2004…44 Years Old – Part B

2004…44 Years Old – Part B.

In June 2004, Mom was diagnosed with small tumors in her brain. She was offered hospice but opted to try other options. The tumors were removed by gamma knife radiation, a non-invasive surgery, on June 30. Whenever her blood counts permitted, she continued chemo.

In August, Mom attended a ladies’ Bible study. She made friends with Elisabeth Arnold and thought we would enjoy each other. She was spot on! Mom loved spending time with her, too, even offering Elisabeth her last smile here on earth. Elisabeth and I remain good friends – a gift from Mom and Jesus!

In October, the family returned to Destin for a repeat beach vacation.  It was a special time! Two weeks later, we received devastating news – new tumors in Mom’s brain “looked like buckshot.” There were too many to remove with gamma knife.

Mom was quickly losing mobility. On November 8, Mom had an oncology appointment, but she couldn’t walk. Even if I could get her into the car, I could not have gotten her out. With no other options, hospice was called. They were a huge blessing to Mom as well as to me.  

Mom was bed-bound and unable to speak her last week and a half. Pastor Tim Lusk visited, and his words stuck with me, “This bed may seem like a prison, but it is not. It will soon become a mysterious doorway into the next life.”

A few days before Mom walked through that portal, the Mandarin High Prayer Group visited. As they stood around her bed, Mom seemed to be intently looking at something that we could not see. Maybe the portal was beginning to open.

I checked on Mom in the middle of the night, attending her needs as she slept, telling her she was loved and beautiful as I kissed her head. In the morning, I awoke to silence on the baby monitor. Heartbroken, I knew before I got to her room – she was gone. Mom had peacefully left us and met Jesus. Life would never be the same.

Drs. Augspurger and Zeal preparing Mom for gamma-knife surgery
Mom being prepared for gamma-knife surgery.
Mom’s view from her bed
Jessica and Reagan try out Me-Mom’s lift chair
Our first formal goodbye was a graveside service on December 20 – Brad found a cemetery plot in a lovely old cemetery on Mandarin Road, full of huge trees and history.
Our second formal goodbye – Celebration of Life service at Christian Family Chapel
Mom loved cardinals and had many stuffed animals. Each grandchild picked out one of Mom’s cardinals and another stuffed animal to remember Me-Mom.
A Christmas poinsettia for Mom with a message written in the sand – Me-Mom, we love you.
If the headstones in this cemetery are any indication, this is going to be a happening place at the resurrection!
Mom’s daughters…grieving behind the smiles.
Have fun storming the castle, Mom! … Think it will work? … It will take a miracle!

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