My mom was 48 when she lost her short ten month battle with stage four non-small cell Lung Cancer. I was just 24 at the time. Never in a million years did I think I would lose her so young but life is crazy and nothing is ever promised.
My mom was awesome. She was one of the best people I will ever know and I am so grateful that I had her in my life for 24 years and I am so grateful for the things she purposely left behind.
After my mom passed away and we had to do the dreaded task of going through her things, we found letters that she left behind. My mom wasn’t the greatest writer and she would often spell things wrong but the best part about that is how authentic those letters were.
When I read them I get sad because I think about what she was thinking while writing them. How do you live knowing you’re life is going to be cut short by cancer? How do you live knowing that you will be leaving behind a loving husband and two daughters? Four and a half years after her passing and her strength still amazes me.
The first letter we found said,
“Bob, Kristina, Jenna,
When you see ladybugs and butterflies think of me. It will be me watching over you all! Tell your kids how much I love them even before they were born. Dad will make a great grandpa. I will watch over my family. I love you all.”
The next thing I found was a “memory box” she had put together for my sister and I. It had all things in it from when we were little, but the thing I will cherish the most was the wish bone she left behind telling us to “make a wish” and a printed poem about a mother’s love for her daughters, with a hand written message from her at the end.
I will be forever grateful not only for these items and messages that she left behind, but for the love and the wisdom she left behind as well.
Sometimes in grief, we have to realize how lucky we are with the memories left behind.
Thank you, Mom.