Friday, April 25, 2014

Just one of those days....

So today is the day that every month I dread.  The 25th... every month like clockwork I am more emotional, irritable, and sad on the days leading up to this day.  I try to tell myself that I need to be happy, and that I have so much to be happy for- which I do.  But I also have to give myself a break.  Grief has no timeline.  I can go weeks and feel fine and then all of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks.  That is how grief works...

We are going through the motions after my son's eye surgeries- getting check ups and making sure that everything is on point. I had "one of those days" and  I broke down and just said out loud- "I want my MOM!" and just sobbed and sobbed.  Luckily a facebook post caused my dear friend to reach out to me because she knew something was wrong. I was thankful for our talk- but she understood that in that moment, I just wanted to hear my Mom say- "you are doing a great job, and its going to be ok!"  She always knew just the right thing to say to make me feel better.

I am sure I am not alone in this- and I know that God understands that I am going to have those days.  The good thing about it all- is I don't stay that way.  I get it out of my system, usually have a good cry, and then I feel better. I pray and believe for God to continue to pour His Peace into my life.
This truly is a journey.  I have learned so many things that I feel will change my life forever. 

This is my top 10 list of things I have learned....

1.  Mom's really are the "glue" that holds the family together.

2.  We take advantage of the little things- a text, an average everyday phone call - and don't realize the value until we no longer have it.

3.  Enjoy each day- it sounds so cliche- but every day is truly a gift.  We are not promised tomorrow.

4.  I am a lot stronger than I ever gave myself credit for.

5.  Sometimes death brings people closer- and most times it pushes them further away.

6.  God allows visits from Heaven through dreams. (my favorite)

7.  Friends are God's way of taking care of us :)  (not my quote)

8.  Wearing my Mom's clothes make me feel closer to her (may be silly but it works for me)

9.  It's ok to cry and be sad for as long as I need to - its normal and I am not alone.

10.  Talking about my Mom  makes me feel better.

I have good days and bad days- even over a year later.  On my bad days, you can almost bet that you will see me in my Mom's boots and sweater, t-shirt or carrying her purse.  If you are grieving, do what makes you feel better.  Find someone who will listen to you talk about your loved one- that is all they have to do - LISTEN.  When I talk about my Mom often it is about her LIFE- not her death.  At this point in my journey, I talk about my Mom all the time- to anyone and everyone who will listen.  I think if nothing else, talking about your loved one is the best therapy you can receive.

Be Blessed!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spreading the light

I heard a quote last week that really touched me.....
"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle,
or the mirror that reflects it." ~Edith Wharton
What an awesome thought- I was thinking about this and then it hit me... my Mom is the candle and I am supposed to be the mirror that reflects the light!  I have heard so many people say that my Mom's story has touched them in some way. I have had many people tell me she was such an inspiration and a blessing to them.  I personally know two people that have quit smoking partly because my Mom had lung cancer - so I feel my Mom helped save two lives as well.
I want to spread awareness- so people will realize that ANYONE can get lung cancer.  I want people to realize that if they have any kind of pain or sickness they need to go get checked out! My Mom's started with lower back pain, and the just thought she was getting old (her words) at 49 yrs old. She had a bad cough- but she was a cough comes with the territory.   I want to shake people when I see them smoking, show them a picture of my Mom in 2011 and then in 2013 and say- are you sure you want to put that cigarette in your mouth!?  I don't want to do it out of judgement, but out of love. Lung cancer does not get that much attention, as it was once told to me- because their are not many survivors/advocates. I could share so many scary statistics but I will save that for another day. 
Since I would probably go to jail for shaking people- :)  I joined the committee for the first Lung Love Walk with the Lung cancer Alliance in Houston that will be happening in November of this year.  It makes me feel good to know that I am working to raise awareness and support.
This is an opportunity to shine the spot light on lung cancer awareness. This is my way of being the mirror and moving forward- I will participate in the planning as well as the walk itself.   Honoring my Mom's memory is just another step in my grief process and my "new normal" life.  
I will be sharing more details about the walk  in the near future -for now I ask that you pray for me in the coming months that I will be the mirror and that our walk will be a huge success and make Mom proud!
Be Blessed!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Never Once.....


There is a song by Matt Redman called "Never Once"

here is part of the chorus....

~Never once did we ever walk alone...
~Never once did you leave us on our own...
~You are Faithful God- You are Faithful....

Some of you may remember that I did a video about Mom's cancer success when she
was declared NED (No Evidence of Disease) in February 2012.  This is the song that I used
because it seemed to perfectly describe Mom's journey. I love this song because it talks about looking at how far you have come, and the knowing that God was with you every step of the way.

Now this song has a new meaning to me.  Of course I will always have the memory of the video, but now- this song reminds me how God has been with me through my grief.  God has not left my side since I heard my Mom say the word "cancer".  He has held me many tearful nights, and when I felt that I couldn't stop the pain, my heart would never stop aching He was always there.  He gave me the strength to stay positive and truly have faith that He can do all things according to HIS will.

He has been with me every step of my journey as well.  Learning to live without your Mom is far more difficult than I could ever have imagined.  It is so true what they say you don't know how much you miss someone until they are gone. I look at her photos and I can't believe - even now that I will no longer be going to her house for the holidays, or getting ready for her visits.  We used to do countdowns to visits... 20 more days Mom, 10 more days, 5 more days!  We would be so excited to see each other.  I do not know the countdown of the days until we are reunited, but I am sure my Mom is keeping track.

Without Faith- I could not have made it this far.  I know that never once have I walked alone.  God is always right there- quietly encouraging me to take one more step, and another....and another.

Here is my favorite part of the song.....

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone!

My son and I sent her balloons and flowers last week for her 1st Angelversary in Heaven.  My son loved the thought that he can still send his Mimi messages and gifts for her special days.  I miss her so much - but I know Mom is not alone in heaven....and I am never alone on earth.  I am so thankful for that.

For those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their STRENGTH, they will SOAR on wings like Eagles, they will RUN and not grow weary, they will WALK and not faint.
Isa. 40:31

Be Blessed!