Tag Archive | children with cancer

Mother’s Day

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How do I make the day special for my mom, for whom I sacrifice so much? My own daughter is miles away, being pampered by her children, under her husband’s guidance. It feels like every day is Mother’s Day for my mom. She has meals delivered almost every day, by the two people closest to her, physically and emotionally. Her mail is brought in from the box, set in front of her at the table. Trash is emptied, recycle taken out, batteries replaced, bills paid, surveys answered.

What would it take to make the day different than every other day? Candy? Flowers? Does a beautiful card make the day special?

Is it necessary to make a big deal out of a day that makes florist’s do the happy dance? What would make it special for me is to spend a few hours with my daughter. No candy, flowers, silly balloons. Just time to walk, chat, grab a coffee. With no demands from her kids. Yes, I love my grandchildren to pieces, but I loved my daughter first.

My first born, my miracle, my pride and joy. The ‘good child.’

I don’t need a fake holiday to feel valued as a mother. I already am. I’m loved, valued, and I love and value in return. From my grandmother down to my youngest granddaughter, we have a legacy of caring, loving, and strong women. I don’t need Hallmark to tell me so.

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Never Say These 2 Things to a Grieving Mom

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A few months after my son Bobby died, I had lunch with a few friends. I still wasn’t up to socializing, but I agreed to go anyway. One of the women said something that made me want to jump across the table and grab her by the throat. I know she meant her words as comfort, but at that time it was like rubbing salt in an already gaping wound. It’s now been five years and I can remember my visceral reaction that day.

Here are two things NEVER to say to a grieving mother:

He/she is in a better place. No he’s not! He should be here with his family. With me. How could any place be better?

If you just do X, you’ll find closure. Really? What does closure mean, exactly? Do you think one simple act will help relieve the unrelenting aching of my empty arms?

As any mom will tell you, after 5 years, 10 years, or even longer, there is no such thing as closure. Writing my book, BECAUSE OF GRACE, didn’t bring closure. Putting a brass plaque with Bobby’s name on the Children’s Memorial Tree in South Lake Tahoe didn’t bring me closure. Closure is like trying to grab smoke.

Has anyone ever said anything to you like this? How did you respond?

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Because of Grace available on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Because-Grace-Mothers-Journey-Grief-ebook/dp/B00U0GY1D6/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-3&qid=1425144332

Unfinished Business

Have you ever taken on a project that started out being fun, but began to drag on and on? Somewhere in the middle you got bogged down, either because it was harder than you expected, or other commitments made you want to just get it done.

That’s how my Bobby scrapbook is. I started it several months ago, thinking how wonderful it would be to capture his life and all the highlights. We could look at it from time to time throughout the years remembering fun times. We could show it to Audrey to remind her of Uncle Bobby. It would be a tribute to him. I had no idea how hard it would be! Some days I’ve only been able to stare at the photos and cry. It has sat, unfinished, on my work table for months. I feel guilty sometimes that it’s not done. I won’t even work on new pages for my grandkids’ scrapbooks because there’s this huge, looming, project staring at me.
I usually take time to make each page of my scrapbooks fun and cute. But last night I decided just to slap those photos in and call it finished. Whew! Weight off the shoulders, relief in my spirit. The good thing is that I know Bobby would understand. He’d say, “no worries, Mama.”

“Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep”

I shared with someone at our grief support group that there will come a day when her son’s death was not the last thing she thought of at night and the first thing she thought of in the morning. She asked me, “When? When will that happen.” I answered, “I don’t know.” Although I don’t think about Bobby first thing when I wake up; after a year, he’s still the last thing I think of at night.
I’ve always had difficulty falling asleep, so I’ll think about something that makes me happy; maybe a peaceful place I’ve visited or a happy memory. That exercise has become difficult, since so many memories include my entire family. I still become sad that he’s not an active part in our lives. This is what the experts call getting used to a new normal.
On the flip side, though, I had a watershed moment this week. I had lunch with a business associate, and of course, talk turned to the question: How many children do you have? I was able to answer “Just a daughter,” without stumbling or needing to explain. That’s a first! I am celebrating this small victory.