My Mom had breast cancer and it took her from me in 1999.
I first realized it was the beginning of the end In April when the cancer came back (she’d had a bout with it in December of 1998) way to quickly. She managed to keep a stiff upper lip and to smile and joke through it all until the pain got to bad. I had a “date” with her that Thursday and she wasn’t home.. her car was, but she wasn’t. Eventually, I found out that she had been taken to the hospital in a nearby city. I arrived there to see her and talk with her doctor. He was very uncomfortable with her confusion and wanted to have a brain scan done.
Permission given.. my brother and I found out that the cancer had spread to her brain. It was everywhere like pepper!! And.. she was dying..
She gave me six weeks to learn to cope with losing her.. but it wasn’t enough. I bargained with God on a daily basis for one more day.. one more hour.. anything to keep her with me for one more moment.
She was a little woman.. only stood about 5’2" but she managed to occupy my entire being for over 50 years. How was I going to be able to go on without her wit.. her sarcasm.. her hugs and triple kisses.. how??
I noticed her slipping away, inch by inch. She always thought I was there, just outside her room even when I wasn’t…. the disease did that..
One moment.. it was WW II.. the next it was Vietnam.. she bounced back and forth through the pages of her life.. sometimes angry and sometimes sad. In a way, the disease was a blessing in disguise.. she never remembered being told that she was dying. She’d assumed that she had to be hospitalized because of the cancer treatment. There was no treatment.. they were merely keeping her comfortable while God took His time destroying her.
The hardest part, for me, was letting go. I arrived at the cancer home on a Monday afternoon a few weeks later and she was in a coma. Her body was there.. but, I’m not sure where she was. The rumor is that the hearing is the last to go.. I cried.. and whispered in her ear that she could let go now.. I’d be alright (I’m a lousey liar)..
She passed quietly on Wednesday morning at 2:10 AM June 23rd (funny how I remember that) and my life was changed forever. I couldn’t draw tor 2 years.. ended up seeing a psychiatrist for 2 years and now I’m better able to handle it. I still miss her.. guess I always will.. but I carry her in my heart now.. so I’m never without her anymore.