9 Lessons: Lesson 5- Passing

Today marks one entire year that Mom has been gone.

I am an extremely optimistic person (with some realistic in there too), and throughout all of Mom’s battles, I always believed she would win. Even in her last days, while I sat there holding her hand, I still believed that she would get better, that she would just wake up and start talking, asking for a frozen pop tart and a diet coke. I remember trying to accept the timeline she was given, I did, but in my mind, I still believed she would be that small percent to overcome it all and beat the cancer. I mean, she was my Mom, and she was basically immortal, right? Unfortunately, my optimism was overridden by God’s need for her.

It gives me migraines to think that just a little over a year ago I was able to talk to her, laugh with her, hug her, and physically be with her. Part of me wishes that the last few weeks before her passing, as well as that night/morning, were not so vivid in my memory. I remember it all, as if those days had just passed, but I wish so much more for fonder and happier memories to overtake those of such sadness. Slowly they are, and I know that it just a part of the ongoing fifth lesson that God is still teaching me, the lesson of passing.

No matter what, it’s not possible to prepare for the death of a loved one. I considered myself incredibly lucky and well prepared for it all. God put into place so many things for me to fall back upon for when Mom left us, He gave adequate time to prepare myself as best I can, and even gave me the last few days with her to get anything I wanted from her. Still, nothing can prepare someone to stand over a loved one and give them one last hug and kiss goodbye, knowing that you will never get to again. Those are the thoughts that I struggle with the most, knowing that I will never get to do such things again with my Mom.

Struggling with such thoughts, I try to remember more pleasant thoughts about Mom, like how great of a mom she was and all the things we used to do together growing up. Yet, those thoughts seemed to make things worse. I would cry so much over such happy thoughts, yearning for nothing more than to go on one last big trip with her, or go have one last lunch and talk about things with her. Nothing seemed to make me feel better, and I was aware of that. I tried and tried to figure out how to deal with such grief.

These thoughts and feelings were all a part of God’s lesson. I had to take these thoughts and feelings and let them flow, feeling them. There is no cure for grief, and that is what He has taught me. The best way I could explain what it is like for me is that there is a monster inside of my head, and he feeds on my sadness and sorrow. I have two options, feed him now and then where I let my emotions flow. I could cry a bit, I could read some of Mom’s journals, look at pictures, or even write a post. Or, I could try to starve him. I could keep bottling up my emotions, and repress the monster as best I could. However, the hungrier the monster would get, the angrier and more desperate for food he would get. He would start taking over and force myself into a depressive, emotionless state while he fed on my emotions.

Luckily, I went with option one. I listened to God and I understand that the death of a loved one, even one so beloved as my Mom, is something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. But I’m optimistic, and I think of it as just another way I can remember her, and keep me from forgetting about who she was, is, and how she shaped who I am. I know that she is always looking down on me, and that gives me the happiness to push forward and feed that monster I call grief. It makes me smile to think, that even when she’s gone, she still seems to get rid of all the monsters that scare me.

I have a prayer-book, and after Mom passed, I turned through the pages and landed on one, as if He and Mom knew just where for me to go. It was the prayer for August 6th, and it reads:

“When things seem to be going all wrong, stop and affirm your trust in Me. Calmly bring these matters to Me, and leave them in My capable hands. Then, simply do the next thing. Stay in touch with Me through thankful, trusting prayers, resting in My sovereign control. Rejoice in Me- exult in the God of your salvation! As you trust in Me, I make your feet like the feet of a deer. I enable you to walk and make progress upon your high places of trouble, suffering, or responsibility”

Job 13:15; Psalm 18:33; Habakkuk 3:17

I love you and miss you so much Mom.

9 Lessons: Lesson 4- Words

Over the course of my time with Mom a year ago, God taught me my fourth lesson, the importance of words. The first few days, Mom and I would chat throughout the day when she was awake. However, because she was taking medicine, it was difficult for her to stay awake for long periods of time. Unfortunately, every day the amount of time she stayed awake shrank. Along with this, her ability to speak also began to dwindle. I was not ready for when Mom finally no longer spoke during the day, and instead only gave noises when she was uncomfortable. No one prepares you for something like that since it seems like such a minor aspect to the rest of the negatives happening, but it was something so major. The days following Mom losing her ability to coherently speak were the beginning of the worst days. My time with her went from talking with Mom to only sitting next her, holding her hand, and listening to her slowly drift away from me.

I was lucky though, because I was able to be with Mom while she could speak, we were able to have a “last words” type of thing. I know I was lucky to have such a moment, but it stings to have her words run through my head. The first day I was there, my Mom and I sat there chatting when there was a pause in our conversation. I looked at Mom and she started to cry, and all I could do was lean into her and hug her as hard as I could.

She cried and cried and finally said, “I’m sorry Alex, I really wanted to see you graduate. I wanted to see you get married”.

Those are the last words Mom essentially gave me that I will remember forever. I may have pictures and journals, but in my mind those will be what I remember first, those words. Then, I’ll remember all the other words and conversations I had with Mom. Most good, but of course I was not a perfect child and I’m sure I said some things that hurt her feelings. However, she never said something mean or demotivating to me regardless of how I was being. She always encouraged me and was positive, and always said she loved me. Mom knew the impact of words and chose them carefully. When Mom no longer spoke, that was when it truly felt like she had left. Mom had such a wonderful voice, and when she spoke, she was always so clear and so witty. I miss her voice and her words the most when I miss her.

This was God’s lesson to me, to choose my words with care, and always be positive with them. He taught me how you never know when words could be the last words you would hear from someone, and because of that, never end a conversation with a loved one on a bad note. Mom and I always finished with “I love you” regardless if we were arguing or just chatting. And on a day like today, the night before the anniversary of when I lost my Mom, all I can think of is her words, and how important they are to me, and how important words are to everyone.

 

 

 

 

Proverbs 16:24; “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”

9 Lessons: Lessons 2 & 3

One year ago, today, God taught me my second and third lessons. The importance, well the lack of importance, of money as well as how to spend. A year ago, I sat in the room across from and had to call the car rental agency I was renting a car from and let them know that I did not have a way of knowing when I would return the car. The only option I had, was to constantly call and push back my return date by the next day so that I would not be paying for extra days. If you have ever rented a car, you probably know how expensive this could get, because it is almost always cheaper to pay in advance for a set time. The rental car on top of the plane ticket I had to buy to go see mom seemed to add up in my mind, especially with the thought of having to pay for another plane ticket in the future. My step father said he would take care of it all of course, but I still was uncomfortable with anyone having to pay for so much, especially for a time like this.

I have been blessed to grow up without the worry of money. I always had a meal when I wanted, went to great schools, had great doctors, and was even lucky enough to get a car when I turned 16. However, I was taught incredibly valuable lessons about money, and the art of saving, budgeting, and being smart about it. These lessons seemed to not matter at the time though. I sat with Mom all day that day, as well as the day before, chatting with her when she was awake. I began telling her about the costs and stuff and she just said not to worry about it, but I couldn’t. I felt somewhat responsible and wanted to help, because I knew how important money was. Mom just looked at me and smiled and told me how proud she was of me and wanting to be smart with money, but money is not everything. She told me how when she got diagnosed a second time with cancer, money was one of the last things she was worried about.

Life is too short to worry about money so much. Mom told me that’s why she sold as much as she could and moved away from the city, so that she could focus on what’s truly important, her life. That’s why she finally began going on trips and vacations (Something she hardly did when she worked), she was finally living. When I took this blog, and all mom’s writings and journals, I found a page with an entry. It was a small entry, only a sentence, but so powerful to me. It read:

“I’m worried, because I know that when the time comes that I truly live, is when I will die.”

The words seem as though she wrote them after she passed, because of how true they were, but that entry was years ago. Mom passed away, just as she was beginning to truly live. She understood though, that money is important, but so many things are much more important. When you understand that, you understand how to spend, not money, but life.

You can spend money and you can spend life, and you can almost spend both similarly. You can waste your money just as you can waste your life, or save some money and save some of your life. However, the difference is in the measure. There are trillions upon trillions of dollars in the world to spend, but each person has only one life to spend. How a person spends their life is much more important than how they should spend their money. I would have happily spent every penny I owned, given up everything I had, to keep Mom here. However similar life and money may seem, they are not currencies that can be exchanged, so spend them wisely.

 

Matthew 6:19 – 21; “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

9 Lessons: Lesson 1- Planning

One year ago, from today, God placed me on a course to teach me 9 life and spiritual lessons. His first lesson was not an easy one to learn and took me months to fully understand it. July 29th 2017, I had a flight booked to go see mom, a flight I had planned in my head that I would have to take, but was planned to be much later. Little did I know that this was not the only plan I would have expedited. I never planned to take over mom’s blog, until this day one year ago.

I will never forget that plane ride. Thoughts, memories, plans all rushing through my head, until a brief period where my mind was clear and I felt an urge to write. I pulled out my laptop, and through tears (that were hidden behind sunglasses of course) I wrote my first post. I knew while I wrote what I wanted from Mom, and I knew God wanted me to have it to remember her and to share her story. Being that I studied Psychology in college, I understand grief, and had planned somewhat to the stages. Acceptance is sometimes seen as the last stage of grief, but for me I think it was the first, again, something I had not planned for. I knew Mom’s fate, and I knew that I would be flying back home at some point knowing I would never hear her voice, text her about what I’m doing, or see her again. I knew all of this, before I had even landed.

I usually get extreme anxiety from flying, but for this instance, I wish I could’ve stayed in the air forever, because although the flight had many tears, nothing compares to the driving. I remember landing and getting a rental car and driving to where Mom and my Step Father lived. It was the worst hour and half drive I have ever done. I wanted nothing more than to turn around, get back on a plane, and fly back home and hide. I couldn’t of course, and I knew what I was going into. Or at least, I thought I did.

The day before was when my Step Father had called me to tell me that I needed to get to them as soon as possible. He gave me some details about how Mom was doing, but generally it was just “she’s not good” or “she’s really bad”. On the drive, I went through what I expected. I mean, how bad could she really be? I just went to the beach with her less than 2 weeks ago. I thought maybe she was just bed ridden, but that was it. It was not. When I walked into their room and saw her, it was a mixture of extreme happiness, but extreme sadness. I was so happy to see her still there, but so incredibly sad that I knew she would not be there long.

She was much worse than I had imagined, and I am like mom, “Hope for the best and plan for the worst” was our motto. However, I am sometimes too much of an optimist and did a poor job at understanding where mom was at. Mom was bed ridden, but not in her bed, in a hospital bed. She had just gotten on oxygen, and had a care nurse already. Even with tubes in her nose, and glazed eyes, she was still my beautiful Mom and smiled at me and in a soft, faint voice said my name before we hugged. I spent the rest of the day next to her chatting, and enjoying my time with her, because now my original plan to stay there for hopefully a few weeks was quickly being altered.

Now, as I said at the beginning, this lesson took months to be taught. Before Mom passed away, for many years, all the way to even after she passed, I had my life plan. I was in school for what I wanted to do, I wanted to get my PhD in Clinical Psychology and eventually go on into Forensic Psychology. It was what I planned to do since day one of college. However, I needed a bunch of extracurricular things to get into a program. Luckily, I had it planned out to get it all done in my last year because it would be my easiest year. The first thing I was going to do was volunteer for a help line, something I had already gone in to interview and basically was a for sure place for me, and something that greatly helps a résumé. However, training began the day after Mom passed away. I still planned to make it, so the night before, a few hours after I had landed, I grabbed my dog, jumped in my car, and left my girlfriend’s house. My girlfriend and her whole entire family have been my rock, and my absolute biggest help through all of this, it’s why I rushed back after Mom passed away to be with them. So, leaving them so soon after Mom had gone was difficult, too difficult. Maybe ten minutes down the road, I heard a voice in my head that sounded like Mom tell me to turn around. I did just that, and went back to those that could help me more. Doing so, though, virtually ruined all my plans of four years of school and studying. What I had planned was no more.

God taught me through my first day with mom, and first day without her that no matter what you plan for, only His plan matters. Never put all your eggs in a basket is what I always hear, and its true. I never planned to be where I am today. A year and a week ago I would not be expecting to be writing blog posts on my Mom’s blog, I would be expecting to be working on a PhD. However, things always happen for a reason, even if it’s not clear when it happens and I learned that if I ever needed guidance for my  own path that I just need to ask God for his guidance, and he will always show you the way.

 

 

Proverbs 3:5-6- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Mother’s Day

I have dreaded this day, and weekend for the most part, for basically a year. Almost exactly one year ago, I called mom after she had a very important doctor’s appointment in Houston. I asked almost immediately how it went, what they said, and what are we going to do.

There was a pause.

Thinking the signal was lost I said “Hello?”, and through tears mom said that she did not want to do this over the phone. My heart sank, but I changed the subject so mom would stop crying. That did not keep my mind from wondering what that meant, and I quickly began googling timelines for mom’s type of cancer. I saw variations, but generally it was three months to a year. I prayed and prayed and prayed that if this is what it is, give mom a year. Let her have her fiftieth birthday, let me have one more Thanksgiving, one more Christmas, and one last Mother’s Day to celebrate with her.

Unfortunately she was not given a year, as God must have needed her almost what seemed like immediately. I did not get to watch her turn fifty. I did not get to have Turkey with her and family. I did not get to go through a stocking she gave me stuffed to the brim with candy even after I told her not to since I was trying to lose weight. And today, I did not get to send her a card with a gift card to Corner Bakery, wishing her a happy Mother’s Day, telling her that she is the bestest Mom in the world.

This is of course how I, and I’m sure many others who have lost someone close, thought for many weeks if not months. However, as I read moms notes and looked at her pictures, I realized that I don’t need one day out of the year to celebrate my mom, I can celebrate my mom every single day. Every day I think of her, and think of how thankful I am to have known her, to have been close to her, to be her son, and to have been raised by such a wonderful person. This is what I say every day, because I know she is, and always will be, with me and she deserves to know just how proud I am to have her as my mom.

So, to all the moms and grandmothers out there, both in person and in our hearts, know that no matter the circumstances, no matter the history, and no matter the distance, you are the most important woman in someone’s life and are celebrated not just today, but every day.

Happy Mother’s Day mom, I miss you and love you more than you could ever imagine, and I hope you know just how happy and honored I am to call you mom.

 

Proverbs 31:25-30 – “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”

Happy Birthday to You!

Today is mom’s birthday.

Every November 11th (Or closest weekend to it), I would do the same thing. I’d go to Corner Bakery and get two Chopped chicken salads. One with no tomato, and one with no onion. I’d make sure we both got pieces of bread, and would get a lemon pound cake for mom. Today was no different. Well, I guess it was a little different. There was a lot more tears, a lot more memories, a lot more thinking, a lot more hoping, a lot more wishing.

I drove up to the small town in Tennessee mom moved to, to be as close to her as I could for her birthday, but being a small town, there was no Corner Bakery to go to. Yet I still went to Corner Bakery with mom.

I actually had a dream last night. I was at lunch at Corner Bakery with mom. We both had our salads and were sitting across from each other. She looked so happy and so beautiful. She didn’t look like she did when she passed away, she looked like she did when she was in her early thirties. Smiling, long brown curly hair, wearing an outfit I would see her wear to work, all pretty with her jewelry, but there was a different kind of “brightness” about her, she seemed to just glow as she smiled at me. It was a long dream, but I only remember bits of it. I remember the beginning, she smiled and looked at me and said how happy she was to see me, and that she misses me. After that, I don’t remember much until the end, when I guess it was time to go and she smiled at me again and said that she loves me and that I shouldn’t be sad and she is always watching me.

I woke up after she said that, and after realizing it was a dream, I tried my hardest to fall back asleep to go back to her. I could not though, so I laid there, tears streaming down my face wishing I could go to lunch with her again. Wishing that she were here to go get a birthday sundae from Baskin Robbins.

It doesn’t make sense to me. A birthday is supposed to be a celebration of life. A time to remember the past, but look towards the future, look towards the next birthday. It’s hard to celebrate a birthday of a loved one without them.

It was as if God made sure for me to know that He, and heaven were celebrating her birthday. As we drove around today, it seemed everywhere I looked He was telling me that mom was being celebrated. I saw three or four happy birthday balloons scattered about, and saw at least 5 announcement boards (like on gas stations or at a McDonald’s) that read “Happy Birthday”. I’m sure she’s in heaven eating her weight in Cracker Barrel pancakes and lemon pound cake having the best birthday ever.

Mom would’ve been 50 years old today.

 

Happy birthday mom, I love you!!

Mark 9:36 – 37; Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.”

October

Another month passes by without mom, this one in particular was a bit harder than the first couple. October was always mom’s favorite month. It was kind of like a “Peace” time, as it was a month without any major things happening. September was always crazy between school and my birthday, and November had her birthday and Thanksgiving. She loved that the weather was finally changing, and in Texas that was always something to look forward to. Besides the cooler weather, October is always prime time for football. Mom was a big Cowboys fan, and we even did fantasy football for a year and her team name was “Dak to the Future”. I was/am the commissioner for the league that we played, and when the time came to start fantasy again this year, nothing was harder than staring at her team, knowing that she wasn’t going to be playing again.

 

Everyone deals with the passing of a loved one differently. For me it’s avoidance. I don’t like it, but it’s just what I’m doing/did, and if I could stop I would. When I say avoidance, I don’t mean that I’m not accepting the fact that mom passed away, I just avoid (subconsciously) thinking, or talking about it. Of course that’s where therapy comes in to help that avoidance.

 

Anyways, back to the story.

 

This fantasy football thing was the real first instance that I truly had to face the fact that mom was actually gone. I wasn’t going to stop the league, others still wanted to play, but were very understanding if I wanted to take a break for a season. Outside of mom’s actual passing, nothing has been harder than hitting the “Delete Owner” button next to her team name. I’m not exaggerating when I say it took me days to build up the strength to do it, and I cried every time I looked at her name. It may seem minor, but I will never forget sitting on that couch, closing my eyes, holding back tears, and finally hitting that button.

I did feel a sort of sense of relief, and even could hear mom in my head go “Good job Alex!” the way she used to. I know that there is nothing she wants more  than for me and all of her loved ones to move forward with their lives. To never forget her, but not dwell on her.

 

I know she and God gave me the strength to move forward, and will continue to.

 

Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with MY eye upon you

Loving Arms Forever

It’s been almost two months since mom passed away, but the thought still stings just as if I was there again. Holding her limp arm, staring at her face, praying she’ll take that one breath and she’ll be back. Probably make a witty joke about all of it and want some ice cream. I stayed, holding her hand for what seemed like hours, and that breath never came. I sat there, holding her hand, bawling. My heart melted from the amount of sadness I was feeling, then something happened.

 

There was a tap behind me. I figured it was just one of the cats, but both came walking from the other side of the room. Then I felt arms around me, hugging me. They felt cold, but at the same time warmed me and took away the sadness. I didn’t want this hug to go away, but eventually the arms left and then I watched the door to the room open wide and then slowly close. I, without a thought, said “Goodbye mom”.

 

I’d give anything to have her hug me again.

 

That was the first instance. A little background before the next instance. Whenever I was with mom she personally would wake me up and sit on the bed next to me and we’d chit chat. It was one of those “Little things” we did that I’ll forever cherish.

After mom had been taken away, I went back to my room to try to get some sleep. I eventually fell asleep and dreamed about mom waking me up like she always did. It was at the point where she had sat down that I woke up. I stared at the spot next to me where mom was in my dream. I reached my hand out and felt that cool, yet warmth I felt before. Then it felt like a hand gently held my arm. It felt the same way mom held it for her last few days. Again, I didn’t feel sad, I felt secure and loved.

 

I knew it was mom again. I told her to come visit me from time to time, that I will miss her and I love her, and that everyone loves her and is so proud of her. Then I felt another hand sort of pat my arm the same way she did before she passed, and I watched my door open a bit and close. She was gone again.

 

But that’s not the lesson her and God are trying to teach me. Quite the opposite. Mom isn’t gone, shes all around and that was her way of telling me she will be.

 

Matthew 5:4-“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Appreciate the “Little Things”

On July 5th of this year, mom had her first appointment with MD Anderson, as she had run out of treatment options back home in Tennessee. Obviously, I called her when I knew she was done so I could know if she was okay or not. I optimistically asked what they had said to her….there was a pause….I, being naïve, wondered if the call dropped and asked “Hello?”. Mom’s response brought my worst fears to a reality. Through tears she told me, “I don’t want to do this over the phone”. I felt my heart drop and did everything I could to stop the tears from coming. I quickly changed the subject to continue our conversation tears free. However, I was powerless when the conversation ended, and I sat in my chair weeping. I knew what that kind of response meant, that the worst is here. I knew my mom was given a timeline. I cried everyday with every new thought about what I would miss with mom gone.

The first thing I thought was Mother’s Day, and how sad that day will always be.  What does one do on Mother’s Day when they have no mother?

The second thought was my mom’s birthday in November. Would she even make it to 50 years old? And even so, what about the birthday after? I had a tradition for her birthday. I would always get her a chopped chicken salad and a lemon pound cake from Corner Bakery and a $20 gift card, plus some other present, usually a Texas A&M shirt. I thought to myself, I don’t get to do that anymore, I don’t get to celebrate her birthday anymore.

Another thought was my birthday. Every year, both my parents would have a competition on who could wake me up the earliest so they can say they said happy birthday first. I usually lied to both and said they both won (Don’t tell them that). However, that’s going to be different. Dad will be the winner every time (Unless my girlfriend has something to say about it!).

Finally, the thoughts that makes my heart the saddest are all the little things I will miss. I no longer will be able to call mom while I walk home from class and just chat about things, ask for help, plan, and see how she and my step-father are. I will forever miss hearing her voice. I no longer will have her to play card games with, and have her and my girlfriend gang up on me. I will forever miss playing games with her.

I no longer will be woken by her in the morning, and have her sit on my bed and talk to me for a while about life and what we would do that day. I will forever miss waking up and talking with her. It is these “little things” that have the biggest impact, because they are the ones that are gone. I still can (And plan to) tell her Happy Mother’s Day. I still can (And plan to) celebrate her birthday, and eat Corner Bakery with her. I still can (And plan to) believe she will try to beat dad at saying happy birthday to me. Although I will forever miss all the “little things” me and mom used to do, these memories have taught me not to take things that seem so small for granted. I will cherish these memories more than the holidays I will miss with my mom, because these memories are what my relationship with mom was.

Even when she’s gone she still teaches.

 

 

Luke 16:10- “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”

The Light that Will Shine Forever

Hello everyone! For starters I should quickly explain that I am not Julie. I am her son, Alex, and I wanted to give an update on her blog. I also apologize for the length, a lot to share!

I asked her awhile ago why she has not posted anything in a long time and she responded by telling me she is too tired, but God is still giving her guidance and she has drafted posts. I could understand why she would not want to dedicate a lot of effort to her blog, giving the treatments she was undergoing and just battling cancer itself. Her posts clearly depict the battle with cancer she faces. Her posts, however, do not give an overall view of my mother. I believe there are so many other battles she fought besides cancer and depression.

She fought a major battle with borderline tendencies. I am so grateful she won that battle, as suicide is common with borderline.

Mom also battled poor relationships. Significant others were just the surface of the many relationships my mom battled through, but she won each one of them. Repairing broken relationships, and forgiving all.

She battled being virtually a single parent. (Side bit, in no way is my father a bad father, he is an amazing father and I treasure our relationship as much as mine and mom’s, but that does not mean that he is without faults)

She always had her focus on me. I will never forget the day she told me she was depressed and contemplated suicide a few years ago. I had come home from college and she explained it to me. I shared with her the depression I felt around the same time. My step-father had a bunch of knives upstairs in our home. I remember one night after a particularly miserable day, I sat at the top of the stairs with one of the knives that had seemed to be calling to me for the past few days. I remember holding against neck, and then a thought came:”What is mom going to do to when she sees her only child dead, laying upstairs?” I quickly put the knife away and went to bed, happy to live on knowing mom is with me.

She saved my life that night, and I told her this. She told me how I saved her from suicide by being her focus and when she would get depressed she would think of me. We made a pact that night, neither one of us was allowed to commit suicide or the other would too. I remember the feeling of finally having something to live for, that being mom. She was now MY focus. I promised myself I would keep my mom alive forever, regardless of the obstacle. Unfortunately, I was naïve and that promise was eventually broken.

Mom passed away early yesterday morning around 4 a.m. and lost her one and only battle, cancer.

I am thankful beyond words to be her son, and to have such a wonderful, courageous, strong, and amazing person to raise me. She will always be with me, in my heart, in my soul, and in my thoughts. I know she touched each one of her readers at least once with a post.

There was nothing I physically wanted from my mom. I did not want money, or her jewelry or anything like that, I wanted something else, something more memorable to me, something I can build and share her legacy. I wanted a way to share her story, her battles, and her amazing victories. I wanted this blog.

Although I am nowhere near as prolific writer as mom (She disagreed and said I’d be a great writer, she always encouraged me), I plan on keeping this blog alive in memory of her and will continue to publish her stories and battles, and some of my own observations of her and those battles. I hope one day the world will know what a truly amazing person my mother was. This is my way of keeping that broken promise, by keeping my mother alive forever through this blog.

I love you mom, and I know you are with God in the heaven you envisioned smiling down upon us all and you will forever and ever be remembered. I love you mom, and you’ll always be my snuggle bug. 

John 11:23-26- Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?