My mother, Linda Marie, has spent the last six years battling cancer. Started out as breast cancer, then moved on to her lungs, and eventually it was everywhere. Six weeks ago, she ended up in the hospital, after a fall, and we were given the devastating news that she would be placed under hospice care and told that she had two weeks to six months to live.
Of course I didn’t believe that…we didn’t believe that. The doctors didn’t know our mother, who could fight and had fought with the best of them and won. We are upbeat, all yeah we’re going to beat this thing, she’d be up and telling us all what to do soon enough, and as much as we’d hope and prayed, that didn’t happen, and she passed last Wednesday morning and was laid to rest yesterday.
Hard to find the words to say what she meant to me. I was raised by my grandmother, age one, don’t remember my birth mother, just my grandmother, and Linda who took me in at the end of my eighth-grade year, to finish raising me, along with her three children. Said she saw something in me. Just learned that from one of her dear friends.
We used to laugh at my little girl self, packing my limited supply of clothes in one brown paper bag, and running away, `cause I didn’t have to listen to her. She wasn’t my mother, not my real one anyway. As it turns out, she was the best mother I could have had. College and throughout my life, she’s been a steady, constant, and guiding presence. We talked just about everyday about things both big and small.
Always encouraging and proud of me. I knew that, she told me that often, and I told her what she meant to me. She knew. So that knowledge makes the loss a little easier to bear.
I feel a profound sense of gratitude for the part she played in my life and an equally profound compulsion to move forward, to not take life for granted. To take some chances on things I’ve been too frightened to do in the past, `cause if not now, when?
And lastly, I reminded to love those around you, let them know you care while you have the time, as life and living is not at all promised.
Love you Granny! Always!