When I look back on the Christmas of 2012, I am sure it will be with the same bittersweet feelings that I have had this whole week.
No one is ever prepared to say good bye to someone that you love. No matter if it is a surprise or not, you are never ready for the pain you feel.
On July 6th 2012 I was returning home from a weekend trip with my sweet friend Allison. We had packed up and went to KC for a little fun. I remember being annoyed because I had tried calling and texting my mom over the course of the trip and she had yet to respond.
I had just thrown my stuff down and my aunt sent me a text telling me to call my uncle... random? That is when they told me that mom had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
I am not going through the entire 5 months of pain that my mom went through, but I am using the blog as my therapy of the things that I have learned.
It goes so fast. Sunday the 16th my mom was hospitalized at Mercy after a breathing episode. Kelly and I were told they weren't sure what was wrong with her, but were going to keep her overnight. Kelly asked em to call the oncologist on Monday and see if we could get more information on her condition. One thing about my mom throughout this whole ordeal she never accepted the diagnosis was terminal. She was always positive that she would beat it and be able to spend lots of time with Julianna.
Monday the Dr. came in and recommended that we stop the chemo treatment and mom go in to hospice care. He said that it wasn't an illness that caused her to have the problems breathing it was the cancer getting worse.
After he spoke to mom Kelly and I went out to talk about his recommendations. He told Kelly and I he would be surprised if she had more that a few months. This was not a complete shock, but was much more serious than I had thought. I was so thankful though that the Dr did give us that time frame, it helped me to realize she was sicker than she let on and that I needed to cherish everyday.
We got the call on Sunday morning, December 22nd. I was feeding Julianna and Kelly came in and asked how much longer I was going to be... I looked at him like he was crazy.. "Babe, I am done when she finishes."
He came back in about 5 minutes later and took her from me told me to sit down and started changing her diaper. That is when he told me that mom had passed away. I can't explain the emotions that came over me at this point or the emotions that continued to over take me throughout the next week.
I have learned so much through this process and I know if any good can come from losing some one you love it is that you are able to grow and reevaluate the way you look at things.
lesson number one- Plan
Dealing with all things funeral related as an only child is rough. Kelly and I decided that we will go ahead and get a will and our funeral arrangements taken care of so that Julianna won't have to do what I did. Picking out things and answering questions is tough when you are grieving.
Lesson number two- Just do it.
We were blessed with a great couple from church and a group from my work who just did it... I always tell people to please let me know if they need anything and I usually mean it, but lets be honest... does anyone ever really feel comfortable asking for anything? Since my mom was in the hospital the week leading up to Christmas and I have a fussy reflux plagued baby, getting to the store proved challenging. So when people just showed up with food I was SO thankful. I have decided that next time something like this happens I won't wait for someone to call me if they need something, I will just do it.
Lesson Three- support is critical
Dressing my 2 month old for visitation was a hard task and Kelly and I were so anxious about going and really just dreading the 2 hours. How could I have been so stupid to be nervous... It meant so much to have people there to show support and love for us. The same thing for the funeral. Every time someone that I knew came up I would start crying all over again. My co-workers from JB Hunt, Walmart and Sam's came to show support. Even people from the bank came to support Kelly. Friends from high school and several of our church friends showed up. It made me realize how important the relationships we have our. It made me so thankful for everyone that is in my life and also helped me to realize I need to be more like Barnabas the encourager and show more support for my friends and family. I now know the importance of having those people around you in times of trials and I will forever be grateful to everyone that showed their support. The hugs from you all helped make the day better.
Lesson four- too fast
Time goes to fast. I am 30 years old and have lost my mother. She was diagnosed in July and we said goodbye 5 month later. Time goes by so fast and this has helped me to also see how I need to make sure I am telling the people I love them and how important they are to me.