Each day I look at your picture: A Tribute to Mom
Born April 22,1943 in Sioux City, Iowa mom was the fourth of fourteen siblings, that was born to Ruth and Henry. Raised on a farm the family worked hard to put food on the table and provide for their children. They would warm the tiny little one bedroom home with a wood burning stove to keep the family warm. As the family grew they were moved to the attic and mom would tell us that it was icy cold in the winter. The siblings would sleep side-by-side to keep warm and rush downstairs in the morning to keep themselves warm while they were getting ready for school. Grandma would boil water and the children would take baths in a large metal bucket. From oldest to youngest they would bathe quickly before the water turned cold.
Out of the fourteen siblings we have lost Aunt Katherine ( Ovarian cancer), Aunt Nina(Stomach cancer), Uncle Clyde ( Skin Cancer), and our mother Rita ( Breast cancer). Cancer runs high in our family and it appears that all of us at some point in our lives, could be diagnosed with the deadly disease. My sister was diagnosed in 2010 after mom passed away and is currently in remission.
Cancer does not care if you are young or old. It does not care if you have family or not, its a disease that is killing millions each year. If not caught early the odds are it will be deadly and the families will suffer the loss of a family member.
The two-year anniversary of mom passing away will be marked on August 21. In the past two-years there have been moments of joy and sorrow. Moments of realization that she is no longer with us and then sadness turns to anger when we can't talk everyday or her laughter is now a faded memory.
The process of grieving varies from person-to-person. While some move on within months, others can take years. Being a person who is still grieving, I realize now that losing a parent is a journey. A journey into finding out who you are, why you are here and where you are going.
We feel abandoned, alone and while others are celebrating the holidays with their parents or family members we can't wait for it to end.
The poem was written as a part of my healing. A memory that was given and is now etched in my mind. Stored away for another day or time. To the mom who wiped my tears, taught me how to blow my nose and told me to keep my dress below my knees. She was the mother who taught me my first prayer and panicked when I had a first boyfriend. She would show up in curlers when I missed curfew and would be there through my struggles as an adult and mother. Although mom was a disciplinary, when I grew older she became my best-friend.
Each day I look at your picture, I see a smile upon your face
It's been two-years, I miss your laughter and warm embrace.
I remember the last time that I touched you, and felt your breathe
upon my cheek.
Your eyes how they faded, your skin was gray and drawn,
we new Cancer would take you and then you would be gone.
The memories that I have of you, are deep within my heart, and
I knew when God took you it was going to break my heart.
They say times heals all broken hearts, but I've had a rough time
getting through and starting the day anew.
You told me when I asked you, " Why do you have to leave?" You said,
"you will be alright, but yet I still grieve".
I am still trying to understand, why God had to call you home.
The laughter, the talks, are now etched in my memory and I feel
so all alone. I know one day mom, I will see you and all will be just
For now I will try hard to put a smile upon my face, for I know Jesus
has you and gets your warm embrace.
As I write this poem with love from me to you, tears flow from eyes
because I really miss you.
I know however we are not far apart, my heart is still beating and
you gave me life from the start.
I love you mom.
On August 21,2010 it will be two years since God called mom home. There are moments when realization hits me and all of us can't believe she is not with us. The tears I have cried used to be daily and now they come sporadically. Feeling angry, hurt, betrayed are all of the feelings we go through when we lose our mother's, especially when we believe they did not get enough time while here on Earth.
Cancer is a deadly disease. The estimated amount of lives lost through 2012 is 1,638,910 men and women will die through 2012. Of the 1,638,910,(848,170 will be men), (790,740 will be women). The Cancer's will come in all forms and effect all ages and races as reported by Seer. When we look at the statistics mom is only a small seed of the thousands of women who will lose their lives to this disease.
Mother's who have young children, older children and grand-children. We have to continue to fight this disease until there is a cure. When looking at the statistics the deaths are staggering, with all the money raised there has to be a cure.
If you have lost a mother, its the most heartbreaking experience a child can go through. We will never feel their touch, hear their laughter or feel their breath upon our cheek.
If your mother is fighting for her life, be supportive and cherish every moment you have with her. Some will survive and others will lose their lives; not because they are not fighting but the disease can move rapidly. Embrace every moment, cherish every second and build all of the precious memories while you can.
If you are grieving, it can take months or even years don't rush through and believe its abnormal for you to cry. There will be many who have cried years after their loss.
Write about your loved one, share pictures and moments, express your thoughts which is good for the healing process. Writing the poem above has enabled me to get through the pain. It may take months for me to read those words again; but they are a form of healing.
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