Monday, August 31, 2009

What Any Mother Would Do??...

Today is the day before my birthday. For some reason I woke up at 5:15 am and began having my meltdown. This meltdown has lasted all day long. It does and does not have to do with Heather. It has a lot to do with my birth mother. Over the past year and a half I have received emails and letters telling me what an amazing mother I am. I do not feel that anything that I did for Heather or Jenn and Wendy is that amazing or special. I did what I had to do as their momy. I never thought twice about doing what I did. You fight for your babies, no matter how old they are. You never stop being their momy. I think that it is what any mother would do for her children. Well almost every mother....
My birth mother and I have a strained relationship. There are 2 sides to every story. But this is my blog, so you get to hear my side. I went into the relationship 16 years ago with the idea that birth mothers have to love their babies. I was WRONG. When Heather began her treatments I called my mother to alert her to Heather's cancer. No matter what the issues are I never want one of my half sisters to go through what I have gone through. I received an email from a half sister telling me to keep my mother in the loop and that she was very concerned about Heather. The email finished by telling me that my mother did not know if I wanted her to call me or not.
On April 29th, 2008 I called to talk to my mother on what I thought was the second worst day of my life. This was the day we thought Heather had a stroke. I thought maybe she cared about her granddaughter and/or her daughter. I left a message with her husband. He told me that he knew my mother would want to call and talk to me. He told me she was very concerned about Heather. I left my number and told him there was a 2 hour time difference and that I would be up for awhile. She could call anytime. As of today, 490 days later, I am still waiting for her to call. Once again I realized that I mean nothing to her. How can you not call your daughter??? HOW???
I called my aunt, my birth mother's sister, the first time we thought that Heather was not going to make it. She told me that she was keeping my mother informed on what was going on. I understand that we do not have a relationship. But I was not calling to tell her Heather stubbed her toe. Her granddaughter was dying. Her first born daughter was going through hell on earth. I heard nothing from her. My sisters and mother gave a donation to charity after she died. Then my mother sent me a generic sympathy card. She sent her daughter a generic sympathy card for the death of her daughter. Like patting me on the back with one hand and then slapping me in the face with the other. The generic card proves once again that I mean nothing to her.
As a mother, as a grieving mother, I cannot understand how a mother could treat a daughter this way. My birth mother has a total of 6 children. My 4 half sisters have told me that she is the best mother and grandmother that anyone could ever want. They watched how she treated me during this time so how can they say that she is the best mother and grandmother ever. How can a mother treat a daughter this way. I just do not understand.
So, as my birth-day arrives tomorrow, I wonder does she think about the day I was born? Does she care at all? How can she have 6 children and love 5 of the 6. There is NOTHING, NOTHING that my girls could ever do that would make me stop loving them. We have had our differences but I NEVER stopped loving any of them. I hate myself that I allowed her to get to me this way. I think there is a part of a child that always wants a parent to love them. I have to accept that fact that will never happen for me, not with a mother anyway.

Sherry at 6 weeks old. 1 of only 3 photos taken during 4 months of being in foster care waiting to be adopted.

Jennifer with her Mommy, shortly after being born, March 13, 1986
Heather with her Momy, shortly after being born, December 10, 1987
Wendy with her Mama, shortly after being born on April 9, 1990

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bunny and a Cat....

Right before Heather's 16th birthday, on a Saturday, the family took a trip to PetsMart for dog food. Little did we know that we would be coming home with a new family member. East Valley Bunny Rescue happen to be there trying to find homes for their bunnies. The lady had out "Cinnamon". A very sweet English Spot bunny that had been released in a park and chased by dogs. This is what happens to a lot of Easter Bunnies. Please everyone, stick to the chocolate kind. That day we came home with "Cinnamon". We soon learned that this was not a good name for him. We took a clue from the cartoon "For Better or For Worse". In the cartoon, Elizabeth's 1st bunny was named "Mr. B". So, "Cinnamon" changed to "Mr. B" which is short for "Mr. B.B Bunnykins" or Mr. Easter Kester as Heather would sometimes call him as he hopped away from her.
Our first night home with "Mr. B" and he did a thing we call "dead bunny". This is when a bunny is happy and content they flip onto their sides. They feel very safe and they relax. It scared Heather and I. We thought he was dead for real. So we call it "dead bunny" when they lay on their sides. Heather was thrilled and loved having her bunny. Her favorite animal since she could talk was bunnies. She was tickled to finally have one of her own. "Mr. B" spent only a night or two in Heather"s room before she decided that he was too noisy and he found a permanent home in the office.
Heather was thrilled to dead when 2 years ago Jenn and I came home with the babies, "Bert and Ernie". It was really odd that when Heather first came home after doing chemo, the bunnies would have nothing to do with her. They could smell the drugs. Heather would wait till she was "clean" and then go lay down on the office floor and let "Bert and Ernie" hop all over her. She loved all the bunnies so much. Usually pet bunnies survive about 8-10 years. Who would have ever thought that "Mr. B" would outlive his beloved Heather.
Another pet for Heather was the cat, "Chloe". She loved to pick her up and hold her. "Chloe" is not a huggy type cat. Many a night I would go into Heather's room and I would ask her if she had the cat. She would look at me with those eyes and say no. I would then hear the cat meow from under the covers. She loved to hold and torture the cat in the best loving way she could. The funniest story comes from the first kitten Heather ever had. She was 2 1/2 years old when I got 2 kittens, one for Jenn and one for Heather. They would hold them and walk around with them. One time when Heather was holding "socky", Heather squealed and dropped the kitten. She grabbed her hands back and told me "Kitty mowing Momy"! I had to stop laughing first before I could tell her that the kitten was purring and that meant it was happy. She giggled and ran to get her kitten to make it mow some more. The photo was taken one day last August. The cat was laying in bed and Heather had to come and snuggle with her. "Chloe" does not look too happy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Day My World Turned Upside Down...

I am not much for writing my thoughts down on paper. I know my blogs tell a different story. For some reason I can write on a website but I can't write with pen and paper. At the beginning of our journey I had a journal that I wrote down some of my thought. There is not much. I only wrote 3 different entries during the first few weeks of treatment.
Photos were taken April 14, 2008.
This one was written on Friday, April 11, 2008 at 2:oo in the morning. Heather and I are in room 627 at Banner Baywood Hospital. Everyone has gone home and I am unable to sleep for thinking about the testing and chemo coming later in the day. Here are my thoughts:

World turned upside down
Can't breath
No time to waste
Did someone turn off the lights?
She has no more school
She has no more work
Heather has CANCER!!!

Make the world stop-I want off
Life is no fun anymore
God doesn't give us more that we can bear
But I can't bear this...

I don't want to do or go through this
I don't want Heather-my baby-my body-myself
to go through this.
God what is Your plan?
I know it is there,
But i can't see it right now...

Can't breath,
Can't breath
Someone catch me-I can't breath...
I know she is on loan
But I want lots of interest
I am not ready to pay the bill off yet
50-60-years maybe...

All at the hospital
everything a blur
What do I do?
What do I do?
The staff is so good...

Want God to be praised
Glory to God
How can I pray?
When I can't breath...
Prayer warriors are interceding for us right now
For I have groanings which cannot be uttered.

Sleep, I need sleep
Cry some more
Red eyes tell the story
What is normal?
Lord protect my baby
Save her life
YOu are the Lord God Almighty

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Breathing Again...

The afternoon of April 10th, 2008 I remember walking out of Ironwood Cancer Center, telling Shyla and Heather to go to the car for a minute, walking to the side of the building and trying to breath. My world was upside down. I could not catch my breath. As time went on I began to breath again as things began to look better. Holding her breath as she looks for the perfect dress...
Prom dress hunting, April, 2005

Upon waking on Sunday morning March 22nd, 2009 and hearing that Heather was being rushed to ICU. I had to pack my stuff up to move. Honestly I was not really sure why and how things had gotten so bad. I was in shock. Marcia, her nurse, wanted her moved NOW. I could not catch my breath. As time went on I began to breath again as things began to look better.
Holding her breath as she looks in the mirror...
The Woman in Red...April, 2005

During the night of March 28th, 2009, I held my breath at each moment that Heather struggled to breath. I held my breath as she got worse and I knew she would have to go on the vent. So scared and thinking that she would not survive. I could not catch my breath. As time went on I began to breath again as things began to look better.
NOW she can breath...the final choice...
April, 2005

Monday, April 20th, the night my dolly girl left, I thought I would never breath again. How could I? How would life ever be “normal” again? Nothing would be the same. I can’t be happy or laugh, Heather is gone and it is not right to do those things without her. But as time goes on, I am beginning to breath again…Things still look and feel strange, but it is getting easier to breath. Walking, running and living is a different story….

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Treasures from Disneyland...

One of the smallest shops on Main Street is the Silhouette Shop. Most people walk by and never give it a second look. It is not flashy or fancy. It does not have lots of things to purchase. It is the lost art of silhouette cutting or shadow profiles. It takes 5 years of training to become a Disney artist. There are 3 very talented ladies that are certified to cut in the shop right now.

Bill and I had our silhouettes cut a couple of years ago. I had wanted to get the 3 girls done at the same time. However, I did not manage to get the girls together to have it done at that time. Our trip in December was when I finally marched all 3 girls over, made them sit and do a silhouette. Little did I know at the time that would be the last opportunity to have all 3 of my girls together at Disneyland. Heather was not thrilled at having her profile done. She felt like she looked fat. Of course I do not see that.Wendy and I had talked before we left about having Pea's silhouette done with Minnie Mouse. I want to begin a whole collection of family silhouettes. Little Pea did a great job of sitting on her Mommy;s lap and looking around. Wendy and I tried to get her to look ahead. The lady that had cut the girls in December was the same one that cut Pea. She did a great job. She even got Pea's little curly hair in the silhouette. Something interesting about the frames. You can only purchase them in the Silhouette Shop at a Disney theme park. They are the same size and color. They also have 50 Mickey Mouse faces as the gold decoration around the frame. Just a little fun fact about Disney.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Attempt at Starting a New Blog...

Today is the first try at having an online blog. Even though I have been sharing my thoughts for over a year on the CaringBridge site. I am nervous about starting something new. I fell in love with the movie Julie & Julia. I loved her idea of blogging. She seemed to just write as if she was talking to a person over a cup of tea. So if you are reading this, you are the first to get a taste of the new blogging I will be doing. I hope that many of the faithful people who have read the CaringBridge site will now move over here and read more. Most of you feel that I really open up and share so much about our journey. I gave you only a small look inside of what I wanted you to see. I am going to be a little more open and share more feelings. If that is possible.... One of the last photos taken of Heather and me
before our
journey began. This was taken
in Disneyland in October, 2007.
Heather is the only one in the family to
ride the Mad Hatter's Tea Party...