Reflection & Inspiration-2014
It was one year ago that my mom was diagnosed with melanoma-eight weeks later I would loose her to cancer. Life felt completely out of control.
But I kept writing. I felt like I should have been doing something else like some mind-blowing fund raiser to help pay for her medical costs, or take her away to some new age cancer treatment center in the bowels of Mexico, but I couldn’t-she was just too sick to travel. I had to face the fact that there was nothing I could do to stop this ugly disease from taking her life. But she reminded me that there was something I could do. Keep writing-never give up-never. I had to keep this light shining while I was with her. It was a beautiful bond that we shared. I called her a fookin’ genius, she called me a fookin’ genius. She shared with me whatever came to her mind as I sat with her at bedside writing down poems about children and their mothers, or stories about ravens and coyotes. Writing kept both of us alive and sane. While she slept during the day as myself and my two sisters cared for her the first week, I took the time to write about how shitty this situation was.
Thursday, Jan. 17
There is no ‘me’ when someone is dying of cancer.
I am tired. Not much sleep last night. Feeling sorry for myself and feeling that flight response. I want to run away. A pattern like this, human or not, has no place here. Cancer puts everything into perspective. You are nothing. We orbit around my mother and cancer. Be with your heart, be in the moment. That is who you are right now. You are not here to change anything.
The hardest part was leaving her and to return back to my family, to my own life. My body was home, my mind and soul were not. I worried and waited for any news about her, I talked with her daily on the phone, each week that went by she got weaker and weaker.
But I continued to write. I poured my anger, frustration and sadness into a YA novel I started that coincidentally is about her and myself when I was a teenager. I haven’t looked back at that writing since.
My next trip out to New Mexico to see her I thought would be my last. But I made one more trip after she begged me to ‘help her die.’ I did not deny her that. I knew this would be the hardest trip. I began a knitting project, writing no longer held its magic in releasing me from the pain of my mother dying. My sisters and I read her poetry to her at bedside when she could no longer speak. I knew what poems she loved the most and wanted to hear. We played Beethoven for her, Mozart and Bach. My mother passed away to another life at 2:15 on Tuesday, March 12th, 2013. I loved her dearly. She was my friend, my writing coach-my mother. I miss her but what she left me was the greatest gift: the joy of writing.
PEACE to all in 2014