Friday, November 17, 2006


I've hardly been able to find the energy to blog lately. So much of what's on my mind these days relates to my efforts to make sense of my mother's death. It's deep. It's personal. And it's very difficult to parade the rawness of such emotions before the world.

I was reminded today of a night that occurred several days before my mother's surgery. It was the night following her diagnosis on August 25. That was the last night I was able to spend with her. Even though she knew she had bone cancer and was scheduled for major surgery in just a few days, the two of us watched America's Funniest Home Videos and laughed like we had not a care in the world. I will hang onto that memory for the rest of my life.

Later that night, as she slept fitfully, her rest interrupted by frequent cough attacks, I scavenged a magazine from a nearby waiting area. Who knows what prompted me to record the following quote, but I did. On the only paper I could find, a long piece of hospital toilet paper, I preserved these words:

"No story is without hope - even when it includes a wrenching chapter that involves the death of a loved one. Hope grows from the knowledge that we never have all the data at hand, that the world holds possibilities we cannot anticipate and sometimes can barely imagine."
(from Lessons in Hope by Keith Ablow, MD, September 2006 Good Housekeeping)

I must have sensed even then that my story was about to include a gut-wrenching chapter. What I didn't know was how quickly that chapter would be written.