October 4, 2018: 5 months since my mother passed today and today would have been her mother’s (my grandmother’s) 94th birthday. My mother was actually my age when her mother passed away from breast cancer. I was 5 and my brother was 3. It’s really crazy to think about that and to then think that it has only been 5 months since she’s been gone. On one hand it feels like forever, but then on the other hand it feels like just yesterday. That probably isn’t going to make much sense to someone who hasn’t lost a loved one, but it is a very weird feeling. Regardless, I miss her.
My mother had very specific wishes for when she passed. She was always sort of planning her death. I know that sounds a bit morbid, but think about it from her side: both her parents and sister had died from cancer at young ages. When she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, although she was determined to fight, she knew what could be ahead of her and she wanted her family to be prepared and to know her wishes. She wished to be cremated, which was the first in her and our family. In addition, she wanted her urn to be buried next to her sister. The gravestone below is in Connecticut and at a cemetery where their parents are also buried.
When I saw this gravestone I really didn’t have any feelings of sadness, believe it or not, but a rather peaceful feeling. It’s something she wanted to happen and so it makes me happy to think she would be happy. Each day I am trying to live like my mom did and be grateful for each moment I am experiencing. I’m also focusing on all of the happy times we had together and really focusing on creating new memories – just as my mother was always trying to do with everything she planned.
The picture below is one of many of my favorite pictures of my mom and me. We were in Disney World and I was pregnant with my daughter, Kathryn. This was in November of 2013 and a picture and memory that brings me such joy. My mom had been through a stem cell transplant and was feeling really good. She was looking great, feeling good, walking well and we were able to have such a nice time in Disney.
My hope is exactly what I know my mom hoped when she lost her mother and I was 5: to be my daughter’s best friend and experience life together. I hope to one day have a picture of myself and Kathryn (who knows – maybe she will be pregnant with a little girl!) and we will be in Disney creating similar memories I will always have with my own mother. Love you mom.