As many of you know, my Mother has spent the last seven years battling lung cancer and subsequent secondary metastasis throughout her body. She quit smoking in 1986.
With an initial classification of stage 3B and a bleak prognosis , she endured herculean efforts to wage war against the silent enemy that only showed itself on PET scans.
She was an avid true crime reader and case follower. In her last email to me, she reviewed my work in the case against Jerry Sandusky while lying in Oncology Intensive Care via her Blackberry that she smuggled in under her gown.
After three weeks of heinousness, she died peacefully Tuesday at the age of 63.
When she passed, she had 5 books on her nightstand and her Kindle; one of which I was sent by it’s authors for future review.
She told me she was willing to read it, but she was not going to do my job for me, LOL.
“I am overqualified and I am working on dying over here. I am not going do your work for you, plus I do not know how objective I can be”
Our Mom’s tenacity for knowledge was secondary to her sense of humor.
Last week when we brought her home I reminded her that the same things about her personality that kept her alive for seven years against all odds were going to work against her desire to take her last nap.
She responded, ” I know honey, I am dragging my parachute.” As the Olympics began, I told her she got the gold medal for outliving all the other patients in the oncology practice and with only one lung category.
She said, “Speaking of gold do you realize it is projected to rise to $1620 an ounce according to my ticker app. I answered, ” If you do not put that thing away and get some rest I am going to smother you with a pillow and speed this thing up.”
“Then use the new one you bought me. Your Father’s are flat and mushy and I cannot get him to part with them, OR ME, ba dump bump” , she said complete with hand gestures mimicking a drum set.
“No worries, I have Daddy signed up on 6 online dating sites including christian mingle something.”
She laughed so hard she had to push her bolus and shot back, “Now I know that is a lie, you are 43 years old and you put your thumb over the face of his prom dates in his old scrap books when you look at them.”
“AND.. I threw a gum wrapper in her front lawn when Dad showed me her house when we went to visit Grammy’s grave ions ago.”
“Charming. Maybe you might consider putting that on your growth area list.”
There was nothing secondary about her love of our Father, her girls or our entire family.
In the nearly 44 years they were married, I never once saw them argue. As kids, that was particularly daunting- we got away with nothing. The parental divide and conquer plan was non-existent in our home.
In my teens I used to be annoyed by her ability to walk into the middle of some early crime show and know exactly who did it and why.
A N N O Y I N G in the learning process.
E N D E A R I N G in the saying goodbye process.
Little did I know then- I would also be inspired by it. I know everyone says they have the greatest Mum in the world, but she truly was the best woman I have ever known.
Ma Mere did not go gently into the good night. She told the good night she would come when she was ready, and that she did. I will not be keeping this post up for long, this site and my work are dedicated to true crime.
While losing one’s Mother at 63 is very much a crime of sorts to me, we had the ability to spend our borrowed time together creating memories that will sustain us during the most profound loss I have ever experienced- many victims families of cases we cover do not. Frankly, as far as learning curves go, I have a new perspective on grief so I appreciate you indulging me with this announcement for a bit.
Private message to Mom: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog
I will be back in full swing next week, moderating until then.
I would also like to thank Hematology-Oncology Associates Dr. Friedman and Dr. Shaw. You were her care consultants operating with her directives, and your advice and compassion allowed us to bring her home.
I get that it is weird with 27 years in the business you come across the raging bull dressed like my 5′ 3″ tall Mother.
The energy you gave us at your surprise and delight to have her be a first in your practice is cherished and Thank You.