Monday, March 25, 2013

It Was a Lovely Service; Now I'm Going to Sleep for Six Months

My writing has absolutely suffered since my Mom got sick and I don't know if it will come back, but I wanted to give an update while I happened to be sitting in front of the computer.

The funeral was amazing. So many people brought quilts that my mother had finished and the entire church was covered in her artistry.





Just a few of the many quilts that were draped over every available service at the church.

Something very strange that has happened after Mom's passing. I have never been able to wear earrings. My ears always got infected every time I tried. In fact, I had two pairs of earrings that Justin had bought me - one was a beautiful pair of estate sale earrings in opal and the other a pair of diamond studs that I finally gave to my nieces since they were their birthstones - since I had no use for them. I hope my nieces are enjoying them, although I haven't heard back from them so I really just hope they got them.

My mom left me a ton of jewelry. Being the only girl and my brother not being married or having any children, almost all of her jewelry came to me. My mom loved wearing earrings and a good part of what I received were earrings. I was upset that I was unable to wear them, but I took them thinking that maybe I might have a daughter in law or granddaughter someday.

One day recently, I got frustrated at the fact that I couldn't wear my mother's earrings, as wearing her jewelry brings her closer to me. Even though my left hole had closed up in the back, I decided to give it one more try. I chose a beautiful pair of onyx hearts and set to work. The right earring went in no problem. After poking around a bit, the left one actually went through and I fastened both on, thinking, "I'll have to take these out in an hour because they'll start to hurt and itch." Then I forgot about them. By the end of the day, I had worn those earrings all day long, just like a normal person!

Yesterday, I went to put a pair in and wasn't doing it in front of the mirror. The left one felt kind of difficult to get in, but it went through. Later, I discovered that I had actually put the left earring into the second hole, which had been closed over for years. I don't know how I got it in there. I don't think I will be able to wear an earring in that hole, but I am so grateful to my mom for giving me back the ability to wear earrings in my two regular ear holes. Where else would that have come from? I've been allergic to every kind of metal I ever tried. So, thanks, Mom. These are the things that make me know you are still here watching over me.

I've been sleeping a LOT since Mom's passing and I don't know if that's normal or not, but sleeping your way through grief seems kind of like a short cut. I know I need to do the work, but maybe this is my body's way of getting through the initial stages. I haven't paid bills or balanced the checkbook since I got home. I'm sort of on auto pilot right now with a few sobbing sessions thrown in for good measure.

Justin had suggested that we get away for our 25th anniversary, which is next month, saying that after losing both my best friend and my mother within five months of one another, he felt I needed to get away. The only problem was what to do with the family - furry and otherwise. I finally said to him last night, "Let's board the dogs and let my dad take care of the younger boys. I'm sure he'd love to do it." I emailed my dad and he was all on board, so it looks like we will be going to somewhere down near Hilton Head Island probably in June after the kids get out of school. If Ben wants to go, I may buy him a round trip ticket, since I know he will have work and may not be able to stay as long as the other ones. My dad has talked about chartering a boat for deep sea fishing and I know all of the guys want to do that, so I figure Justin and I can have our romantic 25th anniversary and then we'll go back to my Dad's and they can go fishing before we go home. I don't really want to go anywhere right now, but I'm sure by June I will be ready for a tropical beach vacation for a few days.

We've got inches of snow and another snow day today. I sure wish spring would come so that we could get on with planting our memorial garden. I just wish there weren't so many people to memorialize. I hope my mom's passing will be the last terrible thing my children have to go through for a long, long time.

Hope you are having a better beginning to your 2013 than we are. Things can only look up from here. Or so I hope.

Christmas 2012 - so glad we were all together



  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Goodbye Mom

No matter how much you know it's coming, you're never quite prepared.

Mom had a rare form of sarcoma known as myxofibrosarcoma. It is diagnosed in only 10,000 people a year. It can be beaten, but it's not easy, as it is an aggressive cancer.

My mom fought harder than I could ever imagine and in her last month, the pain she endured was something I would not wish on my worst enemy. It's so hard to sit helplessly by and watch someone you love die. When it's your mother, I have to think that the only thing harder would be your child or your spouse. Or maybe they are all equally awful.

Mom passed away early Tuesday morning. She passed peacefully in her sleep and was in no pain. That is the only comfort I can find in this horrific experience. She endured so much pain, but she never thought of herself first.

We had the visitation down in South Carolina last night and I flew home this morning. My father, brother, and aunt will be driving up on Friday and we will hold a memorial service and celebration of her life on Saturday. We will display quilts that she made all over the church. It has a balcony that runs around the entire inside of the room where the service will be held that we can drape them over. After that, we have hired a caterer to take care of  the reception.

Then everyone will go home and it will be time to get back to my "normal" life. Except I'm not exactly sure how to do that.

I put together a slide show and wanted to upload it, but I'm just not tehnological enough to do it and I feel like I do nothing but ask Justin to help me with computer things. But here is the title page. I think it's so appropriate, because she loved nothing better than to be working on a quilt. It became her whole purpose in life after she retired. I knew that when the ability to quilt was no longer possible, Mom's illness would be a rapid decline.

Rest in peace, Mom. I love you.

And don't forget you promised to send me pennies.