Montageman: A dude who writes

September 29, 2008

For Mom (RIP 1958-2008)

Filed under: family — Tags: , , — montageman @ 2:53 am

On September 24, 2008, Mom took her final breath in the presence of many of us here today.  We will not remember Mom at that moment, rather the memories we have shared over the past couple days and will continue to share for the rest of our lives and beyond will shape the collective remembrance of a wonderful woman – a devoted daughter, beloved sister, caring wife, a loving mother, proud “Grammy”, and friend.

Many days on my way home from work, I’d call Mom to catch up on last day or two.  She’d always listen to my work stories – no matter how boring – and I would hear stories of her nightly gallivanting with my dad whether it was to the casino or out to dinner.  They always had a blast together and it was evidenced by the way she spoke. There was always joy in her voice. Her voice would perk up even more during this last year whenever we spoke about Laila, my daughter and her grand-daughter.  Nothing brought a smile to her face or a perk to her voice more than hearing about her little lamb.  No matter how small the accomplishment, she was always very proud of Laila.  Of course, this is because she was always so proud of her 5 sons.

Pride is something that must be earned.  During the most trying times in her life, my mom never complained even on her worst days.  We are proud of her for her strength and her ability to still smile even under the most dire of circumstance. She never had a “bad” day – sure, she had days when she was tired or not feeling well, but that didn’t stop her from talking to anyone who wanted to hear her voice that day.  She was always willing to lend an ear and occasional laughter.  She had a wonderful laugh – one that could light up the most gloomy of days.

For us, this day might be viewed as the gloomiest of all.  Today, we say goodbye to my mom in a way.  She will no longer be with us physically.  However, from this day forth mom lives forever in our memories, thoughts, and dreams.  Eternal life, while a difficult concept to understand, is primarily a function of history and the passing down of stories.  Heather and I will make sure Laila knows many stories about her “grammy”.  Stories that hopefully will be told with such fondness that Laila will in turn tell her children and grandchildren about my mom.

Mom, there are not proper words for me to utter right now to you.  I love you immensely – we all love you immensely.  You will be missed, but never forgotten.  You will be thought of constantly and remembered lovingly forever.

A couple of nights ago I came across a song by Warren Zevon that I thought was fitting for this moment.  I’d like to read a couple lines for everyone:

Sometimes when you’re doing simple things around the house
Maybe you’ll think of me and smile

You know I’m tied to you like the buttons on your blouse
Keep me in your heart for awhile
Hold me in your thoughts, take me to your dreams
Touch me as I fall into view
When the winter comes keep the fires lit
And I will be right next to you

Thank you, mom, for making me who I am today.  I love you.

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September 18, 2008

My Mom

Filed under: family — Tags: , , , — montageman @ 1:40 am
Me & my mom at her 50th birthday party

My mom and I at her 50th birthday party

Roughly 16 months ago my mom was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Her initial prognosis was dire –  the cancer had spread and was stage 4.  Mom has been in the hospital on and off for the past month or so.  She’s not eating much, the painkillers have her totally fucked up, and she’s on a slow decline.  She’s 50. A young woman, mother, grandmother.  There is nothing fair about this.  Cancer is a motherfucker.  A couple months ago I would’ve said that she was doing well and things were under control, but how quickly the tables turn. I am the oldest of 5 boys – we are very protective of our mom.  Also, our 14 month daughter, Laila, hardly knows her grammy yet.  Helplessness.  Cancer cannot be defeated. It can be stalled, but eventually the stage 4 shit wins.  We’ve had a really wonderful year and I can’t help but think/hope that there is light at the end of this tunnel, too.  Of course, it is my mom, so I’ll be as positive as I can no matter what is said.  Matthew (my brother that lives in NYC) is bringing some Mon-A-Vie home.  I am a firm believer in healing through food, so maybe it’ll help? Hell, anything is worth trying.  This is Mom! It’s hard to imagine – 6 weeks ago she was so full of energy, but all the while there was this monster attacking her body.  Looking at her, you could never tell. She hid it well. And that is why this is so hard. Seeing your mother suffer sucks. I want to make everything better. And I will keep trying, refusing to see an end.

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