First, I got a year older. Yup, that's right. I'm still in my blissfully false twenties but another year older in them. Of course if you ask one of my kids, they will tell you my actual age which makes me cringe a bit. Although for superstitious reasons I'm glad to no longer be at an age that ends in the number 3.
Second, I made a mean Turkey-day dinner and no one got food poisoning. This shouldn't be a hallmark achievement, but I feel with how crazy things have been it really is.
Third, I didn't complete NaNoWriMo. And I'm okay with it even though I didn't think I would be. Instead, I spent my days basking in time with my mom while she felt well.
For those of you who might be new, my mom was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in mid-2011 and was re-diagnosed with it late 2012. She had 4 months in remission before learning she was terminal.
Fourth, I managed not to forget anything on my holiday shopping list. This was a miracle of epic proportions this year because mom started feeling bad and I did most of her shopping for her this year.
Fifth, I pulled off a nice birthday/Christmas Eve celebration for my mom even though I wasn't getting much sleep because she wasn't feeling well. She spent a good chunk of the day up and smiling with all 6 of her grandkids and the rest of us.
This is where it gets a little sad... Those of you not ready to read something sad this early in the year can feel free to stop now... I'll see you in a week with a big announcement. Those of you in for the whole pound, let's get on with it.
On Christmas Day, mom was admitted to the hospital for what we thought might be an upper respiratory infection or pneumonia. Turns out it was her cancer taking over her left lung. She had been undergoing a new treatment that was in the phase 1/2 stage. Unfortunately, in her case, the medicine wasn't working. The day after Christmas, her oncologist, our much loved Dr. C, came in to see her in the hospital while on vacation to review her options. It was then she announced with certainty that she was done. She was discharged the following day under the care of the great people of my local branch of Hospice.
Less than a week later, I had the honor of being by her side as she passed from this world to the next. She was surrounded by people who loved her in her last hours and for that I will always be grateful. Because she died as she lived, being surrounded by love.
In the almost two weeks since her passing, I've managed to get most of her affairs settled, but there is still much to do. Last weekend, surrounded by family, she was laid to rest. But, it was the hours after that will stay with me forever. Instead of a traditional funeral, my mom had asked that we throw some life celebrations. So, I was able to see friends and family I rarely get to see and celebrate her life. It was an amazing experience to see and hear so many wonderful people and listen to their tales of how she touched their lives...
And I get to do it again this coming weekend because she had two places where she lived over her short 56 years on this planet. But as the RSVP's come in I am touched by how many people she has touched over the years. That, and how many wonderful friends I have that have made her passing so much easier to bare.
So, to all of you who have sent me a text, email, or called over the last 4 weeks while I've been going through what I can honestly say has been the hardest moments of my life, THANK YOU! Without each and every one of you I'm not sure I would've made it through this with my sanity in tact.
Oh, and to the friends who send me pictures of hunky guys, coffee, and dirty jokes; I LOVE YOU!!! You guys have the best remedies for the blues. Thank you!!!
So, I leave you all with this picture from last winter of mom and I prior to the pink hair...
Rest well tonight and know that another angel is keeping watch over you...
Hugs and happiness in the New Year ~ Jeni