It's always so difficult to write posts such as these at my blog, but this one so far has been the most difficult of all. Last Saturday, around 7:45 PM, my mom, Daria passed away from cancer at the age of 64. It's hard to believe I'm sitting here writing about this now, and she's not here anymore. She's been sick for a while but seemed to bounce back for a while since she was diagnosed with breast cancer about four years ago. My mom was never one to complain about how she was feeling and never wanted to worry anyone. She always put everyone else's needs before hers, especially those of her family's. Sometimes, she worried about us far more than she needed to, but that was just how she was. We knew things were getting worse when she did start complaining about lots of pain in recent months, but never knew just how truly bad it was.
Up until a week ago, Kris and I were seriously looking forward to a nice Thanksgiving spent with my parents and my brother and his family in Pennsylvania. Things took a sudden turn for the worse a little over a week ago when my mom was blacking out and feeling awful all over. My dad promptly took her to the ER where they ran some scans and tests. The results indicated the cancer had spread rapidly to her bones and liver. She was soon on life support and fought hard her first two days at the hospital. We were fortunate enough to be able to talk with her and see her see us with her eyes still open, while she was still somewhat able to respond. On her third day she was no longer responding but her breathing was much more peaceful. The last time I got to see her and spend quality time with her was when her and my dad visited us in Leesburg late last August. It was the highlight of my summer, and we all had a lot of fun that weekend (photos above). She even sounded pretty good when I called her a couple of weeks ago and she "talked my ear off" (as she'd always say). I think she knew something even then however, but didn't want any of us to worry too much.
I've got a feeling my mom probably could have gone a lot sooner, with her heart also being bad, but she hung in there for her grandsons (my nephews), now two and five, who gave her lots of joy. I know they're going to miss her badly, as all of us will. I've been going back and forth between feelings of anger, sadness and acceptance these last few days, and fortunately we've got lots of good people around us to keep our spirits up. I know we're all going to lose it when she gets buried on Wednesday though. Looking at the bright side, my mom was very well taken care of and loved, and she went peacefully at a facility that was superb with the kindest staff you could ask for. It will be toughest for my dad, who just celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary with my mom, and who recently told my brother and I how he would fall more in love with her with each passing year. I know we all have to stay strong for him, more than anything. I know my mom and our love for her will always be with us, in our hearts, and I know she would want us to continue to live, thrive and be happy. These words don't begin to do her justice, but they're better than nothing.
In the meantime, I'm going on a brief blogging hiatus for now, but will return in December. I'm hoping that, whether you and your family and friends celebrate Thanksgiving or not, you take the time to see what's most important in life and have fun and take a moment to tell them how much they mean to you.