Below is the email I sent out to family and friends sharing the sad news that Mom had passed. In case we missed including you or didn’t have your email, this is what it said…
Mom turned 80 on January 31st and she shared her special day with me, Michael, Dee and Ken. We never thought she would be here to see that milestone, but she made it and a few more weeks.
You see, mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer early last year.
We went through all the doctor appointments, met with the oncologists and in the end, the only treatment they could offer mom was laser radiation. She would have had to lay on her back on a table and not move a muscle for 30 minutes five days in a row for two solid weeks.
If you knew mom at all, you would know that was impossible. Her back would never let her do that. Besides that, the doctors couldn’t guarantee that mom would live any longer than the six to 12 months she was already given.
She opted to live the life she had left and chose no treatment. I completely supported her decision. But the year that followed was difficult.
We took a trip to Vegas to visit Dee and Ken, got out and about, shopped and visited friends. And, we ate out a lot! Dee and Ken made several trips out to spend time with mom so she had her family around her. But as the weeks went by, mom grew more and more tired. Weak.
She always had a great sense of humor and we laughed a lot. She showed me how to live and how to die.
The last few months were the most difficult. Mom would cycle in and out of very bad periods of weakness. She had several TIAs (small strokes) and lost her appetite.
Yesterday, we lost her.
She had become more than my mother…she was my friend. We have laughed, cried and fought, but we loved each other deeply.
I was lucky enough to be holding her hand when she left here for her next journey. I whispered to her “Call me when you get there, mom, to let me know you got there safe.” For many years, this is what she would say to me every time I headed home after visiting.
It is my greatest wish that she will be seeing old friends who have gone before, hugging her own father who she lost too young and going on crazy adventures.
One of mom’s greatest worries was for her cat, Noel. Noel spent 14 years with mom as her constant companion. Mom claims that the cat saved her life once by warning mom that the burner was leaking gas. I believe it’s true. The two had a very special bond.
I have tried over the last several months to find a home for Noel with no success. I was finally left with the only humane option of putting her down. But the night mom passed, I called her friends Aida and Kamal. I happened to ask Aida if she knew of anyone who might be a good fit for Noel and she quickly said “We’ll take the cat!” Even after I explained that Noel is an old gal and cannot be let outdoors, she still insisted that they take her in…
That was my last great worry and I’m so grateful for her rescue. Thank you Aida and Kamal, I know mom will be thrilled that her friend has a place in your home.
I miss my mom so deeply and cannot believe she is really gone.
You are receiving this email because you were so very important to her. She highly valued her friends and family. She was lucky to have such good friends in her life, many who have stayed in touch for decades. We don’t have everyone’s email addresses, so please feel free to forward this to anyone who knew mom.
Mom didn’t want a service and Dee and I don’t know what, if any, memorial we will have. Mom’s friends are so dispersed and many not able to travel. She knows you love her and if you ever want to talk about mom and share stores, just hit reply and let me know. We’ll get on the phone and make each other smile with some fond memories.
To a life well lived…you are missed mom.
Love and hugs,
Ree and Dee