My Mom. So beautiful, so courageous, so stubborn, so strong. She was brave for all of us.
I wish that you had known her. I wish that I have known her better.
This photograph is my favorite of us and one that I am thankful to have for it was a race against the clock for this to be captured and I will always hold it close to my heart. My eyes used to well up every time I saw this photo. Now, I gather strength from it. It was taken two months ago when they discovered that the cancer had spread to her spine. The uncertainty of it all was unbearable, but we ended up ‘winning’ that round. Although she was re-admitted to the ER countless times after that, her strength never wavered. She was strong until the very end and even called the last shots as she went out “like the Macy’s Day Parade” with red roses aplenty and not even a speck of lint on her (yes, that was one of her last requests) and such endearing quirks were duly noted in her eulogy as well.
It’s hard to believe that she passed away a week ago today, but we’re finding comfort knowing that she’s finally at peace and taking it one day at a time. Baby steps, right?
I will miss her infectious smile, her hysterical high-pitched laugh, and her cooking. Still, we feel that her spirit all around us – at her house as her dormant orchids bloom, in the kitchen as my dad continues the honor of nurturing our hearts and bellies, in the glint of his eyes as he recollects memories of her, in my daughter as she shares the same beauty mark under her left eye and in myself as I am even more committed in capturing these raw, honest moments – happy and sad – and hope these words will provide strength for others as well.