Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Through My Daughter's Eyes - Today.

For absolutely no reason at all, TODAY is a good day.

It is hard to choose joy when your heart is broken, and continues to break a million times, in a million ways every day. But, for the first time in the past 8 months and 15 days- today has been the first day that I have finally felt a little bit of peace. A feeling that I have been praying for for a really, really long time.

Today is worth noting.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Through My Daughter's Eyes - Appreciating Life.

Oddly enough, it's when I think about the day that my Mom died that I sometimes feel the most alive.

It's when I remember how sweetly my youngest brother made sure that my Mom was covered up with her blanket, her pillow adjusted just right and the way that he twirled her hair between his fingers(something he has done since he was so little) that I am reminded how precious life is and that memories will last a lifetime, make good ones.

It's when I remember how gentle and caring my second oldest brother was the way he read Mom's text messages to her as they came in. It's when I remember the compassion, gentleness and kindness in his voice that I am reminded how the little things really are the most important things.

It's when I remember the look of pure pain and sadness in my oldest brothers face as we realized the time for Mom to go home was quickly approaching us that I am reminded that the hurt we all felt at that moment and every moment after that is a representation of how much we loved her and always will.

People often ask how we are doing... while I could give a novel-length, detailed answer to this question, the truth is, I just miss my Mom. A lot.

Through my Mom's death, I am learning to appreciate life on a whole new level.

You know the drill, go hug your Mom now.


Deb's very proud daughter

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Through My Daughter's Eyes - Penelope.

Yesterday was a MONDAY. I was on edge, overwhelmed and frustrated. So many things have been running through my mind, I feel like I have so much to do all the time. I've been getting a little taste of all of the responsibilities that my Mom has had. The frustration had carried over to today. I drove to work with my Mom heavy on my heart, and a list of things to do today heavy on my mind. I've been in a really bad mood. And then reality smacks me in the face...thank you, Jesus for that.

I stumbled upon the sweetest pictures of tiny, precious little girl who has been battling Stage IV Neuroblastoma since January of 2014, when she was only 11 months old. I'm ashamed that I let so many little things get to me when there are so many people out there fighting real wars every day. I wish my Mom was here so bad to help me get through days like this.

I've shared a link below of Penelope's story. I hope you all will join me in praying for her and her family.


Deb's very proud daughter

Friday, April 4, 2014

Through My Daughter's Eyes - Fridays.

Every morning is the same... I wake up and have to ask myself, "Is this real or was that a nightmare?" followed by "Wait, is she really gone?" and once I wake up a little more, I realize that the nightmare is true, that this really is my new life. Anger then follows pretty quickly. Next comes heartache. Then I start to think of all the things that she did in the mornings. She loved morning time. Mornings just aren't a lot of fun these days.

On top of mornings being a hard part of the day... Fridays are now a new territory for me also, seen a whole different light. Fridays are supposed to be fun.

Years ago when I was in college, I came home every single weekend back to Brenham to work and see my family. Every single weekend is no exaggeration, I never spent one Friday or Saturday night in Huntsville. I never questioned it either. I had a job here in Brenham, my family was in Brenham, and therefore, I wanted to be in Brenham. Looking back now I am so thankful that I never thought twice about it and always came home. God always leads you home.

Then starting in August of 2012- Fridays meet chemo day for Mom. Y'all, I cannot put into words how absolutely awesome my Mom was. I will never forget one time I went in to see her during her treatment. She had already started, and was sitting there so contently with her blanket, pillow and iPad just hanging out. I did a quick scan of the room that was filled with people doing the same thing as her, hooked up to machines receiving these treatments. My eyes caught glimpse of a few 'Must Be Heaven pies' and I said "Oh that's nice that they give you all pie here" and she smiled and said "No I brought them for everyone"...'Of course she did', was my first thought. She was always thinking of something she could do for others. To brighten someones day. These were complete strangers to her but I know without a doubt that none of them felt like a stranger to her, nobody that ever met my Mom felt like a stranger. I cannot put into words how much I miss her just typing this. Her heart was made of gold.

Now, Fridays sting. My Mom became pain-free and went to Heaven on a Friday. On Fridays I now wake up and am reminded of how many weeks it has been since my Mom has been gone. This brings a type of pain that I never thought could ever exist. My silver-lining on this Friday is that I am headed later this afternoon to Dallas to spend the weekend with my brother and his girlfriend. My heart is so full of love for both of them. I am excited to get away for the weekend and I know that our conversations will be filled with memories of our Mom and that gets me even more excited. I love, love, love talking about her.

Go hug your Mom now. Happy Friday :)

Deb’s very proud daughter

Monday, March 24, 2014

Through My Daughter's Eyes - She won.

I forgot where I read this, but towards the end of January I stumbled across it somewhere...

"If the fear of cancer keeps you from moving forward, enjoying life, being with loved ones, laughing...then the cancer won."

If that's the case- then I know my Mom won. My Mom won so big.

I had never seen anything like it. 'It' being the way that she handled all that was thrown at her. Looking back at it now- she had a lot of reasons to slow down, to get discouraged, to be angry, to feel like giving up...and when most people would have reached their breaking point, she never gave in. Her attitude remained upbeat. Her smile remained contagious. Her laughter remained infectious. Her spirit remained inspiring. Her faith kept her going, kept her fighting.

She got out of bed every morning thankful, thankful that she had a job to get up and go to, a job that she loved. Thankful that there were smiling faces of teachers and students waiting for her at this job she loved. After work when most people dreaded going to HEB- she loved it. She loved trying new recipes. She loved coming home and cooking for us. She loved coming home to her family. At night, she sat in 'her chair' watching TV, reading a book, texting her friends, surfing the web on her iPad, and reading a book....YES all at the same time. She was good. She multi-tasked and enjoyed every bit of everything she did. She'd go to bed, more than likely, in pain. Notice that I never once said she complained about anything throughout the day. At most, if she was having a rough day, she would mention something along the lines of "my back is hurting, but I'm sure an ice pack will help me out". That's how she always saw things, "could be worse and I'm going to do whatever I can to make it as 'better' as possible". She went to bed thankful every night. Tired, but thankful, and not without kissing our cheeks or forehead goodnight first. I miss those moments more than anything. Looking back at the moments that I was able to share with her these past few years takes away every bit of embarrassment that being 24 and living at home brought me. I will forever thank God for having my path lead me to being 24 and living at home- because I was able to be with her for that much longer. He is so good.

She made life as normal as possible for her and for her family from the moment she was diagnosed. I will forever be thankful for that. She made the best out of every single moment she had and I pray that I am able to take her attitude and spirit with me every day for the rest of my life and live life more like her as much as possible.

Mom had cancer, but cancer didn't have her.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Through My Daughter's Eyes - One Month.

We have made it through the most challenging, heart-breaking, and worst month of our whole lives. After experiencing a month without my Mom, I'm not sure how I am supposed make it the rest of my life without her.

I knew how lucky I was to have her when she was here...but her not being here, has taken that to a whole new level. That little saying, "you don't know what you have until it's gone", is now ringing so true. I have thought about her ALL day long, every day. I see her everywhere. EVERY thing reminds me of her. I have so many special memories of her which I am so thankful for but at the same time, my heart breaks knowing all of the things that I won't get to do with her anymore. I had so much fun with her. I had so much to look forward to with her and now that future has been taken away from me, from her husband and from my brothers. It just doesn't seem fair.

I'll never forget standing in front of a room full of people at Mom's memorial, and making eye contact with someone each time I looked up. Each time I would see someone, I would instantly think, "oh my gosh my Mom loved them so much"...or, "Wow. I remember how much they loved my Mom". Just as people are feeling sympathy for my family, my heart breaks for SO many people as I know we are not the only ones mourning in this loss, a huge loss.

This might have been a pretty depressing post, and I apologize for that. I don't think Mom would be very proud of me for this, but over the past month, I've found myself trying to be strong for other people, to not cry in front of others in fear of making them feel uncomfortable. When other people have been sad, my mind goes a million miles a minute just trying to think of something, anything to comfort them. But there comes a point in this situation, where you just have to let yourself be sad sometimes. Let yourself be upset. Let yourself be angry. So here I am letting myself be sad, upset and angry yet still remaining hopeful that brighter days are ahead.

Now- go hug your Mom. Or call her. Or send her a text. And don't ever be shy in letting her know how much you love her. Don't hold back anything from her. Life's too short for that.


Deb's daughter

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Through My Daughter's Eyes - Part One

This is the second account of my Mom’s that I have (easily) been able to hack into. I’d like to think of it as a special bond between the two of us rather than it being creepy that I am able to guess what her passwords are.

I remember sitting in my design studio in college talking to my friends about how I always wanted to start a blog but I wanted a really good name before I started. We would brainstorm at times, but nothing ever came up, so I never started a blog. But my Mom did. And I never, in ten million years, thought it would be a blog about her journey with cancer. My Mom was the type of person that helped others through difficult times, how did she become the person needing the help?

I’m so thankful that she did start this blog. I know it gave countless numbers of people laughs, comfort and smiles. I love reading her words. She told her story so well. On February 3, 2014, I mentioned the idea of her starting her blog back up and she said, “I don’t have the energy to type yet. Love you!” My heart broke knowing how worn out she was and then she made me feel somewhat better by just saying ‘love you’. Is there a better feeling than hearing someone tell you that they love you? I don’t think so, especially when it’s coming from your Mom. There is no one that compares to your Mom.

So- I want to keep her story going, for forever. What will I write about? Beats me, but I know she will guide me, she always has. I never want people to stop talking about her or stop thinking about her and I hope this can hopefully play a small part in that never happening.

I’ll be back soon.

Deb’s very proud daughter