This is my Mom.
She passed away peacefully on Friday, June 12 with her family by her side. After a 15 month battle with lung cancer, Mom had decided to enter the Journey Home, a hospice care facility. What a wonderful place to spend the end of your life. The volunteers and nurses are all amazing. The best part is that my Mom was able to make the decision to move there completely on her own. Her mind was clear right up until her last few days. We joked that it was about time for her to be taken care of, after a lifetime of taking care of everyone else.
My girls filled the normally quiet house with lots of noise and laughter. We had a great time visiting her there, and I know she felt our presence. In fact on one of her final days, when she had been unresponsive all day, she opened her eyes and kissed my little Gia goodbye.
That was the last time I saw her react to us.
Because Mom had time to think about her mortality, she was able to convey many of her wishes to us. She said if she could choose what to do, she would have a party. That is just typical of her personality. She didn't want anyone sitting around crying about her, she wanted us to celebrate. That's exactly what we did. We had a brief memorial service at a church, by the pastor who had been visiting her over the past month. Afterward, we invited everyone to a local restaurant where we held a dinner party. My sister and I had tried to estimate how many people would show up for the event. Our figure was less than half the actual number! The people just kept coming and coming. A true testament of what a great friend she was, to so many. And, just as she wished, we didn't sit around crying for her. We enjoyed each other, shared stories, looked at pictures, and pretty much had a good time. I'm sure she was pleased.
I think of my Mom every day, and often. I wonder when I'll stop picking up the phone to call her, or think of sending her the latest pictures of my kids. Losing a parent is tough, but losing a Mom is nearly unbearable.
I love you Mom. You'll always be in my heart.