Posted by: Kathy | November 3, 2010

A Tough Time

With the 2 year anniversary of my mom’s death looming very close, I find that my pain and sadness have increased. I often have tears in my eyes, which I quickly hide from those around me. This is my own pain to suffer. Even though I know my husband and kids miss my mom, the impact is greater on me. And I don’t want to lay out my pain in front of them. The only person whose level of pain matches mine is my father.

I’ve learned a lot over the past 2 years, most specifically how much my mom meant to certain people. I never knew until a few weeks ago just how much my mom meant to my husband and how much he misses her. He kept this bit of information from me probably so that my pain wouldn’t be increased. I worry about how my kids are handling this, how my dad is coping, and now how my husband is feeling as well. I don’t want them to see my crying or worry about me. I want my mom to be remembered with happiness.

There are certain times of the year that are particularly difficult for me. In order of the year, they are part of the month of May, during which we celebrate my dad’s birthday and my birthday, and honor my mom on Mother’s Day. The month of September is difficult since it’s my mom’s birthday and I wish she was still here to blow out the candles on her birthday cake. Instead we release balloons in her memory. We also walk in memory of my mom at a pancreatic cancer walk at the end of September and that walk really brings her loss into the forefront of my mind. I am walking for her, walking because pancreatic cancer took her life, and I don’t want others to suffer as she did. November may be the hardest time of all, as I remember the final days of my mom’s life, especially that last night, and then loss her all over again on November 16th, the day she went to Heaven. Thanksgiving, the first holiday we celebrated without my mom, is still difficult because it is so close to when she died. And of course, the winter holiday season is hard without my mom since she so loved Christmas and went all out to make it very special for all of us.

I know I can never fill my mom’s shoes, and no one ever will. But I try to follow in her footsteps and make the holidays special for my family. It is my responsibility as head woman of the family, a position I didn’t want, a responsibility I didn’t expect to take on for a very long time. But I do so because of the love I have for my mom and our family. I do my best, while at the same time keeping my mom’s memory alive for the kids, a promise I made to her in a hospital room more than 2 years ago.

My son's favorite picture of his grandmom

I am encouraged by the comments I receive from people who read my blogs. I deeply appreciate your comments and try to respond, even if it takes me awhile to do so. It means so much to me that people come to my blog site and read my ramblings about my mother, as it helps to keep my mom’s memory alive, and your comments touch my heart.

As I move through this time, I will be reminded of my mom and all she suffered through. But I will also remember the happiness and love she brought to her family. She will always live in our hearts, her spirit surrounding each of us, and what she gave to each member of her family will never be forgotten.



  1. I too lost my father this past June 16, 2010 to pancreatic cancer. I know the pain you are going through and I can only imagine how awful it will be this holiday season without my beloved Dad. My dad suffered for a year with this dreadful disease. I have just became a volunteer with PanCan to try and prevent others from the same fate of my Dad & the toll it took on our very close family. I will keep your mom in my prayers as I too know my dad is in heaven smiling down upon me.

  2. The holidays are difficult enough and Thanksgiving must be particularly painful, so close to the anniversary of your Mom’s death. My mother’s birthday is in September too! I love your ritual of releasing balloons in her honor. My Mom spent last Thanksgiving in the emergency room….we knew it would be her last. Memories are beautiful and yet so painful during this time. My thoughts are with you and your family. I will light a candle for you and for your Mom on the 16th.

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