First of all, in case you're questioning the wisdom of my sending out a "newsletter" about the death of my Mom (aka Momma), oh well. Maybe it's appropriate, or maybe it's tacky. But you know what? Because you saw something from me in your inbox and clicked on it, I consider you to be a good friend. Not a "reader," not a "customer," not even a "subscriber;" a FRIEND.
So, if you opened this email - you are my friend and I want to share this once-in-a-lifetime experience with you. And I'm sure that far too many of you can relate.
With that said... My mother, Dorothy Lois Seacat Allan died on Sunday morning. Around 6:20 we think.
A little background to explain the subject line of this note.
In 2004, my mom survived simultaneous breast and lung cancer. Survived, and thrived afterwards. Continued her active life (she was 78 at the time), traveling around the country, playing bridge, taking care of her home, etc. Then, in 2006, on Thanksgiving Day, she tripped and fell down her stairs. It was a bad fall and she sustained serious brain damage. For 7 months, she was gone. Her children - my brothers and sisters and I - quietly said our good-bye's.
But she came back. Miraculously, she recovered from her brain injuries to probably 80% of her pre-fall capacity. She was even able to move back home and live independently for several months. We were so proud...
Then, about a year ago, she faltered. We again said our good-bye's and prepared ourselves. But she came back. Again. Maybe not 80%, more like 70%. Still pretty darned good considering.
But it's been a tough year. The cancer returned and she wasn't strong enough for treatment. She was hurting and scared, and at times, bed-ridden. And utterly miserable. She knew that all she had to look forward to was more months of pain and suffering and frustration. As, again, I know too many of you can relate, it was heartbreaking to watch.
So, my Momma died on August 15, 2010. And after the first rush of tears, all I've felt is an enormous sense of relief. I adore my mother and will miss her terribly, but there's not even a little bit of me that wishes she were still alive. The mental and physical pain she endured these last few years is not something you'd wish on your worst enemy.
Okay, so it's only been 36 hours, and maybe I'll feel differently later, but right now, if you ask me "how I'm doing" and I say "I'm okay," I mean it. I'm really okay.
Is that okay?
p.s. Here's a little Facebook photo album of My Momma...