Three Things I Learned Since My Mom Passed Away
Today (March, 1) is my mom's birthday! It's a celebration of the day that the world became a little brighter. Her warm green eyes, copper red hair, cute freckles and beautiful smile brought sunshine into everyday of the people that were fortunate enough to know her.
My mom passed away on July 31st, 2016 from Ovarian Cancer. Her death left a hole in my heart because she was my very best friend and there were times, during her illness that I didn't know if I would be able to live without her.
But, after her passing, I DID live. I lived and I learned. Even in death, she was still teaching me. Teaching me more about myself, my place in the world and what it all means.
The Circle of Life is more than just a song in the movie, Lion King. I remember, like it was yesterday, when I had my first child. My mom was 50 at the time and I thought she was the perfect grandma and 50 seemed like the perfect age to become a grandparent. Well, that was until I was 50 and going to be a grandma. LOL I was WAY too young to have a grand baby.
My mom was fighting cancer at the time that I found out that my daughter, my first child, her first grandchild, was pregnant. As, my mom's health worsened, I prayed and prayed that she could live long enough to meet the first of her great-grandchildren. Sadly, she died before she could hold our beautiful, Norah. Mom died in July and Norah was born in September.
What I quickly realized is that, in God's great plan, my granddaughter was born at just the right time. As I morned the death of my mom, I also happily anticipateed the birth of a new member into our family. Norah's birth instantly put me in, what had been, my mom's role within our family. I was now the matriarch.
There are many times that I find myself crying, many times out sadness, but sometimes because I am overwhelmed with joy. The joy that only grandmas know. The circle of life rotated the day my mom passed away and my granddaughter was born. I took my moms place, as my daughter took mine, and her daughter took hers. It's the same thing that happened the day MY grandma had passed. And, it will happen again one day when I pass away. The circle will continue to rotate and rotate, just as it should.
Family and friends are everything! When my mom was at home, under hospice care, we sat by her bedside, held her hand, prayed with her and sang to her. We also thew a couple of awesome parties.
My brother, sister and I decided that we were going to celebrate my mom's life in the few days we had left. My brother decided we would have two parties. First, a Hawaiian Bedside Luau (Mom loved Hawaii) with decorations, Hawaiian music, leis, grass skirts and coconut bras. It was so fun. At that point, Mom couldn't talk but she smiled a lot. The grandkids were laughing and dancing. We knew it made her happy.
We also had a Grammy Awards Show, where every category, which the grandkids came up with, was something that they, and we, loved about her. We played her favorite songs, I was the MC and we passed put golden statues. Mom along with other members of the family were nominated too, but Mom always won because she was the best. These precious moments, together, helped me to accept what was about to happen. If I didn't have such a loving and caring family, her death would have been near impossible to deal with.
While we, in our own way, were saying goodbye to her. Our friends and extended family took care of our every need. There was food made for every meal. We received ice cream for an ice-cream party. Someone even sent us enough toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates and cups to stock the White House. We didn't have to worry about anything. So, all we had to do was focus on spending time together, comforting Dad and saying goodbye to our sweet and amazing mom and grandma.
Mom is always with me. I still feel her all around me. It's not what you might think. I don't dream of her, see her or hear her. But, she is with me in all of the things that remind me of her, the things she encouraged me to do, supported me in, and shared with me.
She is with me everytime I dance, when I smell her perfume or candles burning, perform on stage, direct or on the radio. I see her in the color yellow, bluebirds, flowers, caring nurses, my granddaughter's eyes, my son's red hair, and my future daughter-in-laws smile. I hear her at Christmas, at church, at the pool, on a walk, and on vacation.
I feel her in every hug that I get and every hug that I give.
The passing of a parent is one of the most difficult things you will ever have to go though. But, from every difficult thing, in life, that you endure, try to take the positives with you. Sometimes the bad things that happen, just open a door to another chapter in your life that will provide you with a different, but no less fulfilling, kind of happiness.