I have so much to catch up on: incredible parties, cakes, time with friends, anniversaries, and so much more...
BUT, I this is more important and comes first.
I am so lucky to have a mother who has become one of my heroes. She doesn't do incredible athletic feats, but what she does is so much more. She taught me that if you work hard enough you can achieve anything! She went back to school sacrificing time with me and the rest of our family. This forever changed who I was and her relationship with her mother. Fortunately for me it created a bond with my grandmother and father that forever shaped me. Since the death of my grandmother in August of 1993, my mother and I have spent many years reshaping our bond and I have grown to truly appreciate what she does and what she sacrificed to do it.
My mother is a pain psychologist who helps cancer patients manage their pain, and so much more, in the final stages of their battle. She is amazing at what she does.
Yesterday I was talking to her and she told me of an interaction with a patient's daughter, and said, "today I gave guidance to the child of a patient. It was everything I wish I had been told and could have said to my mother before she died." My grandmother died suddenly, and the only person in our family speaking to her was me, and her usual on and off with my dad. My grandmother was a strong willed lady, and when she thought someone was wrong she went silent to that person (A trait I work VERY hard to overcome...but am constantly challenged by) With that will, she was not speaking to my mother or sister when she died. Both my sister and mother have had to struggle with closure and regret.
Please read the below. I wrote my mom back after reading this, and just pray that she can find such peace in the work she does to lift her from all she carries in the death of my grandmother. I know my grandmother would be so very proud of my mother, and I know that she loved her.
How lucky I am to have been so deeply loved by my grandmother, I get that reminder ever moment I look down at her/my wedding band, and have such an inspirational mother!
May you read the below, and remember to find peace with those you love; create closure with no regrets; and say all the things you need to everyday! I hope to be able to do this as much as possible and not wait until the end to do it!
From my mother:
I gave her what I needed so many years ago, almost to the date.
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2010 9:14 AM
Subject: thank you for yesterday...
I believe very strongly that things always happen for a reason. Sometimes we are fortunate to be privy to that reason; Other times not.
Meeting you yesterday in my fathers room, at the particular time that we met, was clearly meant to be. Within minutes of leaving you our reason for meeting became so clearly evident. I am not sure I could have handled what happened in my father's room had it not been for you. You were able to give me the guidance, tools and support to do what I knew needed to be done but didn't know how to do. Neither my father nor I have ever been in this situation so we were both traveling on a very emotionally raw and painfully difficult road.
When I returned to father's room he sat up and basically said that he was done fighting, the cancer was taking over and he was tired and just wanted it all to end. He made me laugh when he asked to be put to sleep as if he was a beloved pet. I knew what he was telling me.
I was able to tell him all the reassuring things that you helped me verbalize. I told him that I would respect his desires and would make sure that he was moved to a facility where we could work with the team to make his transition comfortable, pain free as well as comforting to the family. I told him that he didn't have to worry about anything anymore and that we would take care of my mother and all of her needs while caring for him. We both cried and as you suspected he didn't respond much after that. The only thing that he told me was that he owed some money to a friend and he asked me to go get the money from his house and deliver it to his friend. I left the hospice last night for one hour to carry out his wishes.
Now he is at Hospice and I stayed here all night making sure that he was as comfortable as he could be. The staff here is excellent and it feels so good knowing that he is at the right place for his end of life care. I really can't thank you enough for the integral roll that you played. I truly wanted to have that difficult conversation with my dad and before meeting you I simply did not know how to go about it. My heart is heavy and my soul is in pain, but because of you, when my father passes on I will have no regrets. I can't imagine how many people you have helped in such a profound way. You certainly are so in tune to patients' and family member's needs. I hope that you continue using your amazing talent to comfort and change the lives of others.
I learned an invaluable lesson that is very comforting to me. It appears that God gives us all that we need at the appropriate time. I have come to accept that I can't always plan one or two steps ahead (much as I want to) and I have to wait for things to play out. I use to worry that I might not know how to react in a new and difficult situation; I like to be prepared and have answers or at least the tools, but now I feel that I will know what to do in any situation when the time is right.
Thank you again.
With much appreciation,
Have a wonderful weekend!