that age.

I know God has a purpose for all of us. And I know my Mom is a special angel in heaven right now and she is in a place where pain does not exist. Those of us lucky enough to get to heaven will be able to experience that one day. Sadly that still doesn’t take my pain away. I want her here.

Saturday I went to my brother’s house to watch his middle daughter play volleyball and I accidentally took the route that took me by my Mom’s house…it’s the long way, because I would always take her with me. For some reason I still try to go pick her up.

Life will get easier and I’m sure the pain will lessen, but this being a year of firsts is so tough. I’m one strong, independent person, but I’ll tell you what…losing my mom has changed me in ways that are hard to explain. I’m more grateful and forgiving and I’m more patient. Hard to believe how much losing someone can make you re-think life. I will never take anything for granted anymore. Tomorrow it might not be here.


Julie said...

Yes, this year of firsts is the hardest by far. It gets easier with time, I promise...

Hugs to you, babe.