Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Life

My heart is breaking. I haven't wanted to blog about this because it's easier not too. And i have no intentions of writing every thought, feeling, and experience that has occurred in the past several weeks. My heart and hands don't have the energy.

My mom's cancer has returned, in all it's terrible glory, and she is dying. I spent 10 days with her, caring for her, loving her, serving her, sewing by her side, playing piano pieces she taught me, reading her poems, going through photos of her and planning all the things that no one ever wants to plan. And then I came back here, for a week-long reunion with Reid's family. They left yesterday, and for the first time i really had a day to soak in this reality. and i spent the whole day fighting or surrendering to the tears that have been welling up inside of me. In this moment the tears are winning.




My wonderful, amazing, beautiful, brilliant, creative, genuine, loving and talented mom has lost her cancer battle. She was diagnosed with breast cancer 7 years ago, and fought it and won. These years have been God's greatest gift to me. I've gotten to know my mom better in the past 7 years than I had in the 24 years previous. And i've come to fully appreciate all that she is--as a mother, wife, woman and person.


And I will forever be grateful that she beat cancer the first time around. But now it is beating her, quite literally. In the moments that my mom is comfortable, i find myself having a harder time accepting that I will no longer be able to call her when I'm trying to conquer her peanut brittle recipe, that she will not be here for any more Christmases, and that my sweet girls will have little to no memory of their grandma. But in the moments that she is in pain, which are increasing daily, I feel more ready to let her go. And although the tears streaming down my face right now represent the huge part of me that wants to have my mom around for another twenty years, it's no longer what i want for her. I don't want her to suffer another minute. None of us do. She's so strong. She tries to hide her misery, especially from her kids. She did this when I was there a week ago, and she's doing it now for my sisters, too. But we know she's in pain. My sister walked in on her crying--too dehydrated to actually make tears. But as soon as my mom saw her she put on her strong face. She doesn't want this to be any harder on us than it has to be. That's how she lived her life--doing everything she could to make our lives better.




My sweet dad loves my mom more than any man has ever loved a woman. I truly believe that. He respects, adores and admires everything about her, and in every way. They have had a wonderful relationship, raised a wonderful family, and lived a full life together. He is heart-broken. But he is so strong, too. I love my parents for the relationship they had, and what it's shown me about marriage and love, service, compromise, patience and friendship.



All but one of my siblings have had a chance to get to UT and see my mom. My Indiana-bound sister with MS has been able to Skype. There is so much good happening around us, so much that IS falling into place, that it's impossible to ignore God's hand in our lives, His grace and His love.

Every prayer that has been said on our behalf has been felt. I really do know and feel that people are praying for my family. When I'm not sobbing, i feel so much peace. and sometimes even when I am sobbing i feel peace. And that truly is a blessing. The tears are a natural part of this--a part that would happen no matter what. But the peace we feel is a gift. I'm grateful for that gift right now. I'm grateful for my faith--my belief that better things await my mom. I'm grateful for my siblings and all the care that they've provided for my mom. And most of all, i'm grateful for my mom. I will miss her more than I'm prepared to accept. But i'm so glad I have 6 siblings going through this with me, and a wonderful dad who comforts me when I should be the one comforting him.






The next few days and weeks will be hard, and sad--full of tears and sorrow and peace. I don't imagine i'll be blogging any time soon about the upcoming birthday party of my soon-to-be 5 year old, the wonderful 7-day reunion that we just hosted here--with ALL of Reid's siblings and parents, the raised-bed garden that my father-in-law just built me(!!), the painting and crafting and sewing and Easter-ing, shower-throwing, or how wonderful my girls were for 10 whole days in UT. This month has been full of so many wonderful moments that all deserve to be written down, in full detail...and maybe someday they will be. But not today.

32 comments:

Pink Caboose said...

Many thoughts and prayers your way Emily. I'm happy for you that you have been able to be there for your mom and that you have such a positive outlook on what lies ahead for her, it's comforting to know where she is going isn't it? God bless you and your family.

Debbie said...

What sweet thoughts and words for your mom and family. My mom is having a really hard time, too. Our prayers are with all of you. The peace you spoke of is a wonderful gift and I hope you'll find many more "tender mercies" to help you through. Love you!

Reid said...

That was an amazing tribute to an amazing woman. I love you!

Team Millward said...

Emily, we love you! Tears streamed down as I read this, and you have such a way with your words. You truly can always find the positive in any situation, which is extremely admirable. Please let us know if you need anything! Also, you look so much like your mom, especially in the first picture. And your girls will know her, maybe not physically, but they will know how amazing she is. There's no doubt about that.

Elise said...

You brought out my tears, Emily. That was just so beautifully written. You and your family have been and will be in our prayers. I wish I could just give you a big hug.

Adrie said...

Emily,
I'm so sorry about this, I had no idea what you were going through. I truly feel your pain. Losing someone you love is the most horrible thing, but I also understand how you don't want your sweet mom to suffer anymore. I wish your family all the best. I'm glad things are falling into place for all of you. Even though it was mentioned before, it's truly uncanny how much you look like your mom. No one can deny how much you two resemble each other! What a great thing for you both :) I'll be praying for you.

Amy Brown said...

Emily, my heart just breaks for you and your family. We love you guys (and Kevin too:) and we are thinking of you all right now. All our love. xoxo

merathon said...

i'm sure that was an extremely hard post to write, but you wrote it well. it sounds (and looks) like there is a lot of your mom in YOU, so even though your girls might not remember your mom, they WILL know her because they know YOU.

Just Us said...

Emily- my heart goes out to you and your family. Your mom is one amazing woman.

Gillian Brown said...

You are one of the strongest women I know-I adore you. Please know you can always trust that your girls will see a reflection of your mother in YOU-a wonderful, strong, intelligent, generous, lovely, amazing mother yourself. Wishing you more peace as the days go on. I love you.

carin t said...

I love you lady... So sorry u have to go through this.

turleybenson said...

Oh Emily. I'm so so sorry. What a beautiful tribute to your mom; she sounds amazing. I see where you get it from.

I'm thinking of you and your family. So sorry.

dkeaquinto said...

Emily, this is so beautiful. Know that you are loved and many prayers are said on your behalf.
-Kristin

Isa said...

She sounds like an amazing woman.

You are in our thoughts and prayers. Much love, the Junkkaris

Andrea said...

You and your family....especially your mother will be in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.

Shells said...

What a wonderful post, Emily. I really enjoyed the pictures as well. And you're absolutely right, she is a great, great woman. We love you and are praying for your family lots and lots.

Susan said...

I'm so sorry to hear about ths Emily. Know that our prayers are with you and your family. PLEASE let me know if I can do anything for you ANYTHING at ANYTIME.
I know ecactly what you're going through. Same exact thing happened to us several years ago.

Stephanie B said...

Your family is in our prayers.

Kevin Ashworth said...

Love.

Utah gal said...

Thanks:)

Jared said...

Thank you sister. That was perfect.

Em Russ said...

Oh, Emily... I am getting choked up just reading your post and thinking about it. I am so sorry!! I wish there were something I could do... know you (and your sweet mom) will be in my prayers!!

Karen said...

Emily, I love you like my own sister and I wish I could give you a hug!!! My prayers have been and will continue to be towards you and your family!!! Your Mom is an amazing person, and I'm so glad I've had the opportunity to know her.

Boston Paynes said...

My heart is so sad and I'm sorry that you and your family, are having to go through this. I wish I could be there to give you a hug and shed a few tears with you.I will keep you and your sweet mother in my prayers and hope that you will continue to feel that wonderful peace that will help you get through the next several months. Know that you have truckloads of friends who love you and are here for you.

Melissa said...

Oh Emily, I was so sad to hear about your mother. I hope that the Lord will give her peace and take away her pain. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May the Lord continue to please you with that peace that only comes from above. I love you!
Your mother is so loved and I could feel that tremendous love through your writing.

Stacey Mom said...

Emily, we are praying for you and your family. I can't imagine how hard this all is, and I wish you didn't have to go through it. Thanks for hosting all the Allred clan amidst it all, it was so much fun to be together. Love you
Alisa

The Busby Family said...

Oh Emily, I am so sorry, I just read this. I wish I was a ton closer so I could give you a great big hug. This is such a beautiful post about your wonderful mom. I just love all those old pictures. I can see your mom in you. So beautiful! I will try and call you soon. Love and hugs, Lisa

Emily Alexander said...

I'm so sorry Emily. My thoughts and prayers will be with your family too.

Yasmine said...

I can't imagine. I'm so sorry. When you were describing her you described so much of yourself. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Amy Jensen said...

Emily I love you and your family. McKay and I and our girls have loved sharing family moments with you. I am so glad that my dear and wonderful Julia has you for a sister. Much Love!

Ang said...

Oh, Emily, that is the most beautiful tribute to your mom and the rest of your family. What an incredible lady your mom is. I'm so blessed to be friends with your family.

LAURA said...

I love the family pictures, your mother is beautiful. I'm so sorry for all your family is going through right now. thanks for opening up your home to my family...we had a great time with Reid. you guys are always welcome to come out to albuquerque if you want to take a trip away!