There’s been quite a lull in posts, I realize.  There’s good reason for that.  My mom, who has been fighting cancer for almost 2 years now, has been in the hospital for the past two weeks dealing with chemo side effect bowel issues.  She had to have surgery, and while things looked good for a few days, she suffered a major setback last week when she developed a leak in that area where her intestine was re-sectioned.   Things looked bad.  Really bad.  Like, this may be goodbye bad.  I will tell you the end of the story here so as to spare you the “to be continued” drama because that’s well and good for literary suspense, but this is my mom, you know?  So I’m not doing that.  At this point, it appears that the leak has healed, which really is miraculous, considering how bleak things seemed due to the cancer cells in her abdomen making healing difficult.  So for now, we are “cautiously optimistic” as it were.

Here is something I learned from this:  I have never experienced the level of emotional pain I felt this past week ever before.  Not even close.  I literally felt as if I were drowning.  Once I started crying, I couldn’t stop.  I physically couldn’t get a handle on myself so I just let it out until I was too exhausted to continue.  Sleep eluded me as vivid childhood memories came flooding back.  The way I used to snuggle with my mom and nuzzle my nose into her neck, which always smelled like Shalimar.  The time she sat on a bench outside the entrance to “The Whizzer” at Great America, and prayed with me for courage, as I was stuck between a desire to ride a roller coaster, and sheer terror.  Some of our horrible fights, including the one where I screamed an obscenity in her face, then took off running because I knew she’d slap me good for that one.  Standing for alterations on all of the many dresses and other clothing items she made for me and usually getting poked by the pins.  Trying on her jewelry…most times without her permission.  The time she taught me how to use a curling iron.  The way she cared for and comforted me when I was sick.  The shopping trips we would take together.  The way I never was embarrassed to hold her hand, even when I was a teenager.  The time she came to surprise me at college when I was really down and needed my Mommy.  Helping her in and out of her chair when her fibromyalgia got really bad.  So many more.  So many.

When she was diagnosed with cancer, I came to understand the mortality of my parents for the first time.  Up until that point, there was a silent expectation that both of them would always be around.  But the reality of actually losing my mom became very possible last week, and it was awful.  I could not rise above the grief.  I do not want to feel that again, but I know I will at some point.

Thank you, Lord, for letting Mom stay with us for now.

Keep fighting, Mommy.  We’re all in your corner.

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