Friday, November 11, 2011

My Mom

Today marks two years since my life changed forever. My Mom went home to be with the Jesus she loved so much. Given she had cancer you would think that it didn't come as a surprise when my sister called me to tell me what was going on, but it was quite unexpected. She had just declared to us that she was done with treatment and that I should come home to Spokane so we could get some things figured out. She died two days later. While I would give anything to be able to talk to my mama again, in hind sight my sister and I are both grateful that she went quickly and didn't have to suffer a long, drawn out, painful death from bone cancer.

I miss my mom everyday! Some days I still find myself thinking I can pick up the phone and call her. I especially miss her around my birthday because only your mom can call you and tell you about the day you were born with great detail. She taught me lots of things but most importantly she is the one who shared Jesus with me and showed me what it means to have a relationship with him, especially in her last few months. She taught me a few things in the kitchen too. I think some people would find that hard to believe. My mom didn't cook often but when she did it was very good!

I love this picture of my mom in her kitchen, circa 1970. I think she was beautiful. I keep this in my kitchen along with a picture of my grandma cooking in her kitchen.

This was taken in March of 2009 when she came to visit us in Minnesota. I was very proud of her for allowing us to take a photo of her. She HATED her picture being taken. I am super glad I have this memory. She spent a fairly quiet week with us. I did lots of cooking for her which she raved about like only a mother would! I took her to get pedicures, do shopping, and have lunch that day in St. Cloud. Fond memories.

In honor of my mom today I thought I would share about one of her favorite snacks that has surprisingly become one of my favorite snacks. I find this very ironic because as a kid I could not understand how she could polish off a can of these in no time flat.

I am guessing her can didn't say wholesome or nutrition on it but she loved the mix with cashews in it. I thought nuts were disgusting back then. I can't live without them now! Funny how we become more and more like our parents as we age no matter how much we said we wouldn't as teenagers! I am happy to have any ounce of my mom left in me now. She was an amazing woman. I think I realized it too late.

Now polishing off the whole can in one sitting like my mom used to do I would not recommend! Nuts do have a lot of calories in them. But they are very good for you! They get me through the day. I love all kinds. A bag of soy nuts or cocoa roasted almonds often travel with me in my purse. Contrary to popular belief I do eat a lot. I get hungry between meals and nuts are the perfect thing to snack on.

In fact we have a nut/trail mix jar on our shelf instead of a candy jar. Sometimes I still need someone to help me keep my hand out of the jar though!

Nuts have no sugar which I love! They are full of heart healthy unsaturated fats which can help lower bad cholesterol. They can help reduce blood pressure, and many claims have been made to nuts preventing weight gain and actually promoting weight loss. The fat, protein, and fiber in nuts keep you feeling fuller longer so you eat less during the day. Nuts help people feel less deprived when watching what they are eating and have even been shown to help reduce type 2 diabetes. Perhaps my favorite thing about them is that they burn belly fat! Belly fat is the most unhealthy fat to have so if we can eat something we love and burn that fat away then pass the nuts!

I am leaving today for my scrapbook retreat. I was gone on this trip the weekend my mom spent in the hospital two years ago and I got the news when I came home. So today is a hard reminder that she is gone. However, it is also just another way to honor what is left of my mom in me. She was the queen of all things crafty! I do mean QUEEN! The fact that we will be having a cheesecake parade tomorrow evening helps me just a little too.
Yes I will indulge in a piece of cheesecake! There is a time and a place and this it!

Here is the four of us last year ready to go home. We are looking a bit tired wouldn't you say? Staying up until 1am is hard for me in my old age! I think we will snap a picture when arrive this year! Notice there was snow all over!!!!

Just one more thing about my mom and this disease. Cancer is a bad thing. It robs people of so much. It is scary and unpredictable. It is frustrating. It is something I know too much about and I don't even want to know about it. After my sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year I was encouraged by my doctor to meet with a genetic counselor. I spent two hours learning about how cancer happens. Do you want to know the best defense you have against it and how to best protect your DNA from damaged cells which cause it?  No surprise..........DIET AND EXERCISE! That is the portion of goodness I am left with in regards to the dreaded awful disease. It is a deep source of motivation for me. I think of my mom often when I am fixing a healthy meal now and say to myself, just one more step in the right direction!

I am off to protect myself now with a good morning run before I am pretty sedentary for the weekend!

I love and miss you mom!

1 comment:

MaDonna Maurer said...

Great tribute, Pam! I LOVE that picture of your mom! So glad I was able to meet her and know her...
Hope you have a great weekend!