Monday, May 16, 2016

The Bag in the Corner...

Each time Heather went into the hospital or the ATU for blood products I had my "crochet bag" with me. It always had a current project along with the baggie of Jolly Ranchers, Starbursts and gum. This was to help Heather with the nasty taste in her mouth during saline flushed in her PICC line. There was nothing really special about this bag other than it was a Disneyland bag I had purchased several years before. It was a simple black bag with Disney characters stitched it but it came to be known as the ready bag. It was always packed with supplies and by the door so we could grab it and go at a moments notice.
Disneyland bag with my crochet projects in it. The last one in this photo
This is the same bag that I took to the hospital during Heather's last stay and it sat in the corner behind my chair in her ICU room for several weeks. I had finished a baby blanket during the beginning days and I began another afghan with no one in mind for it. I had thought that I would make the staff in ICU afghans like I had done for the 6 South staff but for some reason I was never able to follow thru with making "thank you" afghans for them. Not, that I wasn't grateful for what they had done for Heather, it was just it didn't end happy. I did make baby afghans for our special, Racheal, when her girls were born. But no one else and I have no real idea why I didn't.

So I began a very simple ripple pattern that I could drop off and then pick up working on it again with no issues. It was in a dark eggplant, with a variegated seafood green, lavender, blue and cream and then a solid cream colored skeins of yarn. For days I worked on this and Heather watched me crocheting. This would be the last afghan I started and worked on while she was alive. The days turned to weeks but when I had moments alone in the room with Heather I would work on this afghan. Sunday, when Dr. Zachariah told us there was no hope, the bag sat in the corner for the next almost two days. Monday night, April 20th, I packed up Heather's ICU room. I took down the photos off the door, placed her gifts she had been given into a box and picked up the Disney bag in the corner with my afghan in it and took it to my Xterra. When I brought all the things home I placed the Disney bag in the closet and didn't touch it for over three years.

I was cleaning out things in one of my "lets go thru things and purge" phase when I came across the black Disney bag. I took the bag out and thought I would look to see how much more work was needed to finish the afghan I had begun a lifetimes ago. I was shocked to figure out that only 12 rows were needed for it to finished. I had all the yarn so why in the world could I have just left this and let it sit for over 3 years. This wa snot like me to allow projects to go unfinished. So, I picked up the bag, brought it downstairs, took out the ripple afghan, hook and yarn and began working on this once again. It was painful but also healing to finish this afghan. 
This is how much 12 rows is...
I thought I was crazy in the fact that I really didn't have any desire to give or gift this afghan to anyone. I didn't have a use for it myself, as it really wasn't my colors and I had no one, absolutely no one in mind for this afghan. So I placed it in the blanket closet along with the other two afghans I had made Heather and just let it sit. I had talked to Jenn and told her I didn't know if I could give that afghan away to anyone. She had a project she worked on during ICU and she felt the same way. Not that Heather would have wanted it, it was just the last thing I began when she was alive. It had meaning to me and I just didn't want to let go of one more little piece of Heather, so it sat.
Here is the afghan all finished
Last year, 2015, Bill and I took a 10-day Disney cruise to Hawaii, with a couple days stay at Disney's resort, Aulani. I had joined a Facebook group for the cruise and had met some really wonderful people. We had been "chatting and posting" with each other for almost a year before the cruise that began in September. One of the posts, on the curse page, was a video from Maryanna and David. I watched the video of David ringing the bell to announce his completing his treatment for cancer. I was mad and angry and hurt and mad. I was so mad at that video that I could not post a comment and I didn't the "like" button either. I had never met Maryanna or David but I had very strong feelings of jealousy. I wanted it to be Heather that rang the bell and Heather that survived. It was nothing personal, just I wanted the good ending and not the one I need up with.
Maryanna and David ringing the bell in Cleveland
The port hole to the Disney Wonder on sailing day
A few weeks later someone had commented again on Maryanna's video and the post had come up fresh in my newsfeed on Facebook. This time when I saw it I had a "feeling" I needed to private message Maryanna and explain why I didn't comment. It wasn't like this was a small group and I have no doubt that Maryanna and David had no idea who I was or if I commented on their video. I began a message and then deleted it thinking I would sound like a crazy woman. But, I had a small voice that kept telling me I needed to message Maryanna. So one evening I messaged her, but little did we know that how that one message was soon to build a bond between us that no one ever dreamed possible.
The Princess is ready to set sail...
Our cabin door decorated and our FE gift extender
I began by saying I was happy for their video, but that I couldn't post because my daughter had died from cancer. Maryanna messaged me back and immediately began asking me about Heather. She told me she understood my feelings and we began messaging back and forth. The cruise got closer and I could hardly wait to meet all these people and new friends I had made on Facebook, but I especially wanted to meet David and Maryanna and we wanted to give hugs and just meet face to face.
Pirate night, AAARRRRRR!
One would think with 5 days at sea that you would get to meet and chat with everyone on the ship, but that is not the case. All to soon we were heading into ports, did some island hopping and then the cruise was over. I knew that this cruise was special and I had gained so many new, wonderful friends. When I call these people my friends, I mean true friends. The kind that drop things to call or send a card, the kind that think of you and send packages of things they "saw it and thought of you" sort of friends. This group on Facebook still have a very active page and many of our group have met for dinners, gone on other cruises together and still chat on a regular basis.
King Kamehamehaon, Hilo
Oh yeah! Helicopter ride over the island of Nawiliwili
A beach at Kahului
Let me begin by saying that Maryanna and David are two of the kindest, nicest, sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I wanted nothing but blue skies and smooth sailing for them as they celebrated David's retirement, but the happily ever after only lives in fairy tales and not in the real world I am sad to say. My dear friends were an hour or two away from setting sail on a Panama Canal cruise when their world was turned upside down. They received a phone call with the news that their daughter, Marysusan, had cancer; and that major surgery with treatments need to begin right away. Maryanna and David were not able to get a flight that day but some great cruise friends were right there to pick them up and take care of them till they could change their plans and get home.
Hawaiian sunset at Aulani 
Maryanna and Sherry
Let me begin my saying the worst words in the world are "your daughter has cancer!" and it doesn't matter the age. In that moment this dear sweet family, both their daughters and their 6 grand babies became survivors. Their life is forever changed and turned upside down. NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING is small or simple anymore. Suddenly, Maryanna and I were living the same mother's worst nightmare. We needed to fight for our daughter's lives. Things with cancer are never simple and straightforward. Mothers have very basis protective instincts about our babies and with cancer nothing is in your control. You stand by and watch and so desperately want to take all the hurt and pain and sickness away. You would gladly give your life to save your child's life.

Marysusan, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer that had spread. The surgery that she had ended with complications and chemo had to be postponed. She has been in and out of the hospital with multiple surgeries, complications and chemo. Not only is she given chemo thru her chest port but she also has a port in her abdomen and currently is receiving chemo thru both. Words cannot begin to describe how cancer in its most basic form effects a whole family, let alone a major form of cancer with not so routine complications that come up.

In the very beginning all I knew was David and Maryanna. I was and still am determined to show my love and support for them the best way I know how. To say that Maryanna and I are "connected" doesn't even begin to describe the kindred spirit we seem to share. I have tried at every turn and twist to be a support and encouragement to Maryanna and the whole family. An example of our connection happened right before Christmas. I was supposed to be cleaning off the dining room table for Christmas dinner when I "got a feeling" I needed to make something for Maryanna. I sat down at my embroidery machine and created a teal ribbon lace angel. Teal is the ribbon color for Ovarian cancer. I made one and I thought I was done for the night when the "feeling" told me I need to make one for each family, so a total of 3 ribbon lace angels. As I begin to make the second angel the "feeling" came to me that I needed to make everyone in the family one so a total of 12. I had no way of knowing that very night Maryanna was having a bad night dealing with friends that just don't understand the journey. 
Teal Ribbon lace angels-when in warm water the angels stand alone
I know some people who don't believe in "heavenly visits" from our loved ones that have died. I have experienced three such visits and each time they were very clear with the message and it involved Heather each time. I had one such "visit" concerning Marysusan. I shared this with Maryanna and she didn't feel me crazy. Marysusan was sitting on a park bench reading under a shade tree. I was watching from a distance when Heather comes closer to the bench towards Marysusan. I make eye contact with Heather and ask her if she has come to take Marysusan. Heather shakes her head no. I repeated this visit nearly the exact same way three times during the same night. Since that moment I have felt "connected' to Marysusan in a special way. 

Then I was standing in Walmart looking at yarn and another " feeling" came over me and I had to make Maryanna an afghan. I am not sure why the colors came to me as I feel it is a stretch for the color makeup of her house. But the feeling never wavered. I then began working on an afghan for Marysusan. I didn't really have a "feeling" but i liked what I was making. I am about 2/3 done with this afghan and I really like it. However, another feeling "came over" me and this plan was changed. My special" connection" with Marysusan was about to leave no doubt in my mind.
Maryanna with the afghan I made her-a long distance hug
Last week I decided to print this blog. I create a book to have a hard copy of the posts just in case something every happens to the blog. I had not printed a book for 3 years and I forgot the format of the other two books I created. I happened to pick up the second book and was thumbing thru the pages looking at post blogs. I passed the blog where I wrote about the bag in the corner of the room and the afghan I had begun. In that moment the "feeling" HIT ME! I had not been thinking about this afghan and honestly had not seen it for a couple of years. I had to send this to Marysusan. I put the idea out of my head with the thought that "I was already making her one and this was crazy." I went that whole afternoon and the thought never left my mind. I talked to Jenn about it and told her what I wanted to do with it and she agreed it was meant to be. I thought I was crazy but I decided to take a photo and message Marysusan and ask her if she liked the colors. I was surprised when she told me those were her all time favorite colors in the whole world. I told her a brief history of the afghan and told her I wanted to send it to her. 

Yesterday, this afghan, that was begun over seven years ago, is snuggly in the arms of the new heart to love it. It makes my heart fill with joy that as Marysusan heads to the finish line of chemo she can wrap up in that afghan and hopefully feel like it is a hug from me. For years to come this afghan will be used on cold nights to wrap up sick babes and help heal broken hearts from that first school crush. I needed to find just the right place for this ever so special afghan to go and I know within my heart this was where this was meant to be.
My hero, Marysusan with her new afghan
I had no idea that a random afghan I began over seven years ago, would be a gift of love to a special family, that I met her parents on a Disney cruise, that they happened to decide to go at the last minute. Because I listened to that "feeling" and messaged Maryanna so many months ago. It just goes to show that if you are listening priceless moments and relationships are waiting if we just open our heart and mind to them.

Always on my heart-Aulani Resort beach

Monday, May 9, 2016

Genetics, What is Yours is Mine..

Heredity is the passing of traits from parents to this offspring, through asexual or sexual reproduction. This is the process by which an offspring cell or organism acquires or becomes predisposed to the characteristics of its parent cell or organism. 

In humans, eye color is an example of an inherited characteristic: an individual might inherit the "brown-eye trait" from one of the parents. Inherited traits are controlled by genes and the complete set of genes within an organism's genome is called its genotype.

Your direct maternal lineage is the line that follows your mother’s maternal ancestry. This line consists entirely of women, although both men and women have their mother’s mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). This means that fathers do not pass on their mtDNA to their children. Your mtDNA can trace your mother, her mother, her mother’s mother, and so forth and offers a clear path from you to a known or likely direct maternal ancestorAn artificial reproductive process known as Three Parent In Vitro Fertilization (TPIVF) results in offspring containing mtDNA from a donor female, and nuclear DNA from another female and a male.

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is not transmitted through nuclear DNA (nDNA). In humans, as in most multicellular organisms, mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the mother's ovum.

Every single person on this planet has a mother and a father. Regardless of their birth, in order to begin you have to have parents. Regardless of how I feel, I have a mother and I have a father, both of which are still alive. I also have half siblings that I share my genetic DNA with. Many times I have said that I don't have a mother, blah blah blah. But the truth and hard reality is I DO and regardless of how my siblings feel Jane IS my mother and I AM her daughter. This is something that can never be changed. I have my mother's mtDNA in my cells and so do my half siblings, of which we share a whopping 25% of the same genetic DNA.

It was made known to me that I have no right to talk about MY MOTHER the way that I do. Well, I am sorry to inform everyone, she IS my mother and I can actually say what I want to about her. I had a sort of relationship with her after I found her in July of 1993, but my entrance into her world shattered the false existence of her and of her family. The fact that a person can  and will lie to her family for their entire life is  probably willing to lie or tell half truths about anything.

So, because of this genetic DNA thing, I felt compelled to call my mother when Heather got cancer. No,our doctor did not have the medical genetic DNA testing available to see if the blood cancer was inherited. I just knew at that moment, regardless of the circumstances, that I never wanted one of my siblings to experience what I had. I know that every time one of their kids gets sick or gets a bruise they wonder if this might be something. The fear of them actually having a child with cancer might just come true. I have no way of knowing if this came from my mother's DNA. But, blood cancer has been linked to auto immune disorders which my mother has. I have no way of knowing how Heather got two forms of blood cancer.

I am sure that my friends get tired of seeing the same posts about my mother and my feelings. The truth is that I was the one that made my mother, a mother, regardless of the fact she gave me away. I was the first to grow inside my mother, kick her and then have her labor to give birth to me. Nothing changes that fact, ever! My daughter, Heather, taught me that even death doesn't end that love between a parent and a child.The amazing thing about mothers and pregnancy is the fact that it is proven that the babies DNA or genetic material stays within the mother's body for the rest of her life. A piece of that pregnancy goes with the mother for the rest of her life. The body remembers even if the mind tries to forget. SO try as she might my mother's body won't let her forget the fact that I am her child.

I have to express my deep appreciation for messages I received from two of my sisters on Mother's Day. It is heartwarming to see that I get under your skin and irritate to the point that you have to contact me after 5-6 years with no contact. You did give me the information I desired to know; that when my mother might be dying, she did think about me. So thank you very much for that. It is good to know that there are regrets and still feelings there on my mother's part and yours; as hate and love are the same emotion just one level apart. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Toxic People...

Mother's Day in the United States is an annual holiday celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Mother's Day recognizes mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds in general. 

Organized by Anna Jarvis, the first official Mother's Day was celebrated at St. Andrew's Methodist Church in West Virginia, which holds the International Mother's Day Shrine. Previous attempts at establishing Mother's Day in the United States sought to promote peace by means of honoring mothers who had lost or were at risk of losing their sons to war.

In its present form, Mother's Day was established by Anna Jarvis with the help of Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker following the death of her mother, Ann Jarvis, on May 9, 1905. On May 10, 1913, the House of Represenatives passed a resolution calling on all federal government officials (from the president down) to wear a white carnation the following day in observance of Mother's Day. On May 8, 1914, the U.S. Congress passed a law designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. The next day, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring the first national Mother's Day as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war. In 1934, U.S. President Franklin D Roosevelt approved a stamp commemorating the holiday.

Carnations have come to represent Mother's Day since Anna Jarvis delivered 500 of them at the first celebration in 1908. Many religious services held later adopted the custom of giving away carnations. This also started the custom of wearing a carnation on Mother's Day. The founder, Anna Jarvis, chose the carnation because it was the favorite flower of her mother. In part due to the shortage of white carnations, and in part due to the efforts to expand the sales of more types of flowers on Mother's Day, florists invented the idea of wearing a pink carnation if your mother was living, or a white one if she was dead.

The commercialization of the American holiday began very early, and only nine years after the first official Mother's Day it had become so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become, spending all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration. She decried the practice of purchasing greeting cards, which she saw as a sign of being too lazy to write a personal letter. She was arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother's Day, and she finally said that she "...wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control ..." She died later that year.

However, Mother's Day is now one of the most commercially successful American occasions, having become the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States[ and generating a significant portion of the U.S. jewelry industry's annual revenue, from custom gifts like mother's ringsAmericans spend approximately $2.6 billion on flowers, $1.53 billion on pampering gifts—like spa treatments—and another $68 million on greeting cards.

Every year it is the same thing going from holiday to holiday but shortly after Easter, begins the hunt and advertisement for Mother's Day. I get emails, entitled "see some of mom's favorite gifts," FTD ads boast about the "perfect" flowers that Mom will love, TV commercials begin and all the greeting cards and candy come out. But Mother's Day is not the "perfect" holiday for everyone. While it is true that we all have a mother, not all of us are blessed with good mothers or even a mother that will acknowledge or accept your existence on the planet. Not everyone has the "June Cleaver, let's bake cookies after school" mother. While there are all different kinds of mothers and children and each one is different, to the adopted child, Mother's Day takes on a whole new meaning,

As soon as you figure out what the words "you were adopted" mean, you begin to wonder why. Why did my mother carry me for 9 months and then give me away. Was this her choice/ Who was the father? How did she feel being pregnant with me. How long was she in labor? Did she hold me? Did she look at me? Did she wonder what happened to me? Did she ever think about me? How did it feel when I was kicking in her belly? Did she love me? Did she have any regrets? Then comes in all the other questions, like do I look like her? Do I have her eye or hair color? Do I have anything that I do that is like her? When you look in the mirror, you don't know who you look like.

One of the most amazing things to me is the fact that everyone tells me my three girls "look so much like me." Now, that I have 2 GRANDgirls, I can see they look like their moms and then in turn they look like me. How amazing to grow up in a house where you look like the people in your house. You have photos of past relatives that you may resemble. This is something I never had. I never had anyone tell me I look like my mom or my dad. Now of course I know who I look like and all the genetic traits that make me who I am. It was and still is amazing to me the amount of things that are genetic and not learned behaviors.

So I can say with a clear conscience that I 'broke up" my relationship with my mother. Yes, it was my choice and it has been the healthiest thing I have ever done for myself. For some reason greeting cards don't have a traditional card that reads " thanks for giving birth to me and not aborting me, but it is the best thing that we don't have contact with each other" card. I can say that "breaking up" with my mother was not something I did without thinking long and hard about my decisions. It was a relief and heartbreaking at the same time. For my own sake I could not have this toxic person and her family in my life. Not that they had been much of a force in my world to begin with. Of course there are three sides to every story; mine, my mothers (not her daughters as they were not even around during most of our time together) and then the truth.

I kept trying to engage in the "mother/daughter" relationship but I seemed to be the only one trying. I naively thought that she would change or meet me halfway. I kept trying and hoping for a different outcome. I had expected a relationship that she was not capable of giving to me. I felt this was my fault and somehow if I was better or if I tried to love my mother more it would make everything all right. I knew for myself I had to stop caring and expecting a relationship that was never ever going to happen. Imagine the shock when I came to realize that my thought "that birth mothers have to love their babies" turned out to be a horror story and I was one of the key players.

So now, I have a mother that is living and I her child, am living but no relationship. People tell me to forgive and forget. I say there are things that you simply cannot overlook and sweep away. There are things that people do that are unforgivable. I will state clearly that I reached out to my mother while Heather was still alive and in ICU. My mother did not respond to me. My daughter was dying. Her granddaughter was dying and there was nothing. At that moment things were done and there would be no turning back. Choices were made and I am okay with mine.

I appreciate my mother for not aborting me, but lets be truthful abortion was not legal then. She did give birth to me and gave me away. I can say that I am the person I am today no thanks to her at all. I have three daughters and two GRANDgirls that did not have her as a toxic influence in their lives. It is my mother's greatest loss that she never had a relationship with Heather. I am glad that she doesn't share my memories of Heather. The second greatest loss is she never had a relationship with me. The problem is I am someone who stands up for herself, I don't take the backseat to anyone and I don't allow toxic people to stay in my life.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mother's Day or Something Like That....

I can't remember when or how Mother's Day became such a heartbreaking and sad holiday for me but it was sometime during my childhood. I honestly don't remember any Mother's Days celebrated with Jo Beth. I was 9 when she died and I have very early memories but none of anything I ever did for her for Mother's Day. I am sure that her lack of care or concern for me added to the feelings that I never thought of Jo Beth as my mother. I had been told all my life by her mother, my Gran, that I needed to be thankful that I was adopted by such loving and caring parents. She would tell me I could have spent my entire life in Foster care and I needed to be grateful. Really? Who says those words to a child? All I knew is that when Jo Beth died, I was free! I was free from bondage and free from abuse. After finding my adoption records, I now know that Jo Beth never wanted or bonded with me. The report stated that Jo Beth was extremely self centered and introverted. They did not think that she was capable of loving anyone other than herself. This is never qualities that a mother can have an be a good mother. I can honestly say today that I don't feel bad when I say that Jo Beth was never my mother and I am thankful that she died and was no longer in my life.

Then came my step mother, Norma. I thought at first that she was the mother "I had always dreamed of." Boy was I ever wrong. For the second time, I was placed into the care of another woman who never wanted me. All she ever wanted was a daughter that would be her slave; to clean the messes she would leave behind and never be a self thinker. I look back and realize I was a modern day Cinderella. Each night Norma would fix crappy meals for our family of 5, everyone would eat and all the dishes were left for me to clean the next day after school. I was to come home and get the kitchen cleaned each day before Norma got home from work. Then, on the weekends I was required to vacuum and dust the house while her two sons did nothing. One was seven years older than me and one was three years younger than me. This was truly a Cinderella story. I had ratty clothes and shoes and the house was a mess as the three of them were horders. As I grew into a teenager our relationship went from bad to worse. It was my Daddy and me against Norma and her two sons. We were five people living under one roof but we barely spoke to each other.

Then one of the biggest mistakes I have made in my life was finding my birth mother, Jane. Wow, what a special kind of psycho is she. I was the product of a two and a half year long affair she had with a married man even though she lied to me and told me she only knew him for about 6 weeks. She knew he was married and had kids even though she lied to me and told me she didn't know. My birth father's wife got pregnant again, so Jane got pregnant with me to trick him into leaving his wife and marrying her. When her plan backfired she dumped me. I was now the baby she no longer wanted. She never saw me and signed over her rights the moment I was born. Jane made choices and honestly I am glad I was not raised by such a cold-hearted, deceptive woman. She never ever mentioned me again. She never told her husband, whom she married when she was 3 months pregnant a little over a year after my birth. Imagine this poor man's shock when he comes in and finds her crying one day with my letter in front of her. For 29 years, I had been the secret she had forgotten about. I tried to have a relationship but I was a huge reminder of her lies and decent and she could never have a relationship with me. I did try once again when Heather had cancer mother, who carried me in her body and gave birth to me, could not put she selfish heart aside and reach out and be a human being. Jane sent me a generic sympathy card, then she and her five children managed to make a whopping $25.00 donation in honor of Heather. Really?? Keep your money and buy food. What an insult. Jane to my sisters is the perfect saint of a mother and they say that she loved her kids and grandkids with her life. Really? You watched how she treated me, her first born child and her granddaughter, and you can still say that.

I recently found out that Jane was in the hospital battling for her life. She is currently in a nursing/rehabilitation facility. I of course got no call or word from her family that anything was wrong with her. Did on her near death bed, she think about me? Did she want to say anything to me? Did I cross her mind at all? Or was I the child that she never wanted and never loved and never really gave a second thought too! My question still remains how can a mother love 5 of her children but not the 6th? As a mother who had my beloved daughter die, I would give my life to have another moment with Heather. But then again, I was her Momy.

I can only remember one Mother's Day that I was glad to be celebrating and that was 2008. This was the Mother's Day about a month after Heather was diagnosed with cancer. We had no idea if she was in remission not but for that moment I was ever so thankful that she was here and alive and with me. Her gift to me that year was a pair of teardrop shaped peridot earrings. She picked these for two reasons; one was that was her Grandma Coombe's birthstone and it was the color of Lymphoma. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that was her last Mother's Day. It makes me wonder if she knew. Did she know her time was short? Mother's Day, 2009, was 20 days after Heather died. Wow really? I wasn't even out of extreme shock and I went right into Mother's Day.

Please don't tell me I am strong or brave. I am not strong or brave, I am surviving. I wasn't given a choice. Cancer invaded and didn't ask me. Heather died and didn't ask me. I got a life makeover without my consent. I am forced to live without my child I don't have a choice. I am surviving.

Please don't tell me Heather is "always with me." Actually my child is never with me anymore. I can't visit her. I can't hear her phone call or receive her text messages. I can't ever get another gift from her for my birthday or Mother's Day. I won't get flowers from her anymore and she won't bring me another caffeine free diet coke from Circle K. I always carry her with me. I will picture her face and her smile, but no, she isn't here. She isn't married and living in Disneyland. She is dead and she is gone.

Please don't tell me Heather is in a better place. Yes, she had cancer and the last 33 days of her life she was suffering. I know she isn't suffering anymore, but I can't visit her. I can't call her. I have no new memories made with her and there are no new photos. She is missing, gone, away from every single family event that happens now. She is permanently gone for the rest of my life and that hurts, It hurts big time!

To everyone who had a great mom, or even an average mom; count yourself blessed. This is a treasure that some never know. I have never ever known the love of a mother. I know the love as a mother to her child, but I have never had a mother's love. I don't have a mother to hold me when I cry and grieve the death of Heather. I have no mother to share her bond with me as her child as I journey without my daughter and her granddaughter. Being a mother to Jenn, Heather and Wendy, I cannot imagine allowing my daughter to grieve the death of her child alone. The saddest words my daughter ever told me was she prayed she didn't grow up to be like me-a grieving mother. Think about that statement for a daughters don't want to have one of their children die and be a grieving mother. I don't blame them as I never ever ever ever ever ever want Jenn and Wendy to be like me, their mother.