Thursday, March 13, 2014

Two Years Ago

Two years ago today I lost my incredible and beautiful Mommy to Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a very rare bone marrow failure disease.  This week has been a wild roller coaster ride.  I have been under a lot of stress, I haven’t been sleeping, and I find myself dealing with a multitude of emotions and memories.

On March 10, I remember thinking ‘Two years ago this evening Mom and Dad were supposed to meet me, my hubby, and my younger brother at the Macaroni Grill for dinner.’ That evening, as my hubby, bro and I sat there waiting for Mom and Dad to arrive from the hospital after some routine blood work, I got a call that mom’s platelets dropped again and she was being admitted, but there was nothing to worry about and we should go ahead and eat.  At this point, we still weren’t 100% sure what was going on so there wasn’t much cause for alarm.  On March 11, I remembered two years ago spending the day visiting mom at the hospital.  My aunt and cousin came to visit her too.  Mom still couldn’t come home, and things were rapidly getting worse.  Two years ago yesterday, I relieved Dad, who had spent the last few days by Mom’s side, so he could go home, shower and get some sleep.  Two years ago yesterday in the middle of the night, I had to basically force the night doctor to run a CT because Mom was showing signs her regular doctor/specialist told me to watch for.  Two years ago, I had to make the call at1am to Dad that Mom was being moved to ICU and he and my bro needed to get there ASAP.  They in turned called my big bro to book the next flight out here.  I never left Mom’s side.  Two years ago today, I was holding Mom’s hand as she took her last breath.  Two years ago we picked my big bro up at the airport, and at the first sight of us he fell to his knees.  Two years ago.  Two years.  I don’t even know if that’s a long time or not.  Part of me feels like it was yesterday, and the other part of me feels like it was an eternity ago.

The first year, I was in an uncontrollable emotional state.  I would cry at any moment, but I always remained strong in front of my Dad and brothers.  I had to be there for them, but at home, I would break down and my hubby was there for me.  I needed to listen to Mom’s voicemails on a daily basis just so I wouldn’t forget her voice.  In my career, my work suffered because I wasn’t mentally there.  In my MBA program, I missed many classes including a midterm exam the day after Mom passed.  I was in an almost catatonic and definitely auto-function state:  get up, get dressed, drive to work, drive to school, drive home, go to school.  I wasn’t actively involved in my life, which is very not me.  But then again, who knows how one will react after suddenly losing their Mom, right?

Going into the second year, I realized life is short and I need to make the most of it.  I began to allow myself to smile and remember Mom without the need to break down.  I began focusing more on my husband, who was so busy taking care of me that first year that he barely had time to grieve.  Together we decided to travel somewhere we’ve always wanted to go together:  Italy; and so we did and it was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on.  We adopted two beautiful puppies who are the light of our lives.  I transitioned to a new role at my company, which was the best move for  me career-wise.  I became more involved in my MBA work because I was going to graduate on time as mom expected me to before she left this world, and graduate I did.  I got back into my normal workout routine, and I started eating clean which made my body stronger and healthier.

Today marks the beginning of the third year without my amazing Mom.  I can honestly say that even though I miss her terribly every single day of my life, I can think of her and our memories together and smile.  I was blessed with 25 incredible years with her, and that is something special.  I continue to focus on my husband and my family, my friends, my physical and mental health, career, and experiencing life.  Many things have changed, though, but I know it’s going to be a wonderful year full of many blessings and adventures.  And I know, above all, that Mom will be with me every step of the way.
The very first picture Mom and I took together right after I was born (1986)
The very last picture Mom and I took together (2012)


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