Aug 21, 2010 - 2:14 am
My mother was born April 19th 1954 in Damascus, Syria. She met my father in Syria in 1976. He was a Swedish military officer working in the Middle East for the UN. They had a classic "love at first sight" moment. My father went back to Sweden but they kept in touch. My mother joined a group of Syrian ladies traveling to England to learn more advanced English and from there she phoned my father. He went over to England, from Sweden, and proposed to her. They married on February 18, 1978 and again in Syria in March. My mother adapted to Sweden quickly and learned Swedish in 6 months. She got a job and two years later I was born. We lived in Sweden for over a decade until my mother was offered a job in the USA. We packed up and followed her. She had incredible success. She built a beautiful life for us in Tennessee. She worked hard and took pride in her family. She was responsible, generous and the very definition of self less. She was never interested in material things. She loved life and her family the most.
I wanted to give a background on my mother because her dying from cancer is such a "small" part. She led a full life. She died July 23, 2009 on a Thursday morning at 9am. 55 years young. My father and I were with her. She was in my arms as she took her last breath, as her heart took its last beat and as her turquoise blue eyes turned to glass. I whispered in her ear that "I love you and I will be with you soon". It is a moment I try not to re-live. I try to focus on her smile, her laughter and her zest for life. She was the most incredible woman. I feel so lost without her. We were very close. We worked together. We were also neighbors. She was my best friend.
Tonight I watched several home movies of us together. It tears my heart out but I want to see her and hear her voice. I touch the screen and lay my ears against the speakers. It feel like she is alive-I cannot imagine never seeing her again. I have moments where I pick up the phone to call her and it is bewildering to me when I realize that I cannot call her. We had such a good time together. I miss her wisdom and affection. I need her very much and I cannot understand why this is what the universe wanted for me... to live the rest of my life motherless.
Sometimes I feel punished. What did I do that was so wrong that my mother was taken from me. Sometimes I get so mad I don't know what to do with the anger except swallow. I understand I must find peace in my soul, acceptance and strength but for now they elude me.
I feel a pain in my heart that cannot be healed. I don't think I will ever "bounce back". I am forever changed. Until I follow my mother's path I will ache for her company. I will wish her back to life. I pray each night for her and for all the mothers out there fighting cancer. Loosing a mother is like a thick blanket of snow falling over your world and when the snow starts to melt nothing is the same as before. It is like the universe collapsing. It is as if the sun will never rise again.
Of course I can feel happiness but there is always something missing. Learning to cope with that missing feeling is difficult. It is inside me. I smile to the world but inside I miss someone very dear. Until I take my last breath I will miss my mamma in all of the wonderful moments life has to offer. It is sad but true. Coping, learning and letting time pass helps a little but it is always there.
My parents were married for 34 years. They kept their vows- until death do us part. My father is not the same. A lost soul. I want to help him but he is clammed up and only speaks about the fact that he is angry that the doctors failed my mother. He is hurting and there is nothing I can do. I feel helpless. My mother suffered for 9 months- from the day she was told she had cancer to the day she died was 9 months. You would think we had time to "prepare" but the doctors kept telling us her odds were good and she had a good chance of surviving. July 1st 2009 our doctor told us he felt that it was time to stop the chemo and start with hospice. She died 23 days later. In those 23 days she was heavily medicated and we never got much of a chance to talk to her about dying. My mother was always elegant and graceful and she kept that nature until her last breath. She was so brave. She accepted and died with dignity. It was the most incredible sight to behold. Watching my parents go through it made me appreciate them on a whole new level. I had never seen my father so committed and strong and I had never seen my mother so weak and frail. He was there for her until her last second of life. They were always in love but the love that I saw between them during my mother's fight with cancer was incredible. I am so proud of my mother and father.
I feel like not only did my mother get cancer but so did my father and I. Our family got cancer when my mother did. She suffered for 9 months and we suffered along side with her and we are still suffering from the loss. It feels good to know that she is free and not suffering anymore.
Memories of her are delightful. My childhood was a blessing. I was a lucky little girl. Very much loved and cared for. Memories of my mother come and go several times a day. A bird will land by the window or fly by me outside and I always think of her. The wind will blow against my skin and hair and it feels like her touch. The smell of freshly mowed grass was her favorite. I look for her still. I feel like she is coming home soon. She could not have left me. I saved all the notes, cards and letter she ever wrote to me- not sure why I did but now they are my most prized possessions. She wrote in one letter that our bond was so strong she could not imagine being able to live without me. I feel the same way. I have no idea how I am still living. I just wake up and try to live life, one day at a time.
She raised me to be strong and to be a good person. Right now I don't feel strong. It has been a year and 1 month since she passed. I feel like my grief is moving at a snails pace. It feels like just days have passed- not a full year. All the "firsts" without her passed by in sadness. Christmas was horrible and I am not sure I will be able to celebrate it for many more years to come. I am trying to be the strong person she wants me to be. I am tying to be the happy and loving person she wants me to be. I am trying to live my life as a "thank you" for all the hard work, time and love she invested in me. But I am hurting. I feel a depth of loss oceans cannot fill and the sky cannot cover. Dying is no longer a fear for me because I know she is waiting for me. When my time comes I want my family to rejoice for me. Once again I will see my beloved mamma.