My mom had a brain tumor, and a very, very bad diagnosis. But things still were being held together in a semblance of normal. A year ago, my mom was still herself. January 20, 2011 was almost an ordinary night, if it weren't for my mom's appointment for a biopsy of her brain at UCLA the next morning. The family had a casual dinner together and then we watched American Idol in my parents' living room.. I went home to tend to Juliet, then 8 months, and kissed my mom goodbye.
I was so worried and scared, and my mom looked right at me and said, "Oh, Jen, please don't worry. Everything is going to be fine."
Because that's what mothers do. I know that now. They reassure their children and comfort them and tell them everything is going to be okay, even when they're not so sure.
Everything wasn't just fine. Her biopsy went very, very wrong. The memories of that day make me close my eyes in pain. Some things are just too terrible to remember. They are also too terrible to write down. If you were there, you know what happened. If you are just a casual reader, then it's too private to share. It was the worst day of my life, and then things kept getting worse.
I will say that the biopsy caused my mom to have 2 strokes, and the neurosurgeon removed a part of her frontal lobe due to intercranial swelling. She spent six weeks in intensive care and stroke rehab. That's the clinical description but it doesn't explain what really happened: we lost my mom that day, we lost who "she was" as our mom, and we never got to say a proper goodbye.
Mom was never the same, and she died six months later. My mom's death was too terrible to share on an Internet blog, but those of you who were there, know. It hurts to remember but is impossible to forget.
I love you, mom. I miss you.
|At my bridal shower, September 2008|