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Rated: 13+ · Non-fiction · Family · #1710049
Mom helped our family to survive and carrying on even after her passing.
“Our Family Survives”

Mom helped our family to survive and carrying on even after her passing.

         Our mom’s strength and determination was key in how well we as a family survived her death. My sister, Ann and I had been included in her doctor’s appointment the day the results of the tests were read. Words like, ‘lung cancer,’ ‘small cell carcinoma,’ ‘fast growing,’ and ‘once it hits the brain…’ Then the question that only our mother would ask, but we were screaming inside our heads, “How long?” His reply, “Possibly two months.” Not nearly long enough!

         In the car on the way home, I asked Mom what she wanted to do for the rest of her life and jokingly asked if she wanted to drink chocolate milk -which she had always loved to do- and eat bon-bons. She wouldn’t have to worry about calories any longer! Not that she ever did, mom was always a robust, full-figured woman, and proud of it! Her answer was the beginning that saved our family. She wanted a party, but not just a regular party. She wanted a “Celebration of Life” party. She wanted everyone that she had ever loved there, family and friends both. Anyone she had ever known and that was still alive, loved and that she truly cared about to be invited. She wanted a party that she could have fun at while she, herself was alive to participate in. She had always felt that viewings were morbid, and that some people attended who shouldn’t, only to pity and gawk. Mom would have nothing of the sort!

         In a week’s time, calls were made, people who had had plans canceled them that weekend just to attend Mom’s “Celebration of Life Party.” They wanted to share one more time with mom, because you see, our mom was everyone’s best friend and confidante, mother hen, and life of the party all rolled into one. You just didn’t say no to Lucy M! Even the weather cooperated that day! The week had been pretty dismal all around, but that day the sun shone, along with blue sky and pretty white clouds! It was beautiful!

         Cars lined our long driveway and out onto Route 62 as people came pouring in with dishes to pass and memories to share. Everyone wanted to be part of this truly incredible day and have an opportunity to make more memories that would ultimately be shared at a later date. As one group of family and friends left, another would come; thus was the ebb and flow of the day. Truly making it the best tribute- her celebration of life- ever!

         Mom got her wish and as always, she was right. We did need those memories of that day to help us through the tough weeks that came with her illness, as well as the years since her passing. As I keep saying, our family survived because of mom’s cancer. My relationship with my sister, Ann is better because of our family’s journey with cancer. Ann works at the Hospital and it’s because of mom, that she has a greater empathy towards the patients she cares for and their families. She understands, because she’s been there; understands the feelings and emotions that come as part of this despicable creature, known all too well, as cancer, can bring. She tells me that because of mom, one day she wants to work with our local department of the aging, so that she can make a positive contribution there, too.

         Finally, saying that I became our mom’s caregiver, because I lived closer; something she regrets. However, she will know now, I needed that time with our mom, and I do not begrudge my sister anything of the sort. While it wasn’t easy to watch the woman who gave birth to you, that you depended on as a child and a young woman, become more and more dependant on you for her daily care, it was all part of the journey. I was the lucky one. Mom was my best friend, too, and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

Lovingly Submitted By,


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