Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cancer Stole My Mom....Not Our Love

Hello Pundits! I know, I know....It has been a VERY long time since we last had a conversation.  Please accept my sincerest apology:) It seems that I lost my writing mojo for a period of time.  My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, and  I suddenly found no inspiration to write. I have always had a creative side, but then suddenly it was gone.  My only focus was spending what ever borrowed time I had with the single most influential person in my life.  Although this year has been THE toughest of my entire life, there were some golden moments. 

One memorable moment was Thanksgiving.  My mother was diagnosed just one week before, and started chemo two days before Thanksgiving.  She was nauseous and exhausted, but she remained upbeat.  She even acquiesced to my insistence that we go to the beach to take a family picture.  Normally, she would give me a hard time because she said that I was "obsessed with taking pictures" (insert thick Haitian accent).  But this time she did not put up a fight, and the day could not have been more picture perfect!

Thanksgiving 2014

This was followed by Christmas, which is a very big deal in my family.  After all, celebrating Jesus' birth is no small thing.  We do it big!  There's constant music, nonstop eating, and dancing.  This past Christmas was not much different, except that my mother was not feeling her best due to the chemotherapy.  However, it didn't stop her from dancing!  She even tried desperately to teach my daughter how to dance to Haitian music.  I still giggle when I think about how she was shocked that her granddaughter could not find the beat, and exclaimed "But you're Haitian!" My son grabbed the camera and recorded the sweet dance lesson, and I couldn't be more grateful.  It's hard not to cry when I watch it because I miss her so, so, sooooo deeply, and seeing her makes me long to hold her one more time.

This was followed by Mother's Day.  How could I forget Mother's Day!?!  By then, my mother's health had worsened, and she could no longer walk without either a walker or wheelchair.  This is when she was placed in home hospice, and my parents' house began to resemble a hospital instead of a home.  There was a constant stream of nurses, home health aide, doctors, and others.  My normally vibrant mother who woke up at the crack of dawn just so she could tackle the day was now spending more time in bed than anywhere else because the pain medication made her exhausted.  However, she emerged from her bedroom on Mother's Day all dolled up so that she could take a picture with me.  (She knew I wanted to;)

Mother's Day 2015

Although I began to prepare myself emotionally several months ago for what doctors said was inevitable...that my precious mommy would succumb to cancer, I was not prepared.  How could anyone be? 

It's been nearly 6 weeks since my family gathered around her bed and prayed as she took her last breath.  To be honest...I have been through every single emotion (sometimes on a daily basis).  One of the things that helps to calm me is to do things that she and I enjoyed doing together.  Cooking is one of those things.  I remember standing knee high to her in the kitchen begging her to let me help.  Later in life, she and I would plan and execute large dinner parties.  Those were fun times!  I will miss that, but I revel in the fact that my children and I share this same tradition, as we cook constantly together.  In fact, they beg me to cook like I once did.

My mother's legacy lives on through us.  She loved with such intensity, and was the voice of reason that I always looked to for guidance.  She protected and defended us wholeheartedly.  SO much so that my brother and I lovingly nicknamed her Mommy Bear.  She, in turn, referred to us as her CubsI miss my Mommy Bear.  Although cancer may have stolen her from me, it did not diminish our connection.  That will never change.



An open and honest blog about what matters most......Children and Families!!!!