Monday, April 11, 2016

a year ago









It was a year ago this past week, that my dear mom, Mary Ann, went to Heaven.  But even as I feel physically, more like Snoopy up there in that photo, emotionally, I have felt peace.

My word, choose, was what I decided to use as my guide this past week.  I just wanted to be open, to feel what may come- grief, loss, sadness, and sit with it, then "choose," to let it all go.  Empty, to fill, with joy, with love, and peace.

I'm still in the throes of c-diff.  But Flagyl seems to slowly be knocking it back.  I still have a few days left of antibiotics, and will hopefully be able to rid myself of the bacteria completely. Food is a challenge, and energy elusive, but He sprinkles grace in all the ways that nourish me, despite what it may seem.

My friends put together a sign-up genius meal plan, and it's already close to full!  The very week, I can use a big dose of "motherly" love, is when comfort food starts streaming through my door.  My words to express the depth of what I feel, elude me, but my thanks-giving transforms into thanks-living, and I'm still numbering my gifts into the thousands, literally.  The food, the love, the ahhhs of my boys with stomach's full and in spite of what I lack to mother them, they are filled and then, so am I.  

It was infusion time, last week.  I was expecting I'd have chemo on Tuesday. Despite how I feel, I still need to keep cancer at bay.  Yet, as my stomach churned,  and I was running to the bathroom all morning, I was wondering how I would do this? 

Its my nurse, on Monday, and her gentle touch, and soothing tone, that begins the sprinkling of grace. She inserts the needle for blood work, as she tapes and smooths the ragged edges, and re-tapes the tubing, her eyes brimming with light and encouragement. Her hug wraps 'round me as she says goodbye, she sets the gentle tone for the week. She "mother's me," in a way, and I feel my own mother near.  I leave, more confident I am prepared for chemo the next day.

It's Erin, the PA I see, Tuesday. So many have reached out through email to me, asking about the latest news from Dr. P,  whose calendar is simply full.  I'm fighting against feeling like such a burden as a patient, in a system that is both first rate, and at full capacity at the same time.    

We breeze through the appointment that day, all things seem stable, and chemo is a go.  I'm quickly settled into my infusion room, and then Marissa, the artist, comes.  
I've always said if you choose, so often what you choose, comes to you. So this day, I'm choosing joy, instead of sadness and grief.

Marissa shows me my new project we had started.  (I'll show pictures when its done.)  But the process, of transferring this sunset photo onto a piece of wood, is soul soothing.  




And as we work, in and out, nurses, and providers, and smiles and energy flow past my door- as joy seeps into my heart, bathing it in a warm glow.  

~all shall be well~


Slowly, I'm more out of bed, than in bed.  Food starts to have taste again, and is more tolerated by my stomach.   

I'm greeted by these postcards, from my book club friends, who wrote to me from their last meeting place.  Thanks girls! 


I spent an entire day last week, reading through my old blog posts about my mom's last years of life.  And then I stumbled across this gem...


If ever anything surmised the true sass and wit of my mother, her the Lucy, me the Ethel- capturing the hilarity of that day and living it again, fills me so.  I can only imagine the shenanigans that began the day my mother entered her heavenly home.   




















26 comments:

  1. oh my goodness. so much on your plate, so to speak.... one thing leaped out and that was a reference to your lack of mothering. I am 100% positive that you are mothering your boys. You may not be making macaroni and cheese but you are giving them the best gifts anyone can give -- your love and selflessness are way more important that where last night's casserole came from. Hugs

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    1. Thank you Joan, for your kind words. I feel so vulnerable so much of the time, and have so heavily depended on my husband and sons for the most basic care for awhile. Thank you for the reminder that mothering can take many forms- that truly touched me- hugs back to you!

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  2. Vicky.. so glad you checked in. I'm sure everyone wants to help out on that meal list because you are such a great person. You continue to be in my prayers.

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  3. On the road, so this will be brief. We only have one mother, and the loss will always be present. But ... it is a comfort, a lovely thing, when we can be mothers (or sisters) to one another and provide TLC when it's most needed.

    I am so thankful that you're feeling a bit better xxc

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    1. You always speak right to my heart- so wise and real. Love following your travels- hope this one is both safe and fun as well.

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  4. it feels like every day is full of so much choosing for you, honey. you are choosing well, though, and i'm hoping all shall be well. finished reading Gitz's book over the weekend. you are following her example.

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    1. That is such a huge compliment to me! If any part of what I try to do looks like I am following her example then all is right with my world! xoxo

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  5. Oh my sweet Soul Sis,
    I am at once laughing and crying after reading your Lucy and Ethel post. Oh my goodness gracious, what a video clip that would be. And as I read through the comments on Lucy and Ethel, there was one from your/our precious Gitz. It made my heart smile to see her there.

    I remember so well the first anniversary of losing my Mom, that week a flood of memories. The mothering of others, the kindness shown was balm to my soul. And God Bless those dear friends of yours and their wonderful sign-up meal plan. Oh how I wish I could fly into Moorhead with my artichoke-chicken dish, kiss your sweet forehead and remind you that you are never, and I mean NEVER, a burden as a patient or in any other way. You can not know, or begin to fathom, how many gifts you give to others, just by sharing your journey. You matter so, my dear friend, you matter so, so much!!

    So today, as in every day, I am praying and asking God to draw you close, to help you feel better each day, to give you a rainbow of HOPE about good times ahead.
    And I am sending you buckets and buckets of pure old fashioned LOVE!

    To the moon and back, always...my special soul sis! To the moon and back!
    Love Linda

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    1. Flooded with memories- yes exactly- and a swell of emotions of all kinds. You always articulate the very things I sometimes struggle to put into words! I always feel your heart, your love, everything- no matter the miles and distance. So grateful for you!! Love you!

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  6. Hard to believe it's been a year already. Having also lost my Mom (and my granddaughter's daddy) in April, I know the feeling.

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    1. I'm so sorry for your losses! Hugs to you and prayers for peace and comfort as you go forward.

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  7. My heart aches to think of you so sick with c-diff and lo gong for your mama on top of the daily battle that is cancer. I'm grateful you freely shared your mom and your dad with us so we could know and love them too and it was hard to see Maryamm's smiling face and to not think of it there with you. But her indomitable spirit sure shines on in you,Vicky. And your father's warmth and joy and twinkle are ever present as well.

    I'm glad mothers mothered you just when you needed it most. What would we do without those dear friends who show up and save us in the midst? Thank you, God, for compassion and willingness. And thank you for dear Vicky's recovery from C-diff. May it continue and may she feel the love of all who treasure her. Sending you a big squishy mama hug and a gentle "there, there" from my heart. It's never far from you. Love you.

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    1. I feel you friend. Those ever present prayers said for me and I always feel like so many of them are heard and answered. My heart is very near yours as well- as you keep moving through such a heavy and hard time right now. Your own Mom, is one lucky, blessed, lady. You are such a grace-filled woman! I imagine you are "choosing" on a daily if not hourly basis at times and I pray you have strength enough to find peace and closure in the end. So much love to you!!!

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    2. Boy, Vicky. Do you ever get it. I sometimes choose with both heels dug in and fingernails clawing to hold on to the nearest anchor that will hold me from slipping in that direction. But there IS no one else so, onward, and I let go. Thank you for loving me and truly understanding. You know why this is nearly impossible but, as you SO CLEARLY have demonstrated day after day and year after year, the impossible is achieved all the time. Missing you and thinking of you in the middle of the night here in California. Thank you. XOXO

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  8. "Gong" is supposed to be "long". Typing in the tiniest font at 2am in the dark, in bed and I can't see anything. Can't help but think Maryann would have laughed!

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  9. I love the way you take an anniversary of loss and turn in into something positive. There is love and joy at every turn if we choose. Thanks for the reminder.

    Oh, your sweet mom. I can't believe it's been a year.

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    1. Me either Kass, a year already. Truthfully, I wasn't always surrounded by positivity growing up, and so I really work to keep it at the forefront- it enriches my life so much. It's not always easy- but remembering I can choose- makes it worth it!

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  10. When I got to the parts of this post that mentioned the love-feeling that comes from being mothered....you nearly took my breath away.

    I believe that kind of love comes from God. We know it when we experience it. And that kind of love helps us get well, doesn't it? Just feeling cherished. Listened to.

    I told you that our small group is reading CHOOSE JOY, right? It's bringing some beautiful discussions. Thank you for your part it in.

    Thank you for showing us all how to choose joy.

    I love you~

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  11. Hi Vicky it is Cinner popping in to say hi. I was sorry to hear about your Mom. I have beeen reading your posts... I am inspired by you so much. yOU Have been in my thoughts and prayers. all the best Vicky to you and your family.

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  12. Vicky, I too, cannot believe it has been a year since your mother's passing. Unbelievable. I lost my mama in April 2005 and my father in April, 1999. April is not my favorite month. I know you were a daddy's girl, but oh how I miss my mama. Do we ever outgrow the need of our parents?
    I am glad to hear you are feeling better, bit by bit. My prayers continue for you that you find joy and peace of mind in all your days.

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  13. How do you do it? I sit here with tears in my eyes wondering "How does Vicky do this?"....and I know that you are strong in the Lord, and you are strong as a Mother and wife. With all those things going for you, I realize how you do it....how you get through day by day, and I want you to know that I hold you in the highest regard, my sweet friend. The highest.
    I love your Mama. I look forward to seeing her face to face in Heaven....along with your dear Daddy. I've never met them, but I know them through you. I've never met you, but I know you through the Lord. Sending you love....and praying for you right this very moment.
    Love you,
    Jackie

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  14. Thinking of you Vicky. Praying God's Spirit over you!
    XOX

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  15. Vicky,
    We are praising God that Amy and Annora are both alive after a very difficult c-section. Annora is in the NICU and Amy hasn't held Annora yet and is so, so sad and worried. Please keep them both in your prayers!
    Love you friend!
    Linda

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  16. Praying for you this morning, my dear soul sis!
    I'm asking God to give you strength and HOPE and peace in all circumstances.
    I am grateful beyond words for your love and friendship.
    Love always, to the moon and back!
    Linda

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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