I miss my Mom at this time of year. She died of Cancer 15 years ago. My Mom loved Christmas! Christmas was sort of her time of year when she would work so hard to shine and make everything perfect for our family. Even when things were less than perfect with her alcoholism.
1 year before my Mom died of cancer, she had gotten sober. I was 38 years old and thought I would never see that day happen. So many years of devastation..but I never gave up praying for her. She finally went through a treatment center for alcoholism. While in there, she called me to come see her and while I was there she asked my forgiveness. I’ll never forget the words she said, “Shari of all the kids, I know that you are the only one that will forgive me. I’m so sorry for all of the years I have hurt you.” Of course I forgave her.
I received such a blessing in my heart that day..because I knew this was a gift from Jesus. So many years had gone by with no acknowledgment of the wrongs done against my siblings and I. Wow..I was so excited for this new life and relationship to begin. I would finally have the Mother that I wanted…needed. The Mother that I had once had to refuse her phone calls. The Mother that I had once had to grieve that I would never have. A new life with her would had begun.
I was so proud of her! It is not easy to admit you are an alcoholic. She began having a thirst for God. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy and thankful.
Then one day my Mom called..she had been sober for about 4 months and she had just come from the Doctors. All I really remember was her saying the word “Cancer” I couldn’t believe it. I encouraged her that we would get through it and all would be well…But it wasn’t….
9 months later..I walked into the nursing home. I didn’t know that it was the last time I would see her. I was so relieved that she was there. My Step Father was not taking good care of her and didn’t like hospice coming to there home. I thought..in my own naïve way, that she would get better now that she was in nursing care.
After being transferred over to the Nursing facility I went right over to visit. I brought 2 spring dresses for her to change into while she was staying there. They were just pullover t shirt type tank top dresses. She had complained quite a few times that my Step Father would not dress her and that she thought she might feel better if she could just get dressed. I knew she would love these dresses.
When I arrived she was unable to speak, but she lifted up her hand to show me her beautiful fingernails. Her friend must have come just before I arrived and given her a manicure and done her fingernails so beautifully. They were long, with little tiny jewels on them. They looked so healthy..unlike the rest of her body. Oh how my Mom loved to LOOK just right. She had been a top Executive for many years for a local bank in our area…
My heart sunk into my stomach and I could see that my fantasy of her EVER wearing these dresses would never happen. I had only been at the Nursing facility for about 20 min. when I had to duck into the bathroom in her room. I thought I might faint. My stomach was sick and it hurt….
I was 8 months pregnant. All of my dreams of having this Mother and Grandmother to my children were gone in an instant. Of finally having the relationship that I long for my whole life..gone.
I had to get out of there. I hugged and kissed my Mom goodbye and left those dresses sitting on a chair beside the bed. “Bye Mom, I’ll be back later tonight ok?” It would be the last time I ever saw her…She died 2 hours later.
How I wish my Mom were here today to meet the last 3 of her beautiful Grandchildren. She would be so blessed. How I wish she had more birthdays and that her life would not have been cut so short…she was only 58.
I am so thankful for the American Cancer Society! For 100 years they have tirelessly worked to find a cure for Cancer. This year alone more than 11 million Cancer survivors will celebrate another Birthday because of the progress they’ve made! I pray that this year you will join in the fight against Cancer so that many more would have a chance to live and celebrate another birthday. Let’s not let Cancer steal from us our loved ones.
This post is sponsored by the American Cancer Society