November 22, 2011

.5 years.

Carol Jean Hammond
Recently I was watching FRIENDS, the whole gang was gathered around after stuffing themselves silly from Monica's Thanksgiving Feast. The discussion of topic was who has had the worst Thanksgiving, Chandler thought he took this category because it was when his father came out and was 'spending time' with the house boy, Monica was in the running because she accidentally chopped off Chandler's toe and brought a baby carrot to the hospital instead of the toe.  While watching this episode, all I could think over and over again was..nope, I have them beat. I am winner of the worst Thanksgiving ever.

It was the morning of Thanksgiving 2006 when  laying with my mother in her hospital bed she took her last breathe. As soon as my father had woken me up with a gentle poke on the shoulder, I knew exactly what had happened. It was only 3 weeks earlier that she was diagnosed with colon cancer. When she was diagnosed the cancer had spread so far that they couldn't do much for her and only gave her half a year to a year to live. When first hearing that I would only have a year with my mom, I couldn't handle it, I thought she may not be at my wedding or meet my future children, but she can watch me graduate college. Now, what I wouldn't give for the extra 11 months with my mom. The three weeks went by to fast and I never was able to see her outside of a hospital room again. 

May 2009
Only picture of the WHOLE family (husbands included)
First time Dave met my family!
My mother was 53 years old when she passed away, I was 22 years old. I felt far to young to lose the most important person in my life, the one person who raised me and never stopped loving me. In our short time together, I learned so many things from my mother that I will carry with me always and hopefully pass on to her grandchildren. Some of the things that my mother taught me (and many others) are: how to be a strong, independent woman, love unconditionally, smile and laugh, assist others in need,  and family & friends are more important than all the riches in the world. I think one of the things she hoped would have stuck is how to be frugal, write down purchases, and save more money!!

I love this smile!!

Every year on this day I go to Long John Silvers for supper. This was one of mom's and I favorite treats, I rarely went with anyone else. I remember the exact conversation we had in March 2006, which was the last time we went together. She surprised me at college to take me out to lunch and hang out with me, we went to LJS and I told her about how Dave and I were officially dating & that I was going to Seattle for Spring Break (only 2 days away!).  

Today I will be getting fish and chips from our favorite place, Scotties, and eating them at the beach.  Then I will be taking a little bit of her ashes and letting them go into the ocean. She was always supporting me and helping me make my dreams come true, especially in taking adventures, when she only left the country once.  When my father and mother moved to Alaska back in the day, they drove through Canada, this is the only time I believe she went out of the country.  So now it's my turn to help her see the world. She supported me 11 years ago on my first trip to Australia and only feels appropriate that she is here for the second trip. 

.love you & miss you, mom.

Our last Mother's Day...we had no idea. 

Today  hug someone you love.
Let them know what they mean to you, 
because we never know what the future holds.