Photo courtesy of Shannon Williamson Photography.
My heart has been broken. Again. I don't expect it to ever heal completely, and knowing my heart, I can pretty much guarantee it won't. It's missing a big piece that can never be replaced.
I have been given an amazing gift in my life, and I know how lucky I was to have had it, even though it has been taken away.
When I met my hubby, I didn't just gain a partner. I gained a family. A loving, nurturing mother...something I had been deprived of my entire life. Never had I known what it was to be loved unconditionally by a mother, and treated like a daughter.
This year marked 33 years since my own Mother's death, and just days before my yearly day of heartache, my heart shattered into millions of pieces as this wonderful Mom I had come to know as my own was taken from our family.
There is so much I want to write, to share, but I have yet to find the words, or quiet the sobs that shake me as I type.
She was diagnosed just after Easter, and while we knew our time was limited, we had no idea how truly limited it would end up being. Christmas was her favorite time of year, and since SugarPlum's birthday is perfectly between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is usually celebrated amidst the cheerful decorations and celebrations of the holiday season.
Thanksgiving was planned, and the day before, Mom bowed out, letting us know that the she was getting too sensitive for the noise and chaos of a gathering. Hubby and I took dinner over to Mom and Dad, chatted for a bit, and then left. During my visit with her, Mom had mentioned moving SugarPlum's birthday celebration and the family Christmas celebration up, so she could enjoy the kids opening their hand-picked gifts...She was the BEST gift-giver EVER. She seemed to hear EVERYTHING the kids ever said, and caught on to the things they wanted and loved the most. It was a gift she seemed to possess. She mentioned a couple of the items she had already purchased, excited to see how SugarPlum's eyes would light up when she opened them for her birthday.
I sat with her while hubby and Dad stepped out for a few minutes. I held her hands...they were cold, so I sandwiched them between my own to warm them. She apologized for her cold hands, and I told her I didn't care that they were cold, because they were attached to the warmest heart I had ever known. There was so much that I wanted to say, but couldn't find the words, and before I could, she was letting us know that she was ready for us to go, because she was not able to get comfortable, and wanted to rest a bit.
I never got to say all the things I had rehearsed in my head. Mom went into hospice the next morning, and by the time we were able to get there to visit, she was heavily sedated. I asked for a few minutes with her, and told her Thank You. I choked out a few words, not knowing if she truly heard me, but hoping that she had.
November 30th, 1979. A drunk driver killed my Mom.
November 24th, 2012. Cancer took my Mom. Yes, she was MY Mom. For nearly 15 years, I was given the gift of a loving Mother. I never once took her for granted.
She loved my kids desperately, and understood them in ways I dream of. She had a unique and individual bond with each of her grandchildren. It was beautiful to witness. We all miss her beyond words. The void is immeasurable.
She taught me patience, understanding, and so much more. I wish I could say I had as much patience as she did...she literally DID have the patience of a saint.
I only hope we can honor her memory in a way that would have made her proud.