Read on if you dare.. to remember that life really is too short to live it alone, or without forgiveness.. Most importantly - don't forget that we all need someone to laugh our butts off with! So feel free to stop by, laugh at some off-the-wall humor that is my day to day experience and please keep your comments positive.. Lifeis2short4me anyway to experience any more negative than I have to. :)
Monday, January 21, 2013
This is my story ~ Facing the truth
This is my story on why I face the truth with my kids..
When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, my oldest (T) was almost 5 and my youngest (C) was 1 1/2.
The cancer was non-small cell lung cancer that had metastasized to the brain, where it had grown rapidly. At first, the Doctors said that she had maybe 4-6 weeks. Mom was diagnosed in late August 2001 and she passed away in June 2002.
Those 10 months that she had with us were precious, and why I made the decision to be honest with my young girls.
I remember telling T that Mama Vickie was very sick, that she had to take medicine to make her feel better but it would push her hair out.. It sounds silly, but to a child of that age, it completely made sense. She wasn't shocked or upset when Grandma walked out one day with no hair and was excited to try on wigs and hats with her!
I told her that Grandma would be going to heaven because the medicine couldn't take away all of the cancer inside of her. I told her that Grandma wouldn't have to be sick anymore when she went to heaven, but that it wouldn't be for a while. She had a lot of questions, and I answered as best I could.
I explained that we all would catch up to her in Heaven, but hopefully not for a very long time. I told her that Mama Vickie's Dad had been there for many years, and she'd be able to see him again when she went to heaven too.
When Mom took a turn for the worse and we knew it was soon, I went to my sweet T and told her that Grandma was ready because her body couldn't be sick anymore. We laid in a bed for an hour while she cried and told me that she loved her Grandma and that it wasn't fair. I agreed that it wasn't fair, I agreed that it was going to be very hard to say goodbye.
I didn't hide the cancer from my kids. That was precious time that they would have missed with her. C was only 2 1/2 when she passed away, but still has memories of sitting at her table eating pretzels with Grandma. Those memories wouldn't be there if I had hidden it all from them.
They loved rubbing her feet and head with lotion. Her skin was so dry, and it was something they could do for her. Love- it was all around my Mother and girls while we cherished those months of borrowed time with her.
When we were told that it was the end of her time, T came in the middle of the night to tell her Mama Vicki goodbye.
What I am telling you is the absolute truth of that night, and it gives
me chills to this day.
She hadn't opened her eyes for 2 days due to
being in a med-induced sleep. When my sweet girl went over to her and
said that she loved her and kissed her cheek, Mom's eyes opened wide and
tears fell. Her eyes closed as quickly as they had opened, my sister
and I just stared at each other in amazement at what we had witnessed..
Later that day, after Mom had passed, the girls went to spend the weekend with my in-laws. My mother-in-law called my husband and explained something had happened on their drive making her realize that whatever it was that we had done to prepare the girls for this loss, we had done well.
T had seen this bright star in the sky during their drive and told them that it must be Mama Vickie, because she would be watching over them from heaven.
I'm sure some will read this and think:
Why would you let your kids see all of that? My answer- Why wouldn't I? Life is tough-it isn't always pretty. You can see that on the TV or in the papers every day, why would I hide her Grandmother, who she loves?
Why would you tell a 4/5-year old that her grandmother is going to die? That isn't what I told her, how I explained it was that she would be going to heaven. Also- that we'd eventually go to heaven, so we would meet up with her there someday, hopefully a long time away.
Every family has their own way of doing things, and this is what worked for us. I share to see if it can give someone ideas on handling an issue in their own lives.
I don't have a PhD- I am just a Mom, a Wife and Daughter that went through this life-altering experience. My mother had 6 children and 16 grandchildren when she died. Her life, cancer, and death, affected every one of us differently.
This is my story. Thank you for reading it...
Please let me know if this meant something to you, or struck a chord.. Big hugs to my followers!~ melissa