It’s Beautiful. It’s Wonderful…I’m So Happy.

Mom’s journey with cancer has been a brief but brutal one. Four months to the day of her diagnosis, a week ago today,  we came to the ER with life threatening complications from treatment. Her last radiation was two weeks ago and her burns have been so painful and debilitating she went from living a fully independent life to being completely immobile on the threshold of death.

As hard as the physical pain has been, the anxiety, emotional pain and fear generated by having so little time to adjust to a terminal prognosis has been much, much worse. Mom is so full of life, and her reaction to the news last weekend was flat out “NO. That can’t be true. Let’s get out of here.”

Yesterday, her hospice nurse explained that the level of medication necessary to control the pain of her radiation wounds is also enough to sedate her. She said it was very likely Mom would not continue speaking once she was getting her pain meds via continuous IV drip. Big talker though she is, Mom has been so distraught that she told me she she didn’t want to talk anymore and just wanted to sleep. 

So….imagine my surprise, when earlier tonight as she was roused from the haze by a terrible coughing fit,  she opened her eyes and weakly spoke, drawing me close. I leaned in, my ear to her lips, desperate to catch her faint wisp of words. I was sure I was about to recieve a magical moment of deathbed illumination.

 “I….want……..mail.” came the solemn whisper.  

Yup. That’s Mom alright.

But a few hours later to my total astonishment a discernible smile broke over her face. It stayed there for quite some time as she very clearly spoke these words:

“It’s Beautiful. It’s Wonderful. I’m so Happy.”

She went on to say there were lights, like many bright moons, and her Mom was there.

I wish I could post the picture I took of her smiling so beatifically, but I fear she would rise up out of this bed and strangle me to death right his second if I let the world see her hair in this state.  Even with zero platelets and about two white blood cells in circulation she managed to put on a full face of makeup this past Tuesday and had me grilling every woman on the oncology floor to see if anyone had any bobby pins. 

11 thoughts on “It’s Beautiful. It’s Wonderful…I’m So Happy.

  1. In my heart the candles will continue to be burning until I return home this evening. You have never left my mind or heart since your first post all the way back when you noticed and told us of the changes in your dad.
    Your parents have been so fortunate to have the beautiful daughter who is able to give the loving care that you have. From one side of the continent to the other.
    You know all of us are extending our arms around you in the biggest hug that we can. May tomorrow bring you a special day with your Mother it sounds as if she still has a sense of humor


  2. Oh Holly, thanks for sharing this beautiful story. I hope it comes to you as a Christmas blessing. My good thoughts and prayers continue for you and your family.


  3. Your dear mom is full of spunk. I even remember a few of her saucy remarks from our correspondence years ago. She isn’t going to let go until she is good and ready. lol Hang in their Holly — I’m sorry and sad for you tohave to spend your Christmas this way but hopefully you and your mom WILL be together tomorrow to celebrate. Love and prayers for peace!


  4. Hi Holly, my mom was the same fiesty little lady right to the last. What great Spirits our parents have been, and continue to be. There are few words for how hard this is, but we are all with you in spirit. Do allow yourself your vulnerable moments, they are very healing and will come at the most unexpected times. You have done so much for so many and it takes a very special person to do what you do!
    Know that you have done the greatest kindness and love in your Mom and Dad’s process of passing.
    God Bless you all, and as we celebrate Christ’s Birthday, Merry Christmas to all your family.


  5. My mom was much the same as far as the makeup goes as she became sicker with pancreatic cancer. I love the spunk of your mom and the beautiful words she is leaving you with. God bless you Holly! I am so glad you are journaling these precious moments. The intimacy that you are experiencing is the most special thing that a parent and child can experience. How lucky you are to help her on her way. We have three candle lit for her.


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