Posted by: Kathy | July 23, 2009

Last Time She Was Still With Us

My son, Matt, is testing for his next level of black belt in TaeKwonDo on Saturday. He will go from being a probationary black belt to a first degree decided black belt. It’s a big thing for all of us and an exciting time. But it’s also bringing up a lot of memories of my mom from the last time he tested, because at that time she was still with us.

A little over 8 months ago, my son went through his first black belt testing. It wasn’t an easy task and of course, I was really nervous for him. But I’m not sure what was weighing on my mind more that day – the 5-6 hour testing my son was undergoing or the fact that my mom was dying from pancreatic cancer. Fortunately, I had no idea just how close to death my mom was at that point. She died about 17 hours after my son was presented with his black belt. Less than a day. Had I known she was that close to death, I would have been torn between spending the day with my son while he tested and spending time with my mom on what would be her last day on Earth. Of course my mom would have told me to spend the day with my son because he needed my support.

As we get closer to this testing day, my mind keeps flashing back to the last one because my mom was still here. And she was here for a reason – she was waiting. I realized that the day she died. My mom was so sick and in so much pain, a shell of her former self, but she was waiting for her grandson to accomplish the biggest thing in his life to that point before finally letting go and finding peace. In the nearly 3 years prior to this day, my mom had attended every TaeKwonDo testing and belt ceremony. She was there, giving Matt support or congratulating him. Unfortunately, my mom couldn’t attend black belt testing because of how sick she was, but she wanted to know that Matt had passed and gotten his black belt before she died. She knew he would, so she waited. I spoke about this and my mom’s devotion to her family in my eulogy for her.

The next few days will be somewhat difficult, as I support my son through this next testing and at the same time am filled with memories of the last one and my mom’s last day with us.

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