Tag Archives: Death

The Mountain or the Molehill

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It is hard to believe in just a couple of days it will be 5 years since my momma went to be with my daddy in Heaven. Every year it’s hard and this year is no different. It has been a while since I wrote on here, but I thought this would be a good time to share something I had written a while back. I shared this as a devotion at my church recently. Maybe it can help someone else who might be going through the same thing.

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My mom and I in 2007

The Mountain or the Molehill

In the early weeks of January 2012, my preacher preached a sermon and encouraged us, in order to grow our faith and strength of character in God, we needed to ask Him for a mountain. In asking God for that mountain, we were acknowledging that God would walk the mountain with us or move it if we had enough faith.

I know the power of words and what a brilliant listener God is. I was afraid to ask for a mountain because I knew if I asked God for it, He would give it to me. So instead, I bowed my head that day, and I requested a molehill.

Just a few short weeks after that sermon, God answered the prayer. If what I received was only a molehill, I’m glad I didn’t ask for the mountain.

My mother was in remission, from stage-4 lung cancer with mets to the brain, for almost a year. We were planning a cruise. It was her dream vacation. On this particular morning, the day before we planned to leave, I walked out of the kitchen, where we just had breakfast together. Moments after I walked away, I heard a dreadfully loud crash. I rushed back into the kitchen to find my mother sitting on the floor with her leg and hip bent unnaturally. I knew when I saw it that my mom had broken her hip. The cruise was a trip she would never take.

Less than a month later, while she was recovering in the hospital, she began to talk crazy and say bizarre things. An MRI showed new spots on her brain. In February, they gave us the news. There was nothing more to do. They gave her six months.

I was devastated. I had lost my father in 2009, and now it was inevitable that my mother would join him soon. The brain mets combined with the hip fracture left her unable to walk, she was wheelchair and pretty much bed bound. Initially, she went to a nursing home, but it lasted merely a few weeks. I couldn’t stand the thought of my mother spending her final days in a strange place away from her family. My husband and I packed her up and brought her to our home. Hoping my two-year-old daughter, who my momma named Stormy, would bring her some joy in her final days.

It was hard. It was more than hard, I was working a full-time job from home and dividing my time between it, my husband, daughter, and mother. It was nearly impossible, without God it would have been impossible. But, I was now momma’s sole personal caretaker. I took her to the bathroom, bathed her, prepared for her and sometimes fed her meals. It was exhausting, but it was something I knew I willing to do, something I truly believe I was born to do. People would often ask me how I did it. My answer was always “Through the Grace of God.” Towards the end, mom weighed over 150 lbs. and lifting her was harder each time. Still, I mustered the strength through my God and did just that.

There were moments I would turn up momma’s TV and go outside on the porch and scream as loud as I could. I wasn’t screaming at God. I was screaming at this horrible Cancer that was taking my momma from me. There were times when I wondered how long I could do it. But, I knew what it would mean if I didn’t have to support her anymore. I knew that when I stopped having to do those things, then she was gone from me.

There was a moment at the beginning of the 7th month after they told us we had only six left that I could see she was declining fast. It was getting harder to lift her. Her strength was failing at an alarming rate. When I stood her up from the couch on this day, I held her close and hugged her. It was hard to hold her up. She was heavy, and I was tired. I had been her caretaker so much those last few months that I had forgotten to be her daughter. I hugged her close and told her how much I loved her. She held on as tight as she could. Her strength was gone by now. That day I sat at the breakfast table and fed her. She was too weak to lift a spoon of oatmeal. It would be the last time we talked because after this day she was too weak, even to talk.

I told her how much I loved her. I told her what a wonderful mother and friend she had been to me. All the things we hope we can tell someone we love before they die. She was by far the strongest person I have ever known. But, on that morning, I told her that it was okay for her not to be strong anymore. That is was OK. The last words besides “I love you” that my mother ever spoke to me were, “Now YOU will need to be strong.”

Less than a week later, my mom passed away surrounded by friends and family and totally at peace.

I often think back to that January morning when my preacher told us to ask for a mountain. Part of me wishes I would have asked for nothing at all. Part of me is glad I only asked for a molehill. And, yet the other part, deep in my soul, knows that even though I asked for the molehill God gave me the mountain because he knew that with Him I could cross to the other side.

 

I will leave you with this 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Undo – The Single Change I Would Make in my Life

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For the most part I wouldn’t change anything in my life.
Because with change means all the circumstances and things that come after could be altered or not exist.

So changing anything that would leave me without my wonderful husband and beautiful daughter is just not an option.

There is however, one moment in time I would change.

It was January 20th, 2012, the day before we were leaving to go on a cruise. We were taking my mother who had never been and always wanted to go. She and I were getting ready to go have a mani-pedi and I walked away from the kitchen as she stood up to go and get ready. In the seconds I walked away she slipped and slid down the back wall, landing on a hard ceramic dog food bowl and breaking her hip.

She didn’t get to go on her cruise, we had been counting down the days.

She would eventually pass away in September. I think the depression that came on after her hip was broken all led to the end for my sweet momma.

So yes, I would change that moment. I would have stayed. I would have made sure she got up and did not fall. I would have let her have her cruise. Maybe she would have still been gone by September, maybe not.

— This post is in response to The Daily Post Prompt – Undo

And now I realize I totally messed up the Prompt… it was to Un-Invent something…. So…. crap….. I would Un-Invent Ceramic Dog food bowls…. 🙂

A Sign… A Gift… on One of the Hardest Days of My Life

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For this weeks weekly photo challenge the topic is signs, I began searching for a few signs I knew I had pictures of: One that says: Arm/Leg for gas prices, one with the W missing from Waffle so it looked like it was and affle (awful) House, and a few more along this line. But then I saw the picture below and realized it was the greatest sign of all!

Besides the actual passing of my father and mother the hardest day of my life was the day I had to make the decision to put my mother in a hospice facility.

Only a few days later she would take her last breath.

The day she was admitted I was with her and when I left her that afternoon my heart was so heavy.

As I walked outside I looked up in the sky and saw this. It gave me chills. It also gave me peace. I really needed peace that day.

Maybe you can see what I saw that day or maybe what I see is just for me.

But it was one of the greatest signs I have ever been given!

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The Warmth of Your Love

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Two years ago today, my mother departed a sick, bedridden body and went to heaven. Walking proud and healed of all her sickness. It is easier this year than it was last year. I feel both sadness and comforted by that. I wrote this poem in memory of her.

 

The Warmth of Your Love

©S. Tennyson Taylor

 

Not a second goes by

When I don’t feel the warmth of your love

It has been two years today

Since I said goodbye

And yet, in each significant moment of my life

In each small act of kindness

I feel the warmth of your love

You taught me strength

You showed me kindness

You held my hand when we walked

You held me close when I was afraid

I felt the warmth of your love

I watched as disease riddled your body

The C word

The horrible, awful C word

You fought hard, squeezed out every bit of life you could

But in the end, the angels came

I can no longer wrap my arms around you

I can no longer sit up all night talking with you

I can no longer see your sweet face

But, no matter where I am

No matter what I am doing

Each and every day

I can still feel

The warmth of your love

My mom and I in 2007

My mom and I in 2007

And Yet I Always Knew

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As I reach the closing pages of the book

 I find myself wanting

 Needing more

In the verses before me told the life of a sister

 I never knew I had

I had chosen to finish these pages with the sand between my toes

 Because it was my sister’s wish

It was still almost impossible to imagine

 And yet somehow I always knew

I always felt something was missing

A part of me

It wasn’t until she passed away

And the journal found its way to me

That I felt whole

It sounds odd to feel whole after the death of someone

And yet

 That is what I am now

 I am whole

 In my hand I hold the life stories of my twin

And someday

 We will meet again

This is in response to The Daily Post Prompt: Edge of the Frame – We often capture strangers in photos we take in public. Open your photo library, and stop at the first picture that features a person you don’t know. Now tell the story of that person.

To Walk in Your Shoes

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Today marks 1 year since my mother passed away.

I found a poem I wrote to her in 1999 – This would be 11 years before I had a child of my own and so it was so fitting that “I could only imagine”.

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To my mommy – To Walk in Your Shoes

I can only imagine how you must have felt to hold my tiny body in your arms the day I was born.

How you must have rejoiced when I spoke my first words and took my first steps.

Or how your heart must have broke the first time I got hurt.

I can only imagine how you must have sat and watched me walk into school that first day

How proud you must have been when I read my first words knowing that you instilled such a love of reading and writing.

I can only imagine how you must have felt to see me turning into a young woman.

To look into the eyes of what you still remember as a baby and see a little lady growing up before your eyes.

I can only imagine how your heart might have broke the first time mine was broken by a boy.

Or how you must have been filled with joy, love, and a even a touch of pain, to see me walk down the aisle on my wedding day.

Your little girl, all grown up.

I can only imagine how it feels, to be the most loving, giving, selfless, beautiful mother in the entire world.

I can only hope that one day I have the chance to be half the mother you have been to me.
I love you mommy, Happy Mother’s Day, your little girl, Shelly

(c) Shelly Tennyson Taylor 1999

A Confession and Suppressed Grief

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So, for the past week I have been going through the motions of a mindless eater. Actually that isn’t entirely true, I have knowingly gone into the cupboards and found the hidden Nutella jar (by the way it is either heavenly goodness or the devil, I haven’t decided which yet), eaten spoonfuls of peanut butter & Nutella mixture, taken handfuls of cereal, eaten ice cream and basically anything I wanted. Now, for a normal person this might be okay, however I am recently back at my Weight Watchers lifetime weight and so this has put all of that in jeopardy.  I dread the scale next week…. Sorry Susan, advance warning of my breakdown.

Not only have my eating habits been bad, but also I have not written a single word or edited a single page in my novel in the past 6 days. I am not reading, and I am spending mindless hours a day trying to Crush Candy…..

The question is why?

I had an epiphany moment a bit ago when I opened a piece of mail from Cobb Hospice. Reminding me, As if that wasn’t all that has been going through my head since the start of September, that we are coming up on the 1-Year anniversary of my mother’s passing.

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Aha!
In all my mindless acts, I do not have to think.
If I start to think, I might be reminded that I have lived the past year of my life without my mother, my best friend, my daughter’s Nana. Without these mindless acts, I would have to think and realize how much I miss her and how I would love to just have her arms around me one more time in a comforting hug.  I might have to realize that I finally wrote and finished a story AFTER she died and so she was not able to read it. I might have to register when my daughter says she misses her Nana. I might have to take off the mask of “I am fine, I am strong.”
I might have to allow myself to grieve for her again.  

I guess the little box I had this all tucked away in is getting wet and soggy and breaking down.

For a moment, I will allow myself to cry and be mad and sad and happy she isn’t in pain anymore. I will feel sorry for myself and for my daughter for not getting more time with her. And then, I will wipe away my tears, put on my happy face, and put it all back in a new little box and tuck it away.

Of course, in 3 days on September 9th, when we come to the “actual” day that Momma went to be with Daddy in Heaven then I might have to pull that box back out and allow myself another good cry.