August 12, 2012 was my last post. That was also the end of life as I knew it and a harsh introduction to the most heartbreaking time of my life.
One of my last posts was about Malachi's 8th grade graduation. That was kind of a milestone day in my Mom's health because though she was hosting his graduation party at her community center, and though she attended his graduation, she was unable to come to the party. She didn't feel well, and I think most of us very close to her knew that something wasn't right. And deep down, if we knew something wasn't right, we knew that it had to do with cancer. After all, for the last 18 years, that word has been in the back of our minds, if not at the very forefront. It just never felt like something that was Over and Done With. It lurked - both figuratively and, as we now know, literally.
We tended to symptoms long before we knew that cancer had taken over. Many, many trips to doctors, surgeons, emergency rooms, urgent care, all in the name of pain management, never facing the real problem, because the real problem was too big to face. Finally we knew, though. It was back, and it wasn't curable. Still, we were pretty hopeful at first (well, perhaps it was really all denial). God was so gracious. Things moved only as fast as the three of us (Mom, Megan and I) could handle them. For a disease that had taken over so much of her body, she functioned well at first. Then not so well, and finally, not independently at all, until on January 9, 2013 at 6:15am, she took her final breath and traveled home to her Father - and her mother and father and so many others who had gone before.
It's been almost two months now and it still doesn't feel quite real sometimes. I can again see God's grace, because there have been a few times that it's all felt SO real and SO permanent that I literally have to catch my breath; panic threatens to consume and I cry out to God. Which, let's face it, is what I should be doing every moment of every day.