Posted by: Kathy | July 22, 2011

Memories of Good Times

My husband and I were talking the other night about my mom and my grief and how I could make things better. He respects how much I miss my mom and saw, more than I did, how close I was to her. He knows that everyone grieves in their own way and at their own pace, having lost his own father many years ago. But he believes that I am so focused on all that I lost when my mom died that it is keeping me from remembering the good times we shared. He asked me to take a few minutes each day and write something about my mom that makes me smile. I told him that I would, but so far haven’t written anything. I decided to take one day a week, Friday, and share something about my mom that makes me smile.

Today is my son’s 12th birthday. Wow, time flies. My mom was in the room with me when Matt was born. It wasn’t part of my original plan, but I’m really glad she was there to see her first grandchild born. My mom was a part of Matt’s life from the moment he entered this world and they had a very special relationship.

Mom and Dad with Matt a few hours after he was born

I can’t think of a time that Matt and my mom spent together without smiling. She played baseball with him, they road bikes together, took walks when he was little, blew bubbles outside, built things with Legos and blocks, and played board games. For the first 3 years of Matt’s life, she babysat him on Mondays and Fridays while I was at work, and I know he was the constant focus of her attention.

My mom was one of Matt’s biggest supporters when it came to TaeKwonDo. She never missed a testing or a belt ceremony, and she was very proud of her grandson as he worked his way toward black belt. The biggest testament of my mom’s love for Matt came when he was getting his black belt. As I’ve written before, at that time, she was dying from pancreatic cancer. I was actually afraid that she would die before his testing day. Although she was very sick and at times I think slipped in and out of awareness of the present, she always remembered Matt was testing for black belt on November 15, 2008. Black belt testing was the first TaeKwonDo testing my mom ever missed. She was just too sick to go, but wished him the best when he spoke with her the night before testing. We all went over to my parents’ house after Matt received his black belt. My mom hadn’t really spoken all day, but when she found out Matt passed and was now a black belt, she said that’s wonderful over and over again. My mom died the next morning. I truly believe that her love for Matt and her belief in him allowed her to hold on until Matt got his black belt. She endured the pain of cancer so that she could be with Matt when he got his belt.

After the ceremony when Matt received his senior red belt (last belt before black belt)

Matt and my mom did so much in the 9 years they had together. This would be my longest post yet if I were to talk about it all. I just asked Matt when he thought of Grandmom, what did he remember most. He looked at me, thought about it for a moment, and then quietly said when they went to Disney World together. In our front hall is a collection of pictures from when Matt went to Disney with my parents. I know it was a very special trip for all of them, and a time Matt will always remember.

My mom was a wonderful grandmother and she loved and adored Matt beyond words. I know she’s wishing him a happy birthday too, and the thought of that and all they shared together warms my heart and makes me smile. Thank you Mom for being such an incredible grandmother to Matt.


  1. Hi Becky:

    November 16th will the be 3 year anniversary of my mom’s death. I frequently find myself thinking of what pancreatic cancer did to my mom, the last weeks of her life, and how much is missing from all of our lives because my mom isn’t here anymore. But I have to accept that she is not here and that she is not coming back. Holding on to my mom the way I have been is not helping me and may even be hurting my kids in a way. That is what is pushing me forward, because I only want the best for them, as my mom wanted for me. So I keep my mom’s memory alive for my kids by sharing the good times we had together, and when I need to cry or grieve I try to do it privately. I will never stop missing my mom, or wishing she was still here, or believing that she was taken from her family too early. For me, healing from my mom’s illness and death has been a series of baby steps, a little at a time. I have to admit that my husband was right. Thinking about the good times more than dwelling on what is gone has lightened the sadness in my heart.

    I would love to hear about a good time you had with your dad, something you think about that makes you smile.

    I wish you all the best. I wish you peace.


  2. Hi Kathy,

    I just wanted to say that your comment ‘I dont know if I have even said goodbye’ so resonated with me. I am just asking so many of the same things as you at the moment. It will be three years in November since my dad went but I cant move on to the enjoying the happy memories – I am so stuck in the last days of his life.

    Thank you for writing a good memory – I think I shall try it.

    Love to you


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