Sunday, October 2, 2011

Life is earnest....

....and you know Ernest.  This is one of my mother's many pearls of wisdom.  And it is one that we frequently use in our family.

The last time I wrote I told the story of  mom's adventurous day getting her new driver's licence.  Little did we know that in less than 24 hours our lives would be completely changed. 

My mom is such a gracious and lovely woman.  She is the quintessential lady.  So, it's no surprise that she is handling the horrific news given to her by her oncologist with complete dignity. 

Couldn't help it...I adore this photo!

But, honestly, how are you supposed to handle it when your doctor tells you that your cancer has spread, it's inoperable and your time is very limited.  I don't know.  I do know how you handle it when it is your parent who is given this news.  You fall apart.  You weep uncontrollably.  You gasp for air.  And you get angry.  Very angry. 

My father reaffirmed a notion that I expressed in a previous blog.  He said to me yesterday, "With all of the horrible people that exist in this world I don't understand why this should happen to such a lady."  Amen.  It really does not make any sense. 

I have taken too many things for granted.  It never occurred to me that my mother wouldn't be here for at least another 20 years.  Her mother lived to be 104.  Even when she was first diagnosed with lung cancer I figured she would lick it and that would be that.  She is very strong willed. 

I wish that I could go back in time and smack the spoiled, superficial, selfish and irresponsible teen age girl that I was.  I would tell her that she is so much more lucky than she has a right to be because she has an amazing mother who adores her unconditionally and is somehow still proud of her even though she has acted so unbecomingly and ungratefully.  I would especially want her to stop taking her life for granted because someday she will experience the most unthinkable and gut-wrenching emotional pain that will drop her to her knees because she will find out that her mother's cancer is incurable.

Most teenagers do live their lives in a bubble and assume that nothing can hurt them.  They consider themselves to be the center of the Universe.  I was no exception.  Looking back I am ashamed of how thoughtless I was and how much unnecessary drama I put my mother through.  I know it's not healthy to live a life with regrets.  And I am well aware that life is all about learning from your experiences.  But, I can't help but feel guilty, especially now. 

So, this is a lesson for me to try to impart on my children.  I want them to understand that life is a gift and that they need to appreciate each and every day.  And, even though at some point in their lives they will hate me, I need them to know that I will love them hard and forever.

I was so blessed to witness a beautiful moment between my parents yesterday.  Mom had just told Dad the news and he was trying to digest it.  He has dementia so it was confusing to him.  He was looking at her  from his scooter chair with puppy dog eyes.  He grabbed her hand and pulled it to his chest.  "You can't do this to me" he said.  "You're the love of my life.  You are my beautiful girl.  I love you."  He will be lost.  He has adored my mother for 58 years. 

We will all be lost.  But, for now we have time.  Time to make the most of life.  Time to give back an ounce of the love that mom has given us our whole lives.  She is adored by so many people, for good reason.  She is kind, genuine, loving, gentle, funny, classy and very silly. 

Check out the picture crasher!

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  They will not go to waste.  There is still a lot of life left in that gal.  She's never been one to leave a party early! 


  1. Your writing is so beautiful, and we are sending love and prayers for your family, Julie!

  2. Your writing_IS_beautiful, Julie. I have your Mom right at the top of my prayer list. I agree with your Dad, how can something like this happen to such a beautiful, loving woman who is
    so needed here on earth. God bless you all.