Thursday, June 5, 2008

Entry #3: Cancer - Loss of a Mother

Loss of a Mother
By Carolyn Kenney

It was a quiet day in May, 1991 as I slipped through the back door and into the garage which was adjacent to our home. Once there, I let my feelings take over and cried uncontrollably. Minutes later, my aunt came to look for me knowing what to expect once she found me. She said, “You can’t let your mother see you like this.” I thought to myself, “You have to be kidding. She only has months to live! How will I ever keep these feelings to myself?” We talked for a while, each knowing the brave front we would have to show not only my mother, but one another.

My mother, my aunt and I had moved a year before from a beautiful two-story house across the street to a one-floor ranch. It was only the three of us now for my two sisters had married, divorced and lived in their own homes. My father had fallen years before and was now in a veteran’s hospital where he would receive the care he required.

My mother had liver cancer which seemed to come on suddenly, although the tumor must have slowly been growing inside her body for months. The doctor diagnosed her in May and she passed away in September of the same year. I felt as though my heart was ripped out of my body. Would I ever get over the loss of such a warm, caring and loving individual?

She and I had enjoyed many trips together. We had visited Florida, Hawaii and Rome. She had always desired to see Rome, so the year before my sisters, my aunt and I gave her the trip for her 70th birthday. She was thrilled; I will always remember the look on her face when she realized we were going for one week. We stayed in Rome and took day trips to Assisi and Florence. We even were blessed to attend the weekly audience of Pope John Paul II.

However, as the saying goes, “What a difference a day makes” or in this case it was a year. The day of her funeral, as I walked out of the church, I squeezed the hand of the funeral director so hard fearing I would never make it down the aisle to the door of the church. But, she never said a word. She held my hand knowing the grief and loss I was feeling within.

The days and weeks passed and my life continued. My rock through it all was God. My faith carried me through this torturous period in my life. I thank God for walking by my side every moment of every day. What would I have done without Him? His love sustained me and helped me to grow over the following weeks and years.

I still miss my mother with all my heart. But, I have come a long way, both physically and spiritually. My faith has grown each Sunday at mass which has led me to begin attending weekly adoration, one of the highlights of my week. I have taken two trips to the Holy Land and know my mother is looking down from heaven; she smiles as I walked along the Sea of Galilee, through the village of Capernaum and through the Old City of Jerusalem. She would have loved such a trip. As I picture Jesus walking and teaching His Apostles in so many blessed places, my mother is gazing at His splendor in heaven praying for her family here below.

Submitted by
Carolyn Kenney

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Carolyn,
I extend my sympathy to you on the loss of your mother. I rejoice with you that you and your mom fulfilled her dream to travel to Rome. What blessings that trip and your two trips to the Holy Land have been. Stay close to the Lord. He will continue to comfort and strengthen you.
Love & Prayers,
Yvonne Ortega
Hope for the Journey through Cancer