This year has not gone as planned. In August, I was shocked when my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma Cancer, a brain tumor. She had brain surgery, radiation and chemo pills.
My family has visited her a few times every week since her diagnosis. She started out positive. Each week, she declined physically and cognitively. On December 22, my siblings and their families spent the evening with my mom celebrating her birthday. It was hard to see her so weak. She could no longer walk, eat and could only talk a bit. It was not like other birthdays. I tried, but it was hard to be happy and smiling.
The next day, my brother texted me at 10:30 AM, that my mom was in the hospital. I saw his text after 11 AM. I knew that we had to go see her. Once we found out the hospital that she was in, my family loaded up in the car. On that 1.5 hour drive, my stomach was in knots, and I could not speak. I knew what was coming, but it was still hard.
On the drive to the hospital, I read a few bible quotes that I had written down from my bible study. Paul said that he wanted to leave this earth and be with God, and that staying alive is more needful for those around him.
For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.
–Philippians 1:23-24 (NKJV)
My mom moved to a hospice care facility that afternoon. After leaving the hospital, we visited her at the hospice that day, Christmas Eve and on Christmas. On Christmas, she went to heaven that night. My dad died on Christmas Eve 5 years ago, so she is with him now. I think that going to heaven on Christmas must be so majestic with angels singing and trumpets playing, praising God. I would like to think that Christmas is the most glorious day to be in heaven.
My mom fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
–2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)
Yesterday we met with the funeral home and church. The priest asked for memories about my mom. This morning I realized that even though both my parents died on Christmas, Christmas holds the best memories for me.
My dad died when my kids were 2 and 4 years old. The Christmas season was difficult for my mom. She would come to my house and stay for 1-2 weeks during December. We made Christmas cookies, went to see Christmas lights and to the winter carnival and watched Hallmark movies after the kids went to sleep. It was the best quality time with her for my kids and me.
When my dad was alive, he loved Christmas. We went to the Breakfast with Santa every year, he got us too many presents and always surprised us. It was fun, hectic and crazy.
Even though I no longer have parents living, I hope that we will remember all the fun times at Christmas. I hope that we will always rejoice in the birth of Jesus at Christmas.
A lovely member of my family sent me this song and said she thought of me, when she heard it. Wow, be prepared to let the tears flow, when you watch it.
Corey Hart sings Another December