On Saturday, March 12, 2011, I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer. He lived in New Mexico, and I was blessed with visits almost every month since his diagnosis in September, 2010.
My dad and I were always close, and I was grateful I didn’t have to make up for lost time. The time we had was wonderful, and only re-affirmed how fantastic of a dad he truly was. He was also an amazing writer and poet, and an awesome, awesome grandpa. He was only 64 years old, though, and I thought I would have him in my life for many more years than he was given.
My mama lived about ten minutes from me. My mama was a wonderful mom, always forgiving, always willing to help out, and was always happy to see me, and her grandchildren. She was generous and loving and genuine. She was an amazing artist, with incredible talent, and she shared that creativity as a teacher, art exhibitor, and volunteer.
I was in New Mexico the weekend my dad died, and I was anxious to reach my mama to tell her of the news. I wasn’t sure how she would react, and I was concerned. Although my parents were divorced, they were still friends, very much respected one another, and did their best to look out for each other.
When I couldn’t reach my mama, I called a good friend of mine and asked her to go to my mom’s house to ensure she was alright. I had the opportunity to talk with my mom that Sunday afternoon, and she sounded really good. I can’t express the amount of relief I felt when I heard her voice. She told me she missed me, and I told her I loved her, and would be at her house as soon as I got off the plane the following day. And, I was. The moment my plane landed Monday, my husband picked me up and took me directly to my mama’s house. It was there that I found my mom on the floor, unresponsive. She spent eight days in ICU, but she never woke up. She died Monday, March 21, 2011. She was also only 64.
With shock and disbelief, I lost both of my parents only nine days apart. The last few years have been difficult, surreal, sad, and the harsh reality often slaps me in the face. However, my parents were absolutely amazing people. They allowed me to be me, and whenever I made a mistake (which was often!), they helped pick me up and encouraged me to move forward.
I’ve always been involved in social causes, and my parents always supported my ambitions of helping others. I’m who I am today because of my mom and dad, and I’m incredibly blessed to call them my parents.