That time of year

We’re coming up on that time of year again. Just over a week until the dreaded anniversary comes around for another year. Anniversary? Deathiversary? Is there really a word for marking these? There should be.

I was messaging with someone from my past today and realized that I couldn’t remember all the dates from when mom was diagnosed with the different cancers. I actually had to come look it up – and even now, I’m not certain I wrote it down correctly. I wonder if the feeling that I feel upon realizing that is the same one that people feel when they realize that they can no longer remember a loved one’s face clearly, or remember the sound of their voice.

I’m lucky in that, I suppose – I sound and look so much like mom, and the resemblance just grows stronger with each passing year. I put on a winter hat that she wore when she was doing chemo, with my hair pulled back, and got a jolt when I saw myself in the car window. I don’t always notice it from day to day but…yeah, it catches me off guard sometimes.

I was watching my son with my MIL earlier today and thought about how sad it was that he will never get to know my mother. Well…perhaps when he dies, and hopefully gets to join her, but SO not the point. He will grow up without my mothers presence in his life, except what I can show through. It’s…it feels incomplete.

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This years Facebook meme for breast cancer awareness (ha!) has created a firestorm. I’m not sure if the ones other years have, but this one certainly has. As I was perusing blog posts, I was directed to a post written about the bra-color one. It is written by a woman who had a double mastectomy in order to save her life. I dare you to write this and not feel stunned to your core.

In the name of awareness

I am not stunned that she wrote it. I am stunned by her strength. I am stunned at the way society can hurt when it tries to help, because (as a general whole) it doesn’t think things through. I am not able to put into words how profoundly her post has touched me. I wish mom were still here, just so I could share this with her, let her know that there are other women out there who understand some of what she went through.

And when you are done reading that, if you feel it needful to do something, ACT. She has a link to a post on turning awareness into action at the bottom of the one already linked. I have read over and over the past two days the same thought: Aren’t we aware enough already? Isn’t the time past for awareness, and the time for action NOW? I know that I can’t afford to donate right now, and my own medical status is such that doing something like a walk is out of the question – although I would love to be able to do the “Walk to Remember” or “Relay for Life” in mom’s honor some year. I can blog, though, and I can educate others about what I know.

I am 95% certain that I will get breast cancer some day. My mom had it, her mother died of it (it metastasized to her brain 6 weeks after dx and killed her), and mom was pretty sure that her grandmother also had it. My sister and I are both on the watch for it, because we know it’s coming. Educate yourself. Educate those around you. Speak up for those who can’t. Be an advocate. Do what you can. And hopefully build yourself a supportive network of people that you will hopefully never have to use.

And how appropriate that I read this exactly 7 years from the day that mom was diagnosed with the ovarian cancer that would take her life 26 months later. This is hell week for me – almost every year for 4 years in a row, mom was diagnosed with cancer.

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Heard this tonight and was reminded very strongly of mom. She was a rather religious woman and while I may no longer accept everything I was taught, there is no question about the strength of her faith. Even in her last days she relied on her faith. I never heard her rail or curse at God for “giving” her cancer, for taking her from her family before we were all ready, or the ever present “why me, Lord?” that you often hear. I’m not saying that she didn’t, only that if she did, she did it privately. I hold onto HER strength in her faith as a comfort. I can’t say what happens when you die, who has the right or wrong of things, who is on the “right” side, and I won’t be able to until I die my own self and then my answers don’t do y’all any good. 🙂 Anyways, I wanted to put this video up so I don’t lose it, so I can come back and remind myself. And I know I embedded the Shrek version – it was the best one I could find AND the one that showed up on Pandora…which is where I heard it today.

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Some days…

Some days I miss mom more than I do other days. I’ve missed her a LOT since getting pregnant, and even more so now that the Boy is born. I often wish I could call her and talk to her about my concerns, hear about things she did with me when I was this age. Dad tries, but…he has a habit of looking at things through rose colored glasses. Things have changed, too – you don’t do things with your kid now that you did 34 years ago. Yes, I survived, as did all of my friends, and thus theoretically it should be the same now. But it’s not – there are things that are better now, some that are worse, medical advances have been made, research has been done. I obviously began eating solid foods at some point, but I’m having a hard time getting my son to take it…so things that mom tried to get me to eat solids would be helpful. All dad can say is “we fed you this, and you ate it” type of things.

Oh mom…why did you have to go? Why couldn’t you have stayed here with me to help me with this, be a living part of your grandson’s life?

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Two years…

Has it really been 2 years already since Mom has been gone? Yes, it has. Most of the time it’s easier, but the few weeks leading up to this date are always hard. It’s been really hard the past few months since I got pregnant because I need my mother more than ever and she’s not here. There has been much wailing of “I want my mommy!” and my poor husband can’t help, and my father is no substitute.

Today’s agenda includes work, a coerced visit to the graveyard to leave flowers, and then watching V for Vendetta. Why? “Remember remember the 5th of November” of course. I think it appropriate and have decided that it should be a tradition.

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A call for help

I know this is usually my cancer blog, but…I am derailing it for just a few minutes.
Gwendomama is a fellow IF blogger that I have been reading for about a year now. At that time, I came across her situation from the LFCA – her husband physically abused her in front of her kids. She took them and ran. It happened on April 13th, but she didn’t tell us the full story until May 19th.

Since that time, she has fought with the legal system and with him. She had a stay-away order, which he got around by living on the other house on the property, which was only 20 yards away. He refuses to pay any of the bills, or move, or move his stuff, or pay child support. Still. Still, after a year and some, he will not pay anything towards his children. Yes, they are now farther from him – about 40 miles. He also still believes that his actions were perfectly fine – nothing out of the norm.

I could continue with link after link after link detailing what this man has put Gwendo and her kids through. But I won’t. Because I’m hoping you’ll go over to her blog and read her story. And then? I hope you’ll help her out if you can. I can’t, not financially, not yet…but I can do this much for her. I can use my blog to hopefully reach other people, who might be able to help her. The internets banded together and solved a few problems, but…there’s more. There’s a lot more. Until her ex-jackass starts paying child support and stops having his head up her ass, she’s a single mom who needs help. So please…if you can…she has a paypal button up on her page, and is working on getting a PO box for those who want to send her goodie boxes.

My time is coming to be able to pay it forward. If you’ve ever had someone help you, and you’re in a position to do so, now is a good time for you to pay it forward as well.

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Memorial Day

I don’t have a lot going on right now, but I thought I would upload the pics we took on Memorial Day.

The headstone and I:

The flag and flowers:

The single rose that Aaron plucked out for me:

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