Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day, Mom - No Butts About It

Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful, smart and loving mom, Maralyne Monsour.

She nudged me this morning. I still get those Mom vibes. She inspired me to write this post. So here goes, me find the words.

My mom died about three years ago. She was one of those moms. You know the kind that always make a big deal for others on their birthdays and holidays but didn't really want you to fuss around her big days. She was an amazing woman, wife, mom, grandmother, aunt, cousin, friend and fighter. She fought lung cancer for over 10 years. She was one tough cookie! And she has been the subject of a few of my posts. Here she is with our youngest. I treasure this photo as it was from my mom's last Mother's Day.

Today's is about her last moments fighting with lung cancer. Warning: This isn't my typical cheery post.

As soon as my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer she quit smoking. She had smoked since she was in high school and she stopped around age 63. After she was diagnosed she said that she brought this disease on herself - that it was her responsibility. She stopped smoking cold turkey! That is an unbelievable feat!

Yes, she was strong and firm. On quitting the habit, Mom would say,  "If you want to do something you just do it. If you have the will, you find the way." Her voice saying that phrase still lingers in my mind. I smile at her common sense, no-nonsense way of going about life. What a mentor! A modern day lady that was as tough as nails with a hug that drew you in just long enough to know she really loved you and a smile that warmed you to the core. Tough, yes, but all love.

I had the honor to be by my mom's side when she passed. Few children are so blessed. I share this next bit with you, in case you have a loved one that smokes or smoke yourself...

Watching someone die from complications due to lung cancer is extremely hard to bare. Struggling for air is the worst endeavor. I know first hand as I almost drown when I was 3 years old and that feeling still haunts me. Gasping for air and having my lungs fill with water...there's nothing so terrifying. Mom - my hero -  pulled me out of the pool and had to resuscitate me.

That terrifying feeling of not being able to breathe consumed me again on the day my mother passed. It was our ultimate bonding experience - my mother's last moments. She was struggling for air but her lungs were shot, the years of smoking and the cancer had literally sucked the life out of her -  she had pneumonia and there was nothing that could be done. Her time had come. It was an excruciatingly tough way to leave this earth.

I was blessed to be there by my mom's side. Holding her hand and praying. She was surrounded by her children and loved ones.  She was ready to go. She had beat the odds and fought a 10+ year battle. She was ready to join my dad in heaven.

So I share my mom and my last moments together with you - in my less than eloquent way - to hopefully motivate you to kick your smoking habit in the butt or to help your loved ones stop smoking.

Find tips on how to stop smoking at The American Lung Association and there's several stop smoking online groups.

Mom, thanks for keeping the inspiration coming. And for all of you that still have your mom here with you - go love on her with a hug, a call, or even a facebook post (that last one is for Heather ;))!

1 comment:

Average Jane said...

My mother died of lung cancer as well and I remember it with horror as well. Thanks for sharing tips to encourage people to stop smoking.