Friday, September 30, 2011

my mom.

this post has been a long time coming. just needed the time to sit and write it. i drove my mom to the airport yesterday and she is safe and sound back in tulsa. it was sad. ava asked for oma this morning to which i had to respond..."oma is bye bye." for nine days she unpacked. organized. labeled. sewed. ran errands. played with ava. cleaned. arranged the tv cords in such a way that they are now hidden. organized and hung every item of clothes i own. ran more errands. did returns. helped me pick fabrics and colors. loved ava. loved justin. but loved me the most. since i am her little girl. even though i am 27 and i sometimes do not do well with that whole thing. i realize i will always be my mom's little girl. the youngest of three. but since i went to grad school, got married, moved, got my first job, gave birth to ava, had cancer, and moved again...i think i am an adult. which i am. but i am also her daughter. you can have both. i think i will always be her daughter and of course as i get older our relationship changes and develops. it is only natural.

last august when my family went to the outer banks to be together when we heard i had mom and i were not on the same page. not because we did not want to be. we just did not know how to be. i was dealing with the fact that i had cancer. which i did not even know what that meant or how to feel or what to do or what that meant for me, justin, and ava. i was not in a place to really understand or even care where other people were coming from. especially my mom. mom's seem to get the worst of it sometimes. she said to me that week..."imagine if ava was sick." at the time i could not handle that. i could not wrap my head around being sick personally...let alone what it would be like if our sweet ava was sick. so i yelled and got mad. i did not mean too. i was taking a lot of vicodin. not an excuse. i just could not go there yet.

but now...13 months later i am at a place where i can hear her heart. where i want to know how she felt and what it was like to have a daughter with cancer and be on the other side of the country.  i wanted to have those conversations while she was here. but we didn't really. it was too hard. my aunt deb is very sick with cancer and my mom had just been with her for a couple weeks before coming here. so we find ourselves in all too familiar territory. but i thought i was ready. but i'm not. it is just hard. not too hard. just hard. i think it is so important and a part of the healing/grief process to talk through things that are uncomfortable and hard...but i just could not do it. not sure why. but someday.

i emailed family and friends a while back about writing a guest post for the blog. to help other dad's sister's, mom's, friends, etc as they deal with loving and caring for someone while they are sick. i asked my mom about it and why she had not written, yet. ( ps offer is still open to whomever. please share).

"libby. i can't. not because i do not want to but how do i possibly put into words what it was like. to think about losing you."

i said. "i did it. i wrote. all the time." but i realized in that would you ever put it into words. nothing seems to do it justice. i think about the often when i sit to write. no words. not one word in the english dictionary can articulate my heart. the depth of it. the pain. the joy. the ache. the gratitude. i think about writing a book. sharing our story. i want to. it is a dream of mine. i will need a good editor for sure. but i love to write. i want to share our story with the world. not because we are cool or that our story is that different from many other's out there. but it is a dream and i think you need to follow those dreams. maybe one day.

what was incredible about these past nine days is that my mom did not stop. early mornings and late nights...all spent on making this house a home. it was such a glimpse of her heart for me and my family. my mom had some reservations about our move. it seemed like a lot considering the valley we had just walked through.  so her being here and making it happen in the midst of so much was such a gift. i am an adult now with my own family and i will make decisions with my husband that not everyone will agree with and that is okay. but i am beginning to understand that no matter what my age...i am still my mom's daughter. her little girl. even though i think i am all grown up and know everything. i know i do not know it all. not even close. my mom can do so many things so well. much better than me. she has so much to teach me and i am excited to learn. even if i do not act like it when she is showing me how to do a french knot for our pillow or sew a curtain. i am listening. you teach me. i teach ava. that is what happens with moms and daughters.

it was our best visit to date. do you agree? thank you does not even begin to do it justice.

 ava, oma, and a giant bear. loves her so much. oma and the bear.

i talked a lot about how cancer changed me when i was sick. here is a specific way it changed me. everything is a gift. when i think about where were last year i can not type without tears. everything from this point on is a gift. a little bonus. a surprise. undeserved. so thankful. we are not guaranteed anything. let's live in such a way where nothing is wasted or taken for granted. but instead we are grateful. genuinely thankful for where the Lord took us and where He is taking us.

first real legit heartfelt blog post in our new house. different. no river. but still good in a new way.

***blog will be under construction tonight. got a new blog look coming your way***

yay for friday. enjoy it.


  1. It is easy to love someone when they are sick. Sometimes its hard though to care for them cause you remember them before they had cancer. You want to make it all better for them. You always put a smile on your face even though you might be dying inside. I just lost my Mom sept. 12 to cancer. I am thankful now for all the doctor visits on went on with her and all the errands I did for her or sometimes just sitting with her....I really do cherish those times. She said before she died: I couldn't have done it without!! I am glad you enjoyed your visit with your Mom and I hope there are many more visits!

  2. Libby,

    I think I may have commented before but I can't remember. I've read each word you've ever written. You are so blessed to have a mom so attentive. I'm jealous. In the last two weeks, starting on my 9th day of marraige, I had a health scare. I had MRSA and for about two of my seven days in the hospital, death was one, albeit, slim possibilities as an outcome. I'm still dealing with how much that scares me. I'm emotionally still a wreck. I cannot begin to imagine how you waded through the emotions of being sick for so long, of having the weight of what could or could not be eating at the back of your mind. I'm slowly getting better. It's taking much longer than I thought. I know you are not always on the same page with your mom but you are so clearly blessed. My mom came up for six days while I was both in the hospital and was still here when I got out and frankly her inability to serve me in any capacity, due to her own limitations and the damages of life, was an additional burden to me and my husband. You are blessed to have someone that can see a need and address it, even if your communication may have trouble spots. Also it seems very normal to me that you would still be very emotional about your journey. It will take a long time to process the stuff that you couldn't, just so that you could keep going through treatment another day. I am now seeing how many thoughts and emotions I had to ignore in order to stay calm, endure another shot, have another IV put it etc, I mean they just can't do that to someone who's sobbing hysterically so a lot gets pushed aside to be addressed later. Keeping growing and writing, it blesses us all.


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