Today would have been my mom’s birthday, had she not died almost a year ago. Pancreatic cancer took our beloved mother, daughter, Nan, sister, wife and friend from us way too soon. She should still be here, loving life, and lighting up everyone else’s with her famous smile and laugh. She would’ve been 54 today…it just seems so wrong. She should have lived to be 104.
My mom’s best friend, whose birthday is tomorrow, drove 4 hours to be with us for a few days, knowing this would be difficult for us. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without her. My kids call her their “bonus grandma” and she’s the one that’s kept me going. She was there every step of the way with my mom after her diagnosis, and was literally the one taking care of her night and day when she passed away. We’ve been staying busy, so that helps. But my heart is broken, and I am just lost without her.
Last year, we spent her birthday in the hospital. We bought her a birthday hat that looked like a cake with candles, and a purple feather boa to make her feel pretty. I can still see her sitting in her hospital bed, donning her cake hat and feather boa, trying to enjoy her birthday through her sickness and pain.
I know that there’s still a gift bag at my dad’s house, with a lot of her gifts in it. She was never able to use any of them…when she finally came home from the hospital she was barely able to get to her bed from the couch, let alone enjoy any gifts. It just seems so wrong. I remember thinking the only thing I wanted to give her was something I’d be willing to give my own life for; a cure.
As long as I live, I’ll support cancer research, specifically that of pancreatic cancer. It’s virtually silent, and has the lowest rate of survival. Most people, once diagnosed, have less than five months to live. It’s devastating and heartbreaking. I pray daily for the families of those who have lost loved ones to cancer, those who are fighting now, and that a cure will be discovered soon.
Here’s to you, mama. Happy first birthday in heaven. I hope it’s great and that you’re spending it cuddling with our “baby could’ve been”. I love you. <3