Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the day my mom passed away: March 4, 2005.
She was taken at age 52 by pancreatic cancer. The disease literally ate her away. The day she passed she was maybe 80 pounds – a shell of her former self.
Her former self was vibrant and passionate. She was an artist and saw the world in bright colors. She was an amazing artist, too, but one who sadly didn’t believe in her own talent.
She loved science fiction and fantasy, something she passed on to me. One of the first movies I ever remember seeing was “Logan’s Run” in the 70s. She used to tease me during tag, yelling “run Sandman, run!”
She loved to travel. My earliest memories are of her and I traveling from Wisconsin, where I was born, to British Columbia, Canada, where she found close friends and decided to stay. Any chance she had, she would take flight. By car, by plane…it didn’t matter, as long as she was heading someplace else. I got a lot of my wanderlust from her.
She encouraged me to be a free thinker and to dare to push myself. She told me I was capable of being anyone I wanted to be, if I worked hard enough and believed hard enough.
We didn’t always get along, though.
She said I disappointed her because I never gave her a grandchild. Now, thanks to cancer, I never will even after her death.
I never liked her choice in men (except for her first husband and her true love, Michael, who passed of cancer in the 80s). Most of the men she had relationships verbally and physically abused her. Some even abused me. But she kept choosing this type of man, saying it was the best she was going to get after losing Michael.
She said I also disappointed her because I never pursued a singing career, opting instead to become a writer. She said I was born to be in the spotlight, never understanding that I prefer to work my magic behind the scenes. She did tell me she was proud of me when I had my first guidebook published. That meant a lot to me.
But no matter how much we disagreed, we were still family. It hit me so hard to lose her, especially since she passed while I was on the plane to go spend time with her before she lost the battle. We both thought she had more time
I wanted to litter this post with photos of her and her art. Sadly, her last husband kept everything of hers, including family photos of the two of us. He said he destroyed them all. So the photo above is one of the few photos I have of her.
But I don’t want my memories of my mom tainted by other’s hateful actions.
To me, my mom will always be remembered as an amazing woman who lived life how she wanted, and installed that attitude in me. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not reminded of her. It could be a song, a smell, an interest that we shared.
And I know she was a guardian angel by my side during my recent battle with cancer.
It’s been ten years mom, but I miss you just as much as if it were yesterday.
Thanks for reading this. My mom was an amazing person and I’m glad I got to share some of that with you today.
In closing, I’d like to leave this video by Annie Lennox for you to enjoy. It was one of my mom’s favorite songs.
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