I’ve recently found it difficult to update this blog as it’s hard to write about the tips and tricks of organizing when your life has taken such a dramatic turn.
As you may have read, in January I told you how my Mom had been diagnosed with liver cancer. On February 7th, exactly 3 months after her diagnosis, she passed away We were blessed to have been by her side in her final days and, as mother’s often do, she was the one comforting us, having no fear of leaving this world as she knew exactly where she was going. As one of my Mom’s friends so eloquently put it “Heaven is a better place now.” I couldn’t agree more.
Today, I write this blog as a tribute to her and all that she was and all that she taught me.
I have never known anyone kinder. She was always thinking of others, putting their needs before her own. There wasn’t a visit home that didn’t have an abundance of my favourite meals and desserts waiting to be enjoyed. She loved taking care of her family and making us all feel so special.
She made the best pecan pie I’ve ever tasted. And whenever I smell fresh baked bread, I think of her in her kitchen, with her marble rolling pin and the counter covered in flour as she kneaded dough and formed it into perfectly rounded buns that were mouth-wateringly delicious and lighter than air. (I recently tried to emulate these masterful creations. Mine came out dense as biscuits.)
She was a woman who loved to smile and laugh – nothing brought her more joy than being around her family. On several occasions, I can remember her and I laughing so hard, I could barely breathe as tears streamed down my face.
She loved to play games with our family, especially at the holidays when we were all together. I am smiling now thinking of every game of yahtzee, crokinole, uno, scrabble and triominos – all hold such wonderful memories and inside jokes that only those closest to her will truly understand. These are moments I treasure every single day.
No one could comfort me like she could. Whenever I felt blue, I knew I could call her and instantly feel better. After a particularly wrenching bought of food poisoning (which I encountered while out of the country), I called her once I was back in Calgary and, even though I was feeling better, she insisted on coming for the night just to give me a hug and make sure I was okay. She brought me ginger ale and stroked my hair as I recalled my pitiful ordeal.
On her final days, she gave me a piece of advice that I found particularly poignant coming from her. “Don’t try to be all things to all people.”, she told me. This certainly wasn’t the first time I’d heard this but coming from her and knowing who she was, it resonated strongly. Whenever I find myself trying to decide what’s best for me, I hear those words of advice and make a decision that I know honours those special words, her last gift to me.
When you think of all the words that describe a wonderful Mom, you are describing mine. I am so grateful that she was my Mom and although I miss her every day I know she lives on in me and every single life that she touched. It is my hope that I take a little piece of her everywhere I go and continue to pass on her joy, her kindness, her warmth and her love to everyone that I meet.
Mom – thank you for all the wonderful gifts that you gave me. I could not ask for a better angel to watch over me.