perfect moment: time

Just before our daughter was born — before she was ours — my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. My 40th birthday was days away. The baby we had been asked to parent was due at the end of the month. Just as I myself was (maybe) about to become a mother — after trying to build our family for seven years — I learned that I would soon lose my own mother, in the same awful way I had lost my father and grandmother.

Six months later — one year ago this week — my mom was discharged from a world class hospital after one last desperate effort to improve the quality of her remaining life, though the procedure alone could have easily killed her.

Since then I’ve visited her about every three months, watching her progression from death’s door and back to the living, including a family reunion that no one thought she’d live to see.

I never had the chance to write about our last visit in October. On one hand it was good to see her get out more than before, but I also noted the deterioration since July, particularly with drastic weight loss. She was now having her hair done again, yet she was wasting away.

When she agreed to come for Thanksgiving we were all a bit surprised, though it was a good sign. Last year she spent Thanksgiving in a hospital far from home. She didn’t want anyone around and kept everyone at a distance. Not long after that she was told — after pressing her doctor for his best guess as to her prognosis — that she most likely wouldn’t live to see another year.

So when our family’s table for 17 this year included my mom and her husband, when I spent this past weekend listening to my mother read stories to my daughter, when I heard them making each other laugh while I made dinner, when I saw them delight in each other during the few days we shared — these were precious moments I never thought I’d ever see, and for which I am so grateful, that I will cherish.

For more Perfect Moments, click on over to Write Mind Open Heart (formerly Weebles Wobblog).

~ by luna on November 29, 2010.

16 Responses to “perfect moment: time”

  1. This is incredibly touching. I got chills.

  2. My momma has been cancer-free for just over 15 years now. I pray that for your mom, too. Sadly, I know all-too-well that not everyone is blessed with a second (or third) chance, but I always share my mom’s story because sharing it spreads hope. We need more hope when it comes to cancer.

  3. that is so so wonderful. So glad that those moments got to exist ans you got to see them.

  4. Possibly one of the most touching perfect moments I can remember reading.

    So happy for your family gathering this past week. There is something so special about watching the generations before and after you interacting.

    Here’s to your mom’s health and quality of life.

  5. I’m so happy that you got these moments over Thanksgiving. And that you have the grace to be grateful for them.

    Might I make a suggestion? Perhaps send your Mom some of your favorite childrens’ books and ask her to read them on tape so you can have them going forward, as a precious memory for you and your daughter?

  6. What a beautiful moment. Sounds like your mom turned a corner this Thanksgiving that led her to want to share. How wonderful for your daughter to have those memories.
    Can I ask just one question? A table set for 17???? Wow. I am impressed.

    • Hi Robin, thanks so much for your comment! Yes, it was wonderful indeed.

      Ha! A table for 17 wouldn’t even fit in my dining room — it was at my aunt’s and they rented an extra table and linens and made an “L.” We only had to bring the sweet potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts! Truth is, you make about the same amount of food whether you’re feeding 12 or 20!


  7. That is definitely a perfect moment. So glad she was there to be with everyone, especially your daughter 🙂

  8. That’s an incredible day – an incredible memory. I think you should write your mum’s story. Or perhaps you could record some of her stories. That way, you could do it when you get more time as J grows older. I’m so glad she was there – so grateful – really.

    You know that Hallmark book where the grandmother reads a story to the kids? I am so sorry they didn’t have that years ago, so I could have one of those for K.

  9. This is a beutiful post. It made me smile. I hope you have many more perfect moments with your daughter and mother.
    We just started our open adoption process and I’m still greiving the end of our TTC journey. It was nice to read about such unexpected precious moments, particularly after such a harrowing journey.

  10. Oh Luna…these are truly the most perfect moments. I am so thankful you all had a chance to experience them.

  11. I am here to share in your Perfect Moment Monday!

    Your story is quite touching. My mother-in-law bravely went through her battle with cancer. Every day becomes a blessing. If we were really awake, maybe we’d see EVERY day as a blessing, even without sickness or crisis.

    Thanks for sharing your Perfect Moments!

  12. What a beautiful and wonderful memory.

  13. So glad you were able to enjoy another Thanksgiving with your mom. I hope there are many more moments like that ahead for you.

  14. […] last year, my mother was at death’s door and we painfully said our goodbyes. Yet a year later, here she is, still, finding strength she never knew she had. Believe it or not, she’s actually planning a […]

  15. […] week we celebrated my uncle’s 70th birthday. My uncle is my Mom’s younger brother and like my de facto surrogate dad, since I lost mine when I was 16. His kids (my […]

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