Friday, June 2, 2017

Happy birthday, Mom

Today is my Mom's 61st birthday.
This morning as I was getting ready for work, I told myself that it was okay to have a good day today. It was okay to enjoy the day, to celebrate, to be happy. As I thought about this intention I set for myself, my emotions wavered. How can I find good in today when I've been robbed of my Mother?
Since leaving for college, there were many birthdays that we didn't celebrate together, but I always sent a card and filled it with compliments and love and told her that I wish we were celebrating together or that we will celebrate the next time we're together. In all those years I never imagined that our time was limited, that she would leave this life so damn early.
I posted the below on FB for her last birthday Earth side in 2014, just about a month before I visited home and instinctively knew that something was really wrong with her health. She was gone 6 months later. This was my last birthday wish to her...
Happy birthday to my beautiful, wonderful, loving and caring Momma! I am so absolutely blessed to have you in my life and thank my lucky stars for you each day! I am beyond grateful that you were a stay at home momma while I was young. I have so many great memories of those days! :) Thank you for being a great role model to me, thank you for loving me unconditionally, thank you for always supporting me and thank you for always being there for me! I will always be your little girl! I love you so much, Mom!
I hate that she's not here, that our relationship was a little messed up and rocky before she passed, that I didn't get any big, last words from her. She was just gone without any closure. I hate missing her, I hate the pain of the grief. I hate not feeling her in a spiritual way. And I really hate the days like today where everyone is going about their life, but I am drowning, just trying to keep my head above water.
BUT, I am trying so hard to open my heart to finding joy and gratitude today. Today I can celebrate my Mom and her life. Today doesn't have to be sad, but I am allowed to be sad. I can spend the day with a lump in my throat and red eyes (or a runny nose and tear streamed face), but I am also allowed to feel joy and happiness. I can be grateful for the time I had with my Mom, even though it was not enough. My last birthday words to her still ring true. Truer than true. Maybe even more so now than they did that day.
I don't want the day to go by without doing something in her honor, so tonight we will toast to my Mom with her favorite drink, a fuzzy navel, and listen to oldies. We will celebrate her birthday like she's with us, because maybe she's closer now that she ever was those years that we were apart.

Monday, December 14, 2015

My Mother's Eulogy

Everything happened so fast. From the time you got sick until the time you passed. Our time together. Your time here on Earth. Your life. It feels like you were gone in an instant. And then that was it. And we went through the motions of planning your memorial service. Having you cremated. Picking out an urn. Writing your obituary. Picking out songs that you liked, that brought a smile to your face, and made us think of you. I thought about writing your eulogy then, but had no idea how I could. It was all so surreal. Writing your eulogy and speaking at your memorial service would make it real. How could this nightmare possible be real?  And I wasn't ready for that. I'm still not. And I don't know if you can read this or see or feel this in some way, shape, or form, but I want to do this for you. And I'm sorry that I couldn't do it at your service.


I don't know how to write this, but there are a lot of things I don't know now that she's gone.  I don't know how to explain it - it's just like there's this empty space now. I want this to be the perfect tribute to her, but I fear it won't be. I want to share every single detail about how special she was to me and to the world, but I know I'll miss something and what I remember to share, won't be enough. 

I don't know that she knew or realized how special she was. How great of a mom and a friend she was. How she could light up a room, how her laugh was loved, how much her smile was appreciated, how much her presence could warm hearts, and how much she was loved by so many, especially her family. Her heart was so beautiful. It is indescribable how kind and caring she was. Every creature on Earth had a place in her heart and she wished no harm onto anyone or anything. 

Mom was a strong and beautiful woman and her family was the center of her universe. Her love for us was fierce and unending, unconditional, and so patient. The way she loved me and my brother was  incredible. Always patient with us and cared for us so well. The only time we seem to remember her patience wearing thin was a particular time she was making apple pie and we always reminded her of that. I think it was the crust that was the problem. I just remember steering clear of the kitchen for awhile and I definitely don't remember having apple pie at any point later in that day. 

She was the perfect Mom. She was the perfect balance of everything - fun, discipline, joking, serious, everything. What a beautiful childhood and life I had thanks to her. My early memories are so precious to me because I was able to spend so much time with her. She was my first best friend. She was a stay at home Mom while I was a little one and I have countless memories of our days together. She was SO fun. We would watch our morning Nick Jr. shows together in the mornings and she would sing all the songs with me. We would play the organ together and sing along. I remember countless adventures out and about - we would walk to the library, the bakery for long john donuts, the V&S Variety store, and sometimes, we would go and "waste our money at Alco". And of course, I can't forget to mention the approximate one million times we probably watched Dirty Dancing together and I made her do the lift with me. She wasn't afraid to try new things with us either. One summer we got a 'Crocodile Mile Water Slide' and she didn't hesitate to give it a try.  She did, however, hesitate to try it a second time. 

As I grew older, very little in our relationship changed. She was still my best friend. She was still the person I knew I could turn to and always trust, who I could speak to without judgement, who loved me unconditionally and whom I loved unconditionally as well. She knew me better than anyone else. We still spent time together; trips to Aberdeen or Watertown, errands around town, adventures to Minneapolis as I got ready to leave for college, and just mundane time together together at home. 

She was always willing to go up to bat for us. If our feelings had been hurt, she was always more than willing to 'bitch slap' someone for us. It made us roll our eyes with love (like grown kids do) and laugh, but it was always appreciated when she asked if it was needed. It was her Momma Bear coming out, saying, "don't mess with my kids!". 

Mom loved music and I can attribute my oldies knowledge all to her. So many memories with her have a soundtrack of music on the radio. And her love for music was beyond the sound and the beat; she fell in love with songs because of the words. She always found the story in the song and perhaps that was why she was so passionate about having a copy of any song that she liked. Often times when I was home for a weekend, she would have a list of songs that she needed help finding on the internet so she could download them and listen to them whenever she desired. Another one of those things that would make me roll my eyes with love, but damn, I would give anything to have another afternoon with her, helping her search the internet for songs she could only remember a few words to. 

The mind is an awful grief support - it still hits like a ton of bricks that she's gone. There are days where it literally feels like I had amnesia and suddenly remember this awful, devastating fact.  I have missed her for 365 days now - not a day has passed that I haven't thought of her. Some days the memory comes and it just lingers in my mind and I make it through the day okay, but more often than not it comes with the most ginormous lump in my throat and pain in my heart that makes it feel like my world is standing still again. 

Everyone once in awhile, I'll hear myself and realize that I sound just like her.  It surprises me and makes me smile and breaks my heart at the same time. As time goes on, I realize that I am my Mother, something that we often joke about not wanting to happen. I've made that joke myself, but couldn't be more proud that I am her. She carried me into this world and gave me life; I have heard her heart beat from the inside. Her physical presence was my comfort for the first years of my life. Parts of me are parts of her - my soft heart, my sensitivity, my spirit, my intuition, the way I talk, and the way I laugh. And as I am 9 months pregnant with my first child, a little girl, I know that in the days, months, and years to come, I will see more and more of her in me and us, our relationship, in this next chapter of my life. I can only hope that I give my children the life and love that she gave me. That I am as patient as her and as fun and carefree as her. That my heart and smile are as warm as hers were for me. That they never question my unconditional love for them, as I never questioned her unconditional love for me. That they can find a best friend in me, just like I found my first and lifelong best friend in her. 

Momma, I hope you're at peace and happy, free of pain and suffering. That where ever you are is greater and more beautiful than anything you ever imagined. You're so loved and so missed here on Earth. I hope you know that you were a perfect Mom to us and I can't thank you enough for everything you did for me. I hope that we're reunited some day, but that in the mean time that I'll feel your presence eventually.

Friday, August 28, 2015

A year

I've missed her everyday since she passed away. Some days it's only the knowledge that she's not here and other days its the giant lump in the throat, elephant on my chest feeling. It's still suffocating, still so uncomfortable and painful and re-realize that she isn't here.

I'd had more of the later recently and it dawned on me that it was literally to the day that she had called and left me a voicemail and at one point said, "...everything is okay...", which in the moment that I listened to it, knew nothing was okay. That day was the downward spiral to losing my Mom.

It feels like yesterday and eternity at the same time. How could all that have happened? How is it even possible? I miss her every. single. day. I feel the emptiness every. single. day. I am motherless on this Earth and there is no replacement, nothing to fill that void. Everything is so different without her. I am different without her. A part of me still doesn't feel like me. There's a sadness and loneliness that I fear will just never go away. Sometimes I look at myself and that's all I can see and wonder if it will ever go away. My heart is so softened to others that have lost a parent and it pains me to know that they may feel this same grief. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

I am 5 months pregnant with her Granddaughter and I hate that I can't share any of this experience with her. I hate that she's not here. I have so many questions and things that I want to talk to her about. I want to hear all her stories from pregnancy. So many exciting things I want to tell her, ultrasound pictures that I want to show her. Things I need her advice on. And she's not here for any of it.

This will forever be the case. There will always be something that I want to share with her and want her to here for. Part of the reason why this grief will always be with me; I will always be reminded of her absence.

Friday, March 27, 2015

She's gone

I'm angry. SO angry. So mad. The emotional discomfort and the physical discomfort. It's unbelievable. I want to scream for her. WHERE ARE YOU?!?!

How could this happen? WHY did this happen?

Prior to her passing, I felt like I had a spiritual arousal. I had this confidence that I was not alone, that she was not alone, that there was something more, something bigger. That I was safe and she was safe. I read my daily devotional and felt so strongly that it was speaking to me. But now? I feel alone. I feel like that was just a temporary belief to get me through that part of this fucking nightmare. But now? I'm exhausted. I feel BETRAYED by it all. How could alllllll this shit happen and I feel no presence, no care, no relief? Was it all a false belief? Am I missing something here?

I had this belief that I would feel her presence. That she would be near me. But I feel NOTHING. Nothing. She's gone. She's gone. She's gone. She's gone. She's gone. She's gone. She's gone. She's gone. It goes through my mind, my thoughts, over and over again. And part of me thinks this is just how it is.

Maybe this is just a dark phase. Maybe I'll think otherwise in 3 a year...

Monday, December 1, 2014

When the world stands still

My world came to a screeching halt on September 6th. The brakes had been on for several weeks...Mom not feeling well, not feeling right, really rundown, blood work abnormal, CT Scan, masses, biopsy...

The phone call from Mom made everything come to a complete standstill.

"It's Stage 4 cancer."

Seriously? How is this even possible? This is not how my life is supposed to go. This is not how things should be. She's supposed to be here. This isn't fair. This is wrong. Why is this happening?

My heart is broken. Absolutely fucking broken. I'm out of breath, yet still breathing. There's a constant lump in my throat. I feel only brief and infrequent moments of weightlessness until I remember. Until I realize that one of my greatest fears in life is currently my reality. That nothing will ever be the same. That my Mother will soon leave this Earth. The woman that I have loved, adored and admired all 29 years of my life. The woman that gave me love, comfort, laughs, smiles, and so much more since before the day I was born.

Why didn't the fucking chemo do anything? Why couldn't she have experienced any relief AT ALL? Why has she had to go through so much pain and discomfort? Why did this all happen so fast? Diagnosed in September and hospice in November...really?

I try to see the silver lining, to have faith that this is part of God's plan, to believe that the best is yet to come for her, that her eternity is better and greater for her than her life here, than my selfishness to want her here so damn badly. But my heart hurts, my frustration and anger rage, and I cannot come to peace with this. I'm not sure that I ever will.

And I absolutely cannot handle the fact that the world still spins. I'm so angry that everyone can just go about their lives, that this doesn't affect them, too. How unfair is that? Talking about how great things are, how awesome everything is. About how they had such great time doing this or doing that. Maybe I'm most upset with those that I thought would be more sympathetic, the people that I thought would be checking in, offering support, just plain old asking. They aren't. Are they pulling away? Unaffected? Unable to handle their own feelings with this?

Even so, I can't shake the feeling, the realization that I am stuck. Stuck in this damn nightmare. There is false (or perhaps very little real) joy in celebration of anything. I will always have a scar on my heart, my soul even. Life events are now marked with "before Mom got sick or after Mom got sick" and will be marked with "before Mom passed or after Mom passed".

What will it be like when she's gone? What will the pain be like then? Surely it cannot be less than it is now. Will it be then that my world actually stops? And I will feel shattered instead of just 'broken'? I can barely stand this pain now, how can I possibly manage anything greater?

Monday, August 4, 2014


I've always had an itch to write. When I was little I wrote cute, adorable, creative stories. The kind that come out of my keepsake box and I thank heavens for my wonderful parents and grandparents that made my believe I should win a Pulitzer prize for my work.  In my awkward teenage years, I attempted to write a book. To date myself, I only saved it to a disk. No, not a CD, a disk. This was an attempt to shield it from all other eyes, heaven forbid my Mom would read it and get to the part where the girl finally gets kissed by her crush. Goodness... I think the story fizzled after that scene. And as far as I know I'm the only one that ever read it.

Fast forward to 20 some years later and I still get that itch. A yearning for a creative outlet so to speak (...especially since I can't draw, which is why architecture turned out to be my minor not my major). Sometimes I think I have intelligent, thought provoking things to say and other times I'm just curious if anyone out there cares to listen. I don't mean this in a dramatic way, just curiosity if my words have weight, if they could carry an audience.

And that is why I am here. To get creative. To share. To see what happens with this.

And as excited as I am about the potential of this, part of me is shy and nervous and embarrassed. If I expose myself here, who am I comfortable sharing this with? Only strangers? Only close friends? I mean, I literally just thought about telling my husband about this and was hit with a pang of embarrassment. Perhaps self confidence should be a future topic.

But what do I even want to talk about? Should my posts be deep and reflective, like my first post? Which maybe wasn't very deep and reflective or perhaps a little heavy for THE FIRST POST. Should I talk about fitness? Food? Should I keep it light and be humorous? How much should I share?

You'll probably hear a lot about my dogs because they are awesome, adorable, and I just cannot help myself from talking about them. Maybe you'll hear about my back and forth Paleo and not so Paleo diet. Or my evolving opinions on exercise and fitness. And maybe once I tell Hubby about all this I'll talk about him and our marriage, or maybe you'll hear about it up until I tell Hubby about it. Maybe you would enjoy 'day in the life posts'. Not that my days are CRAZY exciting, but I always find them entertaining. Perhaps I'll talk about my new quest to be totally fashionable or my quest to make my home adorable and put together.

No sense in trying to predict the future, I'll just see where this goes...

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Making : our master bedroom more romantic
Cooking : only if I cannot avoid it. Summer tends to leave me appetite-less and uninterested in food. Apparently I stocked up enough throughout the winter. 
Drinking : lots of h2o, iced coffee in the morning
Reading: Hardly. I just read the Sunday paper last night
Wanting: more time with my hubs and more leisure time
Looking: like I need a haircut
Playing: music
Wasting: daylight on finishing Season 2 of Orange is the New Black. I'm not sure if it's TRUE wasting though because I am cuddled up on the couch with the dogs. 
Sewing: Not sewing. 
Wishing: I didn't have to work
Enjoying: The weekends 
Waiting: for the weekends
Liking: the weather we've been having lately. Hot, but not unbearably so and not too humid
Wondering: What will come in the last half of the year... many exciting things on the horizon! 
Loving: My Starbucks water tumbler. It's amazing and I love it.  
Hoping: for a quiet and relaxing weekend
Needing: More snuggles in my life
Smelling:a banana peel that belonged to the banana I just ate
Wearing: Fitted black capris, black wedges and a white top with black polka dots. 
Noticing: that my left eye finally stopped twitching. 
Knowing: I have a bunch of things that I should get done around the house after work
Thinking: about napping after work today
Feeling: groggy and ready to be done with work for the day 
Opening: big files at work.