AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape
TITLE: Right now, today
DATE: 6/17/2008 06:00:00 PM
Christopher has been baptized. Sunday, his Nana stood in front of the congregation with us and baptized her youngest grandson.
I honestly didn't think that we would get to see this day. I didn't think my mom would be here for this day.
My momma and I had good conversations last week. There is something about a daughter becoming a mother that makes the grandmother/mother and mother/daughter bond even stronger. I feel closer to my mother than I ever have before.
While we were talking last week, I realized that I've spent an awful lot of time and energy on being sad for my parents' health. Granted, they rarely get good news when they go to the doctor, but so far, neither of them have been told that they were going to die that same day.
Susan's post, A moment spent moping, really hit home. It's not just the patients who are angry at cancer or spend their time wishing for the "what could have been's" of a different diagnosis. As the daughter of an ovarian cancer patient and a Parkinson's patient, I do the exact same thing.
What this means is that I have spent the past six years mourning the loss of my parents over and over and over again. Every time there is a new diagnosis, I mourn.
That seems like a complete waste of time now.
Each day that I still have them is a gift.
In all honesty, it doesn't always feel that way. Each day that I still have my mother is a gift, but some of the days with Daddy are down right hard. I have so much anger for what has been taken from him and from us. It is harder to apply the "each day is a gift" to a disease which erodes my father's mind and body in waves of dust and huge chunks of his life.
Her scans are not clean. Her ca125 is rising again. She will start chemo again, maybe this fall.
And I can type that without crying. Finally.
Momma is still here. She is still fighting. She is still winning. Right now.
Every minute I spend thinking ahead at what she will miss is a minute I've spent not enjoying her while she's here.
She was here to meet my child. She was here to hold my child. She was here to baptize my child. All things that I had mourned the loss of in 2002 when she was diagnosed with stage 3B ovarian cancer.
Sure. My momma is going to die much sooner than I would like for her to, and we all know it. The knowing makes it hard. But would there be a time in my life when I wouldn't be devastated to lose her? She could be 97 years old and I would still be heartbroken when she passed.
So today I vow to stop mourning my parents before they are gone. It's not fair to them, and it's not good for me.
That also means, Momma, that you have to stop labeling all your stuff all the time too. I may love your pewter goblets, but I don't want them anytime soon.
Labels: Cancer, Daddy, Grief, Momma, My Life, Parkinson's
DATE:Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 6:28:00 PM EDT
beautiful post, M.
i'm trying desperately to wrap my head around the "live for the moment" idea but my mom is just falling apart under the weight of her diagnosis and i am unravelling myself with the fears of what is to come... i just had no idea how much grieving there was to this, and i don't know how to help her which is the hardest part. she's pushing me away right now saying you just don't understand, and i guess i really don't (how can i?) but i am pretty sure what she's doing now isn't good for her and how can i get her to believe in HOPE and live for right now, today? i'm so lost.
DATE:Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 6:48:00 PM EDT
I love this. Good for you, Canape. I like to see you more positive.
It's not easy ... on either side ... but all you can do is try.
Jen -- my heart goes out to you today. I think it's very very hard to learn to put the sadness aside. How long has your mom had to mourn? She may need a few days; she may need more. And while it's true you don't understand, and I think you both know that, it's wonderful that you're there. What about if you started with "I know I don't understand, Mom, but I want you to know that I love you and I'm here for you." Then just sit with her one day. Go with her to treatment if she's having any. Bring a book, your knitting, or a picture album that you always wanted to go through with her. Keep her company, right where she is.
Just some ideas -- I'm not a professional. Is there a professional at your mom's hospital who works with families who could help you both with perspective? There's a lot out there....
AUTHOR: Andria and Co.
DATE:Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 7:26:00 PM EDT
What a great post. I too spend too much time sometimes in the past, and fearing the worst. Like Jen said, I'm trying to wrap my head around living for the moment.
Lol at the labeling bit-- My mom is one of 7, and at my Grandma's house, if you flip over any random object you will find a name scrawled in pencil or pen.
DATE:Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 8:00:00 PM EDT
Every minute you sit there coulda-shoulda-woulda-ing is one less that you could be doing something to make the people involved happy. Like your folks, who're alive and functional btw. And yourself. By calling them on that telephone thingie that us 30-somethings trashed long ago in favor of Mr. Qwerty. Or doing whatever else twists your tootsie rolls and those of your parents.
Kick this pity stuff to the curb, Mar-tay. Worthless. Now or anytime. Absolutely, totally, completely worthless. Love on your folks and family and forget the rest of whatever it is you waste time worrying about.
Hugs, kisses, & baseball-
DATE:Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 8:11:00 PM EDT
Not only is this such a touching post, all the comments are as well. My mother is a breast cancer survivor and I often forget how easily I could have lost her. Especially with her living so far away, it was easy to put it all out of my mind. When my folks visit, I worry about their future - how they handle their money and their health. It's hard to just be grateful they are here and my kids have relationships with them.
DATE:Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 8:26:00 PM EDT
Hey, on a brighter note, where are the BAPTISM PHOTOS? I wanna see some yummy baby pics!
DATE:Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 10:35:00 PM EDT
Thanks for what you wrote, precious daughter of mine. I do, indeed, live for today. It's what I know we have, but I also think about the what if's and the things I know to be true about this terrible disease. I think about Dad and want to scream at the injustice of it all. Being with you, holding my youngest makes me think about the future even more--not the one with a family member missing, but one with all of us present, remembering memories of old and making some of our own, those you will share with your grandchildren. Dad and I are blessed beyond measure!! And we know it!
DATE:Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 10:52:00 PM EDT
Hi there Mrs. S! Hope you are good. Northpointe is not the same without you guys there. :)
DATE:Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 2:42:00 PM EDT
Great post! I'm glad you are trying to stop mourning now. You are right, you'll never be really ready to lose a parent. Enjoy them now. Losing my mom was the hardest thing I've ever been through, but I'm thankful for the things we did experience together.
My grandma does the labeling too ;)
AUTHOR: Daily Verses
DATE:Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 11:10:00 PM EDT
Very inspiring perspectives, from everyone.
AUTHOR: mamma knows
DATE:Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 12:47:00 PM EDT
The unknown is so scary, enjoy them. Great post.
DATE:Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 3:57:00 PM EDT
No one knows what tomorrow holds and we all would be better off if we could live for today...but it is hard when you KNOW your tomorrows are limited. I hope you can stop mourning them before their time....its a beautiful though and a gift for them and for your son.