Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Letter to Mom

I wrote this letter to my mom and read it at her funeral service on Sunday.

Dear Mom,

Nine months ago we started this journey together to conquer stomach cancer. Our faiths became entwined and we endeavoured into something that was bigger than both of us. I became your primary caregiver, your advocate,  and the rock you could always rely on. Together we went to every apppointment, scan, test, procedure, hospital visit and more.  We traveled all over the state exploring numerous options that could beat this. I shared our story to those all over the world in my blog and you have inspired so many in the process. We fought the drug companies, went head-to-head with the insurance companies, started a jewelry collection in your name to raise awareness for the disease and seeked answers on this rare genetic cancer in order to save others.

Nine months ago, even when you got sick and had to deal with the slew of side effects, complications and days in hospice....you were still one amazing mom. You worried about all my time off from my job, getting home safely in bad weather conditions (and making sure I call you once I got home), if I’ve eaten enough, each prenatal checkup, and my the baby’s well being as I physically carried you in your weakened state.

I vividly remember before any test was done to confirm my pregnancy, you came up a few inches to my face and looked me straight into my eyes and said “Babe -- you’re pregnant”. I remember blowing you off and telling you, “Mom, that’s silly, it’s much too soon”.

I remember you surprising me one day after your chemo treatment with a feast for us to eat.  You weren’t feeling well but remembered how I liked eggplant and rice and how S liked guyanese bakes. As a result -- you made enough food to feed an army.

Or the day when it all changed, and you decided to fight harder when I told you that you’d be a grandma. I picked you for chemo. You looked so happy, vibrant and there was a pep in your step. You wore your wig for the first time, put on your makeup and got all dressed up. You got in my car and said, “Today is a good day. I am happy. I’m going to be a grandma!”.

Even in your last days in the world, you looked at me and saw the gray hairs peeking through. You said to me, “You really should get that taken care of”. Mom you were amazing and there are just no words to even explain how great your were.

Mom , we were close to begin with before your diagnosis. But the last nine months, I feel like the love we had for each other took on a whole new level.  As painful as it was to endure all the pain and heartache, I cherish the last nine months.  We got to share so much including finding out your grandson’s name.

I know that you never saw me cry in front of you but it didn’t mean that I wasn’t hurting. I wanted to be that pillar of strength for you.  As I look back, I now know that it was meant to be that way. You needed me...and I needed to do all the things I did.

I want to tell you that I will be ok...and I will look over M  in your absence.


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