Tag Archives: mother’s day without mom

Good Bye 2013 – I can’t say I’m sad to see it end.

life knocked me down

2013 is coming to an end and I cannot say that I am sad for it to be it over.  This was the toughest year of my life and I am very glad that it is complete.  My year began with a phone call from DJ on the morning of January 1st.  He had stayed at my parent’s house for New Years Eve.  During the night, my mom had been rushed to the emergency room with a heart attack.  Fortunately, it was mild, but with all of her other health conditions, she stayed there for a few days until the felt she was well enough to go home.

That same day, I wound up with a migraine.  I have suffered from them for years but little did I know that this headache and many more, would last me EIGHT months. MRI’s, numerous specialists and appointments, various medications did not help but finally, in August, a new doctor suggested a few things to try, and perhaps it was one – or the combination of several, but I went from having five or six headaches a week, to only two or three a month.  This is huge for me and I am so grateful for each day that I wake up headache free. In January and February, my blog focused mainly on kindness and sharing stories that spread kindness.  That was the original intent of my blog.

Then, March came along and my life was changed forever.  On March 8th, my mom, who was suffering from COPD for years, stopped breathing on her way to my grandmother’s house.  It was just a routine 10 minute drive.  They were actually headed to Florida the next day, so this was totally unexpected.  By the time my dad reached the hospital, she had been without oxygen for too long.  She was kept alive on life support for a week but we made the decision as a family to take her off of it on Friday, March 15th . That entire week, I wrote about nothing but my mom.  My blog took a total turn from just writing about kindness, yet was being read by hundreds of people everyday.  My mom had touched the lives of so many people and I have been told that this blog helped them understand what our family was dealing with and getting us all through the hardest time of our lives. Writing her eulogy and then reading it at her funeral, was so hard but I needed to do it and that church was so filled with people that loved her and loved us, it helped begin the healing process for me. Throughout the rest of the month, my entire blog focused on mom and her friends and our first holidays, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter without her.

April arrived.  It has always been one of my favorite months.  Spring had sprung and we had all begun to adjust to mom not being around and then we had the devastating news of my sister-in-law Francine.  What a shock to our family.  Two deaths in our family in less than a month.  She was only 31 and she and my brother Tim had just found out that she was pregnant with twins.   Once again, my blog provided an outlet, for me to write it and for others to read it and try to comprehend what our family was going through.  The day I wrote Francine’s story, over 1000 people saw it.  Incredible to me that so many people were empathizing with our family.   This led to even more blogs about family and coping with death.  Tim had asked me if I’d also do a eulogy for her and of course I said yes.

Although I did not know him well, death touched our family again when my brother-in-law’s father passed away at the end of April.  Bad things happen in 3s. My father could not believe how unfair this year was

I turned 43 in May and although it was not quite the same without mom around, my family and friends did so much to help make is a special one for me.  Our first mothers day without mom was low key and we made it through without too many tears.  All those “firsts” came and went without mom and Francine, birthdays, holidays, Christmas… but we got through them with the support of our family and friends.  Thank God for all of them because without them, I don’t know where we’d be today.

Things really did settle down for us once Summer arrived but then, on Labor Day, my sister’s birthday, she wound up in the hospital for emergency surgery to have her gall bladder removed.  Fortunately that was routine and after a little less than a week, she was home recovering.

I will admit that there were some positive things that happened this year… There is now a beautiful bench dedicated to my mom in the park given by my class and The Kiwanis club.  Dave and I celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary. On October 18th, NJ passed the marriage equality law. giving everyone the freedom to marry and to me, that is a huge step in the right direction.  Because of that, we were able to attend the wedding of two friends Eddie and Todd.

I surprised myself by sticking to TWO New Years Resolutions this year.  I did the 52 week money challenge AND wrote my blog everyday this year.  I am trying to find the positive in this year.  My two boys are healthy and happy and enjoying school.  I love my job and look forward to going to work everyday.  Dave got some licenses he needs to move ahead in his career in the mortgage business.  Now, if he could drum up some business for 2014, that will be a huge step in the right direction!So here’s to the end of 2013 – and a positive outlook to the future.  As we move forward, may 2014 bring you and your families happiness and good health!

Our First Mother’s Day Without Mom

miss you

I have been dreading this day for nearly two months now.  No phone call to my mom this morning to wish her a happy mothers’ day.  No morning mass with her and dad followed by Mother’s day brunch to celebrate with her.  No corny Hallmark card to “Tell mom how much she really means,” this year.  Commercials and store displays are constant reminders of all my family has lost in the last few months.

 We invited Dave’s mom to join us today.  She’s not coming, so we called her and wished her a happy day.  I know that she does not read my blog, so I will save my mother-in-law stories for other days.  She was not the greatest mother to Dave, (and he will be the first to admit that), and she has not been around much for our children, so since I am not going to bring negativity to today’s blog, when I want it filled with love, these stories will have to wait.

Mother’s Day this year is filled with conflicting emotions.  The pride and joy I feel for my own boys and the sorrow I am feeling for my mom. Them, celebrating me, with  biscuits, hugs and kisses for breakfast, and me trying to smile through it all when I am just thinking about mom as I sift through photos and post them to Facebook for the memories – as if anyone could forget her.

Today, the weather is nothing short of “glorious”.  We will celebrate at my Aunt and Uncle Bucky’s home.  They opened their pool, and all of us will go there; cousins and siblings and all of the kids.  We will keep it simple a barbecue and celebrate with our own children. There is no way that my mom would want us making today a sad day.  I know that she and Francine are watching over us today and celebrating their own special Mother’s Day, together with the babies that died along with Francine.  They are in Heaven having their own celebration just as we are.  I find comfort knowing that my mom gets to celebrate Mother’s Day with her own mom today!  They have been apart for over 45 years and this year, they can finally have a celebration together.   Dale’s mom Gladys, will be with them too, watching over us and smiling and just being joyful knowing that what they created, continues to flourish and love and thrive as we spend time together.

Dave and the boys gave me a “joint gift” for my birthday and Mother’s Day, an ipad mini, which I wanted so much!  So there were no presents to unwrap, and I wasn’t expecting any but I did wake up to the best present of all.  Drew got a new phone yesterday.  Almost ready for Middle School, we felt it was time.  My phone buzzed early this morning with my first text of the day.  It was from him and all it said was “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!” but it made me smile to know that I was the first thing he thought of this morning.  I guess I am doing my job – thanks Mom!  I miss you.

Almost Mother’s Day

Angel Mother

A few weeks ago, my class planted seeds that we hoped would grow into flowers by Mother’s Day, (if any mommies in my class are reading this – please act surprised).  Well, the seeds did not grow.  They did not even sprout.  I have been laughing a bit about the irony in this because the big joke in our family was that my mom had a “black thumb” instead of a “green one”.  She could not grow a thing!  I think that this is something that I have inherited from her.  So today, I ran out to buy flowers that we will plant for the mom’s and grandmas instead. 

I have been kind of dreading this weekend.  Our first Mother’s Day without mom.  It has been a bit surreal actually.  It was always so difficult to think of a gift to get her.  We always tried to come up with something unique or different.  She never needed anything, never asked for anything.  She always said she never needed more “stuff”.  Flowers were never an option because as I wrote in the beginning of this blog, they would have never lasted in her house!!! 

I have been a part of a few conversations recently where friends are talking about what they are going to do for their moms this weekend.   I notice some of them are realizing what they are saying and awkwardly trying to skirt around the subject.  I hope that they know, that I don’t mind, and in fact I am happy to talk about it. I don’t expect others to not talk about it.  In fact I want them to.

This year, we are all going to my aunt and uncle house.  We will have a barbecue and keep it small and simple.  Mom liked it that way.  My grandma, sister, aunts and cousins, (all moms themselves), will be there too.  We will celebrate each other and just being moms.  We can count our blessings, knowing that our family is fortunate to be so close and tight knit.  All of these women are precious and although they cannot take mom’s place, they are blessings to me.  I am working hard to be the kind of mom my mom was for us and with the love and support of our family, I know that I will be able to do it.  So, although this Mother’s Day will be bittersweet for all of us, I know that mom will be there, along with Francine, (who would have been celebrating her own Mother’s Day as a pregnant mommy this year) watching over us and sending love our way.