I received word today that my beautiful mommy (yes, I’m 36 and still call her mommy), my best friend, my heart passed today. I am grateful that in August when her liver cancer was discovered (gall bladder cancer that metastasized in addition to surviving endometrial cancer a year prior) I had the opportunity to go and have some girl time with her thanks to by BFF from college, Ricardo, and his wife, Amanda. We shopped, we laughed, we enjoyed the ocean, we held each other and we cried together. A month and a half ago, she had a stroke as a result of the stress the chemotherapy was putting on her heart and she entered the hospital. Two weeks ago, she was moved to a beautiful hospice filled with beauty not just in looks, but in terms of people too. The nurses taking care of her were phenomenal. Thanks to my wonderful now fiancee, he, my son, and myself were able to spend a week with my mom and were blessed with moments of consciousness with her. Mom was able to snuggle with her youngest grandson, she was able to snuggle with her “baby girl” as she called me (past tense…going to have to get used to that), and meet the man who has made me happier than anyone outside of my amazing son. My fiancee asked her if he could marry me and she said, “Of course.” Thank you God for those moments and for a man who has been my rock through all of this. To know my mom was to love her. She was quite possibly the most determined and selfless person I have ever known. She didn’t let cancer stop her from getting her Masters Degree in Marriage Family Therapy or from counseling her clients (some of whom others had difficulty counseling). She always thought of others first and she was loved by so many. She made me the determined individual I am today and to never stop dreaming. When my health got weird and I lost my job as a result (fired the day my FMLA ended), she told me that this didn’t mean I could give up. When I went back to my young adult dream of owning my own high end alternative salon and just two months after starting cosmetology school my knees gave way and I needed surgery on both…when my surgeon told me I couldn’t go back to school, I thought my dream had died, but there was my mom supporting me and telling me to keep dreaming until I found another. When I found another dream that went back to doing what I do best: events and weddings, she was so proud and even now when I am struggling financially to get clients in this economy, she told me to stick to it, “because Sherman women CAN DO!”
A couple of weeks ago I said that I would be sorrowful because she’s gone and rejoice that she is no longer in pain. Some people thought that was a bit strange. Shouldn’t I just rage and wail because she has been taken from me at the young age of 65? NO! My mom was a woman of deep Christian faith. She believed in focusing on the words in red and doing what Christ had commanded, to love one another as you would want to be loved and my mom had a great love for people that translated in to her work and her ministry. She is now in heaven and for that I rejoice.
I can feel her around me now and I’m sure if I had one of those energy monitor thingies that supposedly measure spirit activity, it would be pegging. I can feel her arms around me and her gentle words. I can hear her soft well enunciated southern voice telling me that it’s okay. That right now, it’s okay for me to cry, to be sad, and to be angry, but that I will need to pick myself up and be the best me I can be.
Rest my dear sweet mother. You are and always will be my heart and my best friend.
3/17/1946 – 3/30/2011