Last year was hard. Mom spent most of her days under medical care. The rest of us learned to play nurse. We took our turns out of love and necessity. No one was having fun.
A twelve year remission followed by another four turned to metastatic breast cancer. In her bones, mom lived with more days of pain than not. One month before that third diagnosis, she got a puppy. She loved life as best she could.
In April of last year the cancer had spread to her bowels, though she only discovered it after spending a month in the hospital. She wasn’t able to eat for months after the operation; her only nutrition, TPN — cellular.
The year was hard on all of us. But writing that sounds selfish. She paid the ultimate price, her life. Mom left this world the way she lived it — quietly.
I’m not the only person who’s lost her mother. But she was my mom and this is my story. I suppose there’s some universality to it.
Nothing is the same. My relationships, our family dynamics, the way I view myself, life in general, work, what I want moving forward, how I’d like to leave a legacy …
Moving on seems the only viable option. Staying stuck and living in the ‘what ifs’ doesn’t allow growth. I choose to grow, and to make sense of the unfolding of the life ahead of me.
Moving on means learning from the past but not letting it rule me.
Moving on means cherishing the moments I had with her — and letting her voice remain in me, guiding me to the next places I will go.
Moving on means honoring her for who she was and who she wasn’t.
Moving on means continuing to live my life the best way I know how.
Mom would want it this way, I think. She wasn’t a woman of many words. She loved deeply but said little.
Trust is all that remains. Myself, my life, my experiences.
Moving on, in many ways, is like starting over. And therein lies freedom.
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