Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dear Mommy.

13 years ago on this day you lost your battle with breast cancer. Well, actually it happened on the 16th, but we laid you to rest on the 19th...and that was the day that it hit home with our little family.

Everything changed.

Daddy became a single parent; overwhelmed, lonely, and lost without you there to be with him. He had devoted every fiber in his being to fighting the cancer that threatened to take away what mattered most to him for 12 long years and suddenly...there was nothing. All he had worked for was for naught. Nothing mattered to him because he had lost his purpose. Daddy had no idea how to live a normal life, a life where chemo treatments, i.v. drips, and month-long stays at the hospital don't exist. He spent hours sleeping, resentful and angry at God for taking away what he loved the most.

I truly believe that there are two kinds of people: those who have more than one person that they can love, and those who are meant to be with one - and ONLY one person. You and Daddy were the latter - true soulmates in the deepest meaning of the word. You clung to each other, depended on each other, and had the most amazing level of trust that most of us can only hope to someday achieve with our spouse.

There was never a question of how much Daddy loved me - sometimes he loved me too much. Once you were gone, I was all he had left, and it terrified him that he might lose me too. I can't even imagine what he went through the nights I was at college, or in Europe, or alone on a business trip to Canada. Mommy, you were the yin to his yang, the calm balance to his brilliant imagination, and without you around he had no outlet or confidante to go to.

But Daddy wasn't the only one whose whole life changed, when you left it affected me too. The only memories I have before the big C became a part of our life are vague and misty, like a faded Polaroid picture left in the sun too long. Grandma showed me countless pictures of you as a chubby, glowing child, and a beautiful lithe teenager. You were the always the level-headed one, but with a fiery brilliance, she told me.

Growing up, I was awed by you ability to hold your own in any conversation, your dry humor and sarcasm could bring anyone into submission. I know you should have gone to medical school, but instead got your degree and worked at a laboratory so you could spend more time with Daddy and I. Then, when the doctor said the words "breast cancer", you sacrificed any career you may have had to spend time at home with me.

You could have given up countless times, after every painful round of chemo, every bone marrow transplant, every time your hair fell out...but you didn't. Mommy, you fought with everything you had, until you just couldn't do it anymore. I can't even imagine the physical pain you went through, although sometimes I lay awake at night listening to you moan in agony because the cancer was eating you away from the inside.

But through it all you never strayed from your faith, or your steadfast commitment to stay with Daddy and I as long as you could. I never questioned how much you loved us, because you showed me every single day.

Even though I don't really resemble you (or Daddy) physically, you gave me your stubbornness, your sarcasm, and your strength. But more than those, you gave me something that no one can ever take away from me - the knowledge that my Mommy loved me with everything that she had, and fought with everything she had to spend as much time with me as she could.

Daddy and I are doing great, but you already know that. We are closer than ever, and I'm so grateful and happy that he and my husband both like and respect each other immensely. I hope you are pleased with my marriage, and how I've grown into a woman. I wish you could be here with me, but I know you are, in a way.


Your Daughter


Angela Darling said...

That is so beautiful. What a wonderful gift your mother gave you- to know that you were loved so deeply. Thoughts are with you this day

Lovin a Farm Boy said...

Wow made me cry. Of course you know that doesn't take much. I love you, so proud of you!

julie said...

This is soooo sweet!!

Cody, Holly, and Luke said...

That was an amazing letter!! You have alot of strenght and courage from her.

Mrs. D said...

Oh this made me cry. I lost my dad 12/31/08 so stuff like this is really close to my heart right now. I know it has been 13 years but I am so sorry for your loss. It's so great that your mom showed you that she cared so much. I really don't know what else to say except that I am thinking of you.

jen + ryan said...

wow. love you.