For those of you interested, I was asked to blog weekly for Everyday Health, I’ve been doing that for a couple of months now, the link is Against All Odds: Thoughts of an Appendix Cancer Survivor . So if your eyes aren’t worn out reading this blog, I now have two! I was honored in that they featured one of my blog posts in their Woman’s Health Newsletter delivered to a million people last week. I love to write, so it has been fun to be asked to write more!
I have recently been talking to my mom-in-law about my mother’s death, we have always talked a lot, we are usually on the phone for at least an hour every time we talk. We mutually agreed several years ago to drop the “in-law” designation, she’s my mom and I’m her daughter. We’ve been pretty close for 22 years now. She is probably the most giving person I know. She was very open in talking with my kids about sex and drugs and alcohol as they became teens, she was also their caretaker when I was hospitalized for my cytoreduction surgery and for all of the trips I made before and after to NYC. My kids have always thought she was very “cool” for a grandma, they can talk to her about boyfriends and just about anything. She had all of her grandkids over to her house for sleepovers several times when they were younger, she played games with them and made pizzas with them until the wee hours of the morning. When her brother died and she received an inheritance from him, she spent it all taking her kids and grandkids to Disney World…I missed the trip as I was receiving peritoneal chemo and had just had my surgery several weeks before. I didn’t want to miss any chemo then. She is in her 70s but still loves amusement parks, still goes on all of the rides. She regularly drives the Chicago expressways I’m afraid to travel.
She sent me a card sympathy card that I really liked, along with a heartfelt note. A part of it I really liked said “If a tiny baby could think, it would be afraid of birth. To leave the only world it had known would seem a kind of death. But immediately after birth the child would find itself in loving arms and cared for every moment. Surely the baby would say “I was foolish to doubt God’s plan for me. This is a beautiful life”.
I’d heard that sentiment before, but I loved really thinking about it now, especially since death and the dying are a big part of my world, both as a nurse and member of the cancer community, and especially since my mom has passed. We went to her memorial service yesterday. If we were born into this life so much different and better than a dark womb, imagine what heaven must be like in comparison! I love thinking of my mother’s birth into that world!
I read a sci-fi book long ago. In it a space ship sent several expeditions with multiple people on board to a planet they had wanted to explore. No ship ever returned, it was thought all aboard the ships had perished. It turned out, though, that all of the passengers had made it to the planet. The planet was beautiful, with awesome colors they had never seen before, beautiful landscapes and everything they had ever needed or wanted. All who went to that planet had loved it so much they had chosen never to return. I’ve always thought of that story when I lose a patient. Maybe where we go after death is a place like that, a place we never want to leave.