Friday, October 31, 2008

thank you

I am in major thank you debt at that moment.

I need to express gratitude to so many people.

These last 2 months go down in April history as the hardest 2 months of my life.

No one likes to say goodbye to their mom right?

I never knew how hard it would actually be.

Friends and Family have done so much to strengthen and support me during this trial.

I am so honored by those who traveled so far to support me and my family.

People who cared and knew my mom the most made their way to the funeral and I knew it...unless there was some circumstance that got in the way- obviously- but thank you for all the hundreds in attendance that beautiful morning.

ok and of course the food, the visits, the birthday surprises, the hugs, the kind words, the dinners, the service, the support, the phone calls, the babysitting, the understanding, the cleaning, the pumpkin cheese cake bars, the flowers, the plants, the cards, the smiles, the hope, the the the the all of it- the wonder of all of it has been so touching- I don't know how people survive without beautiful friends- oh how grateful I am for my dear precious friends...the ones I talk to daily or the ones I only see once in a while- have all proven to be true- thank you thank you thank you- do I sound like Alanis Morissette? Thank you India.

So I was really disappointed that I couldn't take home any of the house plants my family received at the funeral from dear friends and family- but lo and behold I was remembered in Utah. Thank you to those who sent me roses and the gorgeous plant. I stare at them all day. I love looking at them.

thank you.


so what a weird holiday- I mean it is fun and all- I guess.

It is fun to dress up I suppose. I wanted to be Sarah Palin for Halloween this year...but couldn't find the glasses.

I just don't like all the gory blood skeletons and knifes stabbed through hearts type stuff. Chay thinks I am weird.

I was baptized on Halloween. I remember my mom asking me when we got home from my baptism if I thought it was a good idea or not to go trick or treating- after such a spiritual experience. Of course I thought it probably wouldn't be. Mom always had such a remarkable way of teaching. She somehow helped us make good decisions while making it feel like it was our idea to begin with.

So have you ever heard of the cartoon Word Girl? word up Word Girl. Ok I am not a cartoon fan. I have issues with most Disney movies- have you ever noticed that almost all the girl characters in the Disney movies never have moms? Ariel? no. Belle? no. Cinderella? no. Snow white? no. pocahontas? I don't think so. Jasmin? no. Mulan? I don't know- ok so I don't even know why I brought that up- anyway back to Word Girl, who has a a cartoon I actually enjoy watching with Kenz.

I seriously laugh so hard to Word Girl. I was folding laundry one day and I started to listen to this cartoon and I was so entertained. I will embarrassingly admit I You Tubed Word Girl and watched every episode one day. Well Kenzie loves it too- for entirely different reasons- and that's ok- but Word Girl is this super hero girl who has this amazing vocabulary (PBS of course) and she protects her city from villains who can't out word her so to speak- it is just random and funny.

so with little time- and not wanting to spend more than $2 on a costume- I conjured up this poor mock up of Word Girl for Kenzie to wear for the ward Trunk and Treat. People kept calling her Word Girl all night and she would say, "I am not Word Girl, I'm Kenzie" But then all you have to do is ask her what Word Girl says and she will reply "word up word girl"

oh and julia was a clown- I was hoping to dress her up as a witch (very fitting) but I was offered a free costume to borrow instead (thanks Tara) and I couldn't pass that up.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

grandpa's house

It was so sweet to see Dad with my girl's when we went up to say goodbye to Mom. Maybe it was the circumstances maybe it wasn't- but he was so full of love and patience (most of the time) with my little girlies. Julia warmed right up to him- I think she is the first grandchild to not be afraid of his loudness and gruffness. If Julia would scream my Dad would scream and then they'd both laugh afterwards- oh what a combination those two-

Yes- my children are eating raw corn...raw old corn...ok not too old...but hey- they were having fun right?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

things have changed

Can you believe what is happening at the Oakland Temple lately?

Here is a quote I grabbed from the San Fransisco Chronicle newspaper regarding the Mormons who support Proposition 8:

"...But the word marriage was sacred, pivotal to their concept of families, who can be "eternally united" in the afterlife. A key church document - "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" - says that "marriage between man and a woman is essential to His eternal plan." They also believe that children are entitled to be raised by a father and a mother. Those words speak for Michele Sundstrom, 47, of San Jose, who has been married for 18 years and has five children. She and her husband gave $30,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign and put a sign on their home. But in response, two women parked an SUV in front of their home, with the words "Bigots live here" painted on the windshield."

The church usually never pushes a political issue but this time we are asked to stand up for what is right- for what we believe in-I think we might be coming to the times when we will start to be persecuted more and more for what we what the prophet and the first presidency have to say click HERE

things have changed

“There is no other arrangement that meets the divine purposes of the Almighty. Man and woman are His creations. Their duality is His design. Their complementary relationships and functions are fundamental to His purposes. One is incomplete without the other.” President Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


happy birthday Joette- I'm thinking about you. this blog has really taken a turn lately hasn't it? It used to be kind of enjoyable with some humor here and there- and now it seems to only be this sad story told over and over again...well just to say- I write about what I feel and what consumes the majority of my thinking during the day- so there you go- that's my explanation- so bear with me- I am just taking one day at a time here.

so how about some pictures? That's the best part about blogging anyway right? I hope you enjoy these- I know the family will.

First of all- here is my mom's senior picture- She was beautiful don't you think?

Here she is as a baby

Here she is when she was 17,18,19 or so- I don't think she is married yet-

and another one from many years ago

and when she married Daddy

and when she was a young mother of 4- she is holding Joette and I

and here she is as she goes through the dreadful 80's

skip a few years- Here she is as the young women's president- I can explain later if you'd like.

This picture was taken after her first round of chemo and she was in remission for a year or so

Here she is being Grandma (she was the most amazing grandma)

Here she is being Grandma again

Here she is dressing up for a party- it was a "murder mystery" real life acting game. Can you believe she was in between chemo sessions during this time? Always loved parties haven't you Mom? This was taken around last fall/winter time.

Here is our last family picture taken together- Christmas 2007

Here she is at Disney World- our last big trip together- February 2008

Mom somehow went into remission after having stage 4 cancer for 3 1/2 years- she came down to Utah to visit in May this year 2008. We rode the train, walked temple square, painted cabinets, went to the movies, talked a bunch

I talked to my mom every day on the phone but never saw her again physically until September 28, 2008. The tumors in her brain had spread rapidly and she was swollen from the steroids. I was able to be with her for 3 weeks until she passed away October 16, 2008. One week after I arrived we decided to take Mom to hospice. She declined very fast and so we didn't take pictures anymore.

Even though she was really sick and losing most of her communication she was still Mom- she smiled a lot, told my girls how much she loved them, wanted to hold Kenzie and Julia even though she didn't have the strength to do so...the last weeks of Mom's life are so dear and precious to me.

At her funeral we displayed some of her paintings in the foyer of the church- it was the first thing people saw when they walked in-

each life that touches ours for good...

love you Mom-

Sunday, October 26, 2008

past week

My mom's oldest sister died today.

Aunt Barbara called me a couple days after mom passed and told me she was in too much pain to travel up for the funeral. I know Barbara was greeted warmly by Mom as she passed through the veil...a joyful reunion I will one day get to hear all about. Pretty interesting how close their deaths were....almost like it was meant to be or something.

I am home now. I arrived yesterday. I decided to stay a couple more days after the funeral so Joette and I could clean and organize Mom's stuff.

I just want to record feelings I guess...of this whole past week. If you read a million blogs a day- this might not be the most exciting read- but I am writing it for me anyway. This is sort of a journal entry I suppose. I am going to be making my blog into a book here at the end of the year. I finally found a bookmaking company that fits all my online writing and picture saving needs. Click HERE and see what I mean. So anyway:

The Sunday night before the funeral we dressed Mom. I was a little apprehensive and a little uneasy about seeing Mom's body again. When we got to the funeral home, my mom's best friend Pat and her daughter Heather were already there. Joette, Calie and I thought it would be a good idea to have Lynette come too- who is a best friend of the family and has sold Mary Kay to us for years- we thought "why not have a dear friend do Mom's make-up rather than some random mortician who doesn't even really care about Mom"

So of course I was in tears as I entered the funeral home. I was just a mess. I really don't know how to handle this thing called "death" I hate looking at Mom and not being able to talk to her, laugh with her, cry with her- her body is just this shell- cold, stiff, heavy- I was sharing my honest feelings with everyone at the funeral home and Pat suggested we have a prayer. Joette said the prayer. In her prayer she said something like this: "we are grateful to dress our dear mom in her sacred temple clothes. We are so thankful our mom taught us about the temple and taught us how we should go to the temple often" I kind of felt ok after the prayer and I was sort of starting to grasp the wonderful concept that we are to be buried in our temple clothes- it is so interesting how every aspect of our lives is covered by the Lord. His plan is so perfect. Even in the sorrow of death, He allows us to feel peace...and what greater way to remind us that we will definitely see Mom again than to dress her in her white beautiful temple clothes. I know it is all symbolic...yet still- it is a very reassuring eternal feeling.

It took me awhile to touch Mom. I was a blubbery crying mess...but the spirit was in that room and she looked so amazing. She looked asleep. Seeing her all dressed in white with a little make-up on her face left a far better image in my mind than what I had.

Death is so weird. I can't believe my mom is dead. It doesn't seem real...but it is- because she hasn't called me on the phone yet. She is really gone.

Keith, Dad and I went to the funeral home on the Saturday before to pick out flowers, casket, etc. The funny thing is- is that Keith and I both knew what casket Mom would have picked out and I kind of got the goose bumps when we made our final decision. I thought picking out flowers would be an obvious woman daughter thing- but Keith was pretty certain on what flowers needed to be on Mom's casket. He picked out roses- and they were gorgeous. I was touched to see Keith so involved in the little things that go into planning Mom's funeral.

There was supposed to be a private viewing...but Mom was late. We had to giggle that Mom's body hadn't shown up to the church on quite a few people were given the chance to see Mom- she really did look good. They did a marvelous job on her. Once again...she didn't look dead- she looked like she was sleeping...after the viewing was over we had a family prayer. I then took Mom's veil and placed it over her face. The casket was then closed and latched.

The funeral was kind of a miracle. We somehow had the strength to handle the day quite well. We could feel Mom's confidence in us that day. Calie, me, Joette, and Keith were all able to speak and sing while for the most part keeping our composure. It was actually really therapeutic to talk...and tell funny stories about Mom. It felt so good to hear the audience laugh. Mom would have wanted us to laugh. At the end of the first row of benches in the chapel where we were all sitting as a family- there was a nice comfy chair from the foyer. Pat, Mom's greatest friend, has a hard time sitting in the pews for a long period of time, so she had the chair brought in where she could sit- but she must have changed her mind about using the chair because it was left empty for the entire service...or was it? We all like to think Mom was sitting there- a perfect front row seat for her to sit and enjoy as we celebrated her life for 2 hours.

Now that the funeral is over, I keep thinking about all the stories and neat things about Mom I forgot to say in my talk. Joette and Keith mentioned the same thing. What was interesting is that we felt so compelled to talk about how Mom had shared the gospel with us and how she helped instill a testimony in our hearts. It was kind of repetitive but it now makes perfect sense. Her greatest mark she left with us was her testimony...and we know nothing will make us happier in this life than our subtle yet burning conviction of the truth. Mom didn't do anything spectacular to teach us about Christ and the restoration of the gospel...but it was her everyday life -and it beautifully surrounded us as we grew up as kids. As I think about all the things she taught me- I treasure her testimony the most, her constant efforts to keep trying even though life was far from going perfect- she did all she could to do what was right- and her testimony and ours strengthened because of it.

I loved seeing my mom's siblings at the funeral. I really don't know my aunts and uncles all too well. This is really embarrassing but I had to ask my uncle Dean who he was!!! I just laughed about it and so did he...because I'm sure he didn't know who I was either and it was ok. Uncle Billy came out to the house to visit- I can see why Mom had so many good things to say about Billy through the years.

Well now I am real home. It is kind of hard being here- so far away. The last 3 weeks have been very emotional yet I have felt so much comfort and love from friends and family. Everyday was filled with visits, laughter, service, planning, music, gatherings, food, stories, memories, hugs...-and now I must return to my old life. Church was kind of hard yesterday because no one knew my mom and no one knew what experience I just went through- and I just really missed being surrounded by family. I kind of felt alone and lost. It hit me real hard how far away Mom felt. I was actually out in the car yesterday after church waiting for Chay when the tears began to fill up my eyes. I scurried to find my sunglasses but it was too late and Brandy was in my car before I knew it. She hugged me and told me she had missed me. It felt so good to hear that from someone. Brandy has lost two close people in her lifetime to death and so she knows the ache that comes with losing someone. She said to me, "it is like your whole world has come to a complete stop yet everyone and everything around you keeps going, keeps moving" She described my feelings perfectly. Thanks Brandy.

But it will all be ok. I will figure it out- I always do somehow. I am so grateful that I can pray and read the scriptures for comfort...I have been reading "Beyond the Veil" these last couple days- a book on people's near death experiences and it has been hopeful and fun to read as I imagine Mom up in the spirit world doing her magic as she teaches and listens...

I have told Chay this probably a thousand times as I keep repeating myself over and over again all the feelings I have about losing my mom: "If I am on my death bed and I'm having a hard time letting go of life- just remind me over and over again that I will get to see my Mom soon and I think I will die very quickly...because I seriously can't wait to see her again." ok well I better go- I need to live for Mom and get things done around the house and plan the Family Home Evening lesson- doesn't do me any good to just wallow all day over Mom...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

her words

well the funeral is over...and I miss being busy believe it or not. Today there wasn't much to look forward to and the house seemed really empty. Mom's funeral was really quite amazing. It was so touching to see how many people went out of their way to celebrate my mom. I will write more about the funeral tomorrow. It is late and I really want to go to bed...but real quick-I was reading my mom's blog tonight...and it is so nice to know that even though I can't have my mom close, I can at least have her words.

This is what I read tonight from Mom's blog:

"...I have thought so much about the ripple effect of each of our lives. I went to the Stake Young Women in Excellence tonight where Joette was the keynote speaker, and felt the ripple effect of her spiritual, so tender. Then I thought of April and Chay and their being parents of two darling girls, and the ripple effect of their training on their children and teaching them to love God. And my other children, Bryon and Keith and their spouses and children, all of us, sealed in God's holy temple, reaching out to touch the world, to make it a better place....and it will go on forever and ever and my heart rejoiced. Sometimes I wish I could have done more, or said more or shared more...and failed less...but those ripples of eternity remind me that I have made my mark on the world, and I believe Heavenly Father looks down upon me and is pleased...maybe not so much with my efforts, but of those that are following His course because I was here." ~

Pretty remarkable I'd say. oh how I miss you Mom.

Monday, October 20, 2008


well our internet is going haywire and so for this reason I haven't been able to update very well on my blog. I am actually at Keith's work right now. We are finishing up the programs for the funeral. Tomorrow we bury Mom.

It has actually been kind of hectic instead of overly sad as we deal with all the planning of Mom's funeral. We did however dress Mom yesterday and that was an emotional event. I honestly didn't want to see Mom's body again...and so I was kind of not looking forward to dressing her- even if it was to put her temple clothes on.

But you know, she looked really beautiful and peaceful. She looked a whole ton better than she did at the hospice house. After we dressed her in her temple clothes, put her wig on, and had Lynette work her Mary Kay magic, Mom actually looked like she was sleeping and healthy...and quite lovely. It was such a better image to remember than the fist night she passed away. I should probably have more to say about dressing her- and maybe I will write more later- but not now.

Anyway we have had many wonderful visitors come to the house and we feel so much comfort from loved ones- what a blessing to have friends.

ok well I am in a I just wanted to post real quick some links and addresses referring to Mom's memorial services.

Mom's Funeral will be held October 21, 2008 11:00 AM at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel in Otis Orchards, Washington. Here is the address:

Maps and directions are found HERE

You can read her Obituaries- click on the links below

Obituary 1


and the funeral home that is taking care of all the little big stuff is

English Funeral Chapel
1700 N. Spokane St.
Post Falls, ID 83854
(208) 773-3425

ok well I have to go now and work on everything else now...I can't believe I am singing and speaking tomorrow- I honestly haven't sat down to gather my thoughts for what I will say and I am not sure yet what I am going to sing....wish me luck.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

goodbye Mom

Mom died around 2 o'clock today.

I saw her last night and held her hand for a long time. I whispered to her last night "I don't know if you have a choice or not but if you do, you need to go home" Mom looked very close to dying and I knew the time was close.

I have prayed for a couple weeks now that if possible I could be with Mom when she took her last breath. My plans today were to go see her tonight. I got up this morning and decided to clean up Mom's green house. She has always wanted a green house and she finally got one this spring. It was full of dead tomato plants and I thought it would be a nice way to honor Mom- to get her green house ready for winter- I know she wanted to grow her own petunia plants in the early spring. I thought about Mom all morning. The girls were asleep for their naps for maybe 25 minutes when I got a call from Linda (a dear friend of the family's) she was with Mom and noticed Mom's breathing was staggering. Linda was crying when she said, "April I think your Mom is taking her last breaths" I hung up, grabbed my kids, dropped them off at our neighbor's house (love you Chapmans!) and off Dad and I went to say goodbye to Mom.

I called Linda back while we were driving. Linda told me she was already gone.

My mom is gone. The tears came. I wasn't there with her. I was lost. I just kept crying, "I lost my mommy...I lost my mommy" I knew she was going to die but it still shocked me and I so badly wanted to be with her one last time while she was alive. I felt this overwhelmingly ache in my chest and I just missed her...I just lost my Mom.

We walked into her room. Mom was pale and...her chest was no longer moving. She was gone. I bawled like a baby when I saw her. I held her lifeless hand- it was still warm and soft. Her face was motionless. She was peaceful. She was no longer agitated or shaking. The Mormon Tabernacle choir was still playing in the CD player. I asked Linda what song was playing when she died and she said, "I'm trying to be like Jesus"
Linda said she was asleep and very peaceful when she died.

My thoughts were a little all over the place. I was feeling peace yet I was upset I wasn't with her when her spirit left her body. I was crying a lot. I kept touching Mom's body- her feet, her head, her arms, her face, her hands- I missed my Mom a lot and wanted to be with her so badly. I can't believe she is gone. She has been so much apart of my life- she was my anchor- my stability when I needed a friend the most. She always listened to me, always taught me something...I loved her so much. I love her so much.

I was able to hold her hand until the rest of my family arrived.

We all hugged and cried together as we stood close to Mom.

Then the miracle happened.

Joette, Calie and I were standing together while we watched Keith stroke Mom's head.

Then I felt the embrace...from Mom. It was the most real experience- most real physical experience I can describe. It was warm and I could feel her. Joette could feel her too. Through my tears I said, "Mom is hugging me...I can feel her" Joette said the same thing. We then both said "thank you Mom" as tears of love rolled down our cheeks. I know my mom was there in that room today. She was smiling...she was sincere...and she wanted to hold her family close. We could all feel her...I will never doubt it. Thank you Mom.

I then knew why I wasn't able to be with Mom when she died. When she passed on through the veil she was greeted by all her friends and family who had died before her and then she was greeted by the hundreds upon hundreds who thanked her for doing their temple work for them- and then after her big welcoming party she must have said, "I have to go be with my kids and my husband" and so it was perfect timing and we were able to feel her. Mom was hugging each one of us today. It is a moment I will never forget.

We then knelt around her bed and said our last family prayer together. We knew that would be Mom's request. Keith offered the prayer.

We stayed with Mom's body for awhile and then the nurses covered her in a beautiful quilt. The funeral home people then came and took her away. I didn't want to say goodbye yet. I still don't.

But it is ok. Tonight we know Mom is free from her sick body- she is laughing and probably running around without any pain. I know Heavenly Father is going to put that talented elect lady to work real fast. I look forward to feeling her righteous influence in my life from here on out. I love you Mom.

Welcome home.

Monday, October 13, 2008


last year in the 20's...

Despite the 10 lbs I have gained being here in Spokane- (us Tomblin's have always been emotional eaters)- I still feel I am aging graciously...I mean I have some of those obvious signs that I'm not 18 anymore like those lovely wrinkles by the eyes- I have named one wrinkle "Jinkle" after Ju Ju because I swear it just popped out of nowhere right around the time Julia was born and I was staying up around the clock as she cried I blame Ju Ju for aging me 10 years...but so anyway...all in all I am grateful for me, for who I am, for my family, for my life, for my heritage, for my husband, my children, my gifts, my sense of humor, my personality, my children, my aging and turning 29- no big deal- all I can say is "bring it on"

happy birthday to me.

not exactly the best circumstances to be having a birthday...I told Mom last night "just don't die on my birthday whatever you do" and I don't think she will.

When my Mom was 29 she had already lived half her life here on earth. Doesn't that put things into perspective? These past 2 weeks have been a rough ride for me but Heavenly Father is still present, still blessing my life- I will probably write an entry about all the miracles that have happened during all of this- it is quite remarkable how the Lord promises peace during trials.

Perspective: I feel like my greatest gift for my birthday has been the gift of perspective. Mom's dying has shoved my life quickly into perspective overdrive. Life is so precious and I am discovering how I really do waste a lot of time on silly stupid things. Life really is all about relationships: serving, loving, forgiving, laughing, teaching, trying to improve ourselves so we can better understand others, becoming Christ-like so we can touch the lives of others, doing temple work for others beyond the veil, working hard so we can teach our children by example- it is all about lifting those around us and in the "miracle of meanwhile" we are being lifted ourselves as a benefit of our service. It is truly amazing how much happiness is available if we can gain a greater perspective of Heavenly Father's plan and how priceless life is...our life and especially the lives of others. another great year...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

the surge...the rally

ok so Mom woke up yesterday morning with many words...?????? We couldn't get her to say much of anything the last couple days.

she talked all day yesterday...a little crazy stuff here and there but her eyes were open a lot and she had so much to was really weird yet wonderful. She would say "I love you" and "I know your guys have me locked up in this place" all in the same sentence. Her dear friend Jim Gilson came to visit and when she saw him she said, "Jim, you're the only one who can help me get out of this place...I don't trust anyone but you Jim, please help me" It is kind of sad yet a little humorous- only because we know her mind is half gone- but we are still so impressed at how good she is with names and long term memory.

Mom kept telling us yesterday how she is sick of laying on her bed and she wants to get up. Then out of no where, she all of the sudden got this surge of energy and pulled herself off the bed. Her legs buckled underneath her and she slid off right on top of me- luckily I was close enough to the nurse's call button so I could push it in time.

She also drank a ton of water, ate some jello, mash potatoes and stuffing. She also enjoyed her pineapple juice until she said, "I can't drink this anymore, you guys are trying to poison me." But she was also very sweet and kind and even laughed a little and we knew little pieces of Mom were breaking through despite how much of her mind isn't there.

They call it the last rally. The nurses explained it is very common for the dying to have a day or so before death when they have an unexplainable surge of energy.

I didn't want to leave last night. It was getting late and my kids were once again at some loving yet unknown home. The Lord is really taking care of my girls...thank you to all of you who have offered to watch my girls. They have seriously been watched by so many people these last 2 weeks and they are doing ok! Kenzie did tell me yesterday "Mommy I miss you" and it about broke my heart.

But I didn't want to leave Mom last night. She was so wonderful and alive. I wonder if she is still the same this morning. This whole experience has been so draining. This waiting time is so hard. I feel every emotion. I start to think about life without Mom and I bawl like a baby and yet I want to her to go soon so she can escape this sick body of hers and return home to her Father in Heaven. It is hard for me to stretch my kids out like this. I miss Chay. I miss his stableness and...hugging him.

I am still however holding on to the moment of "Mom"...and her little life left. I treasure each touch. Her skin is so soft- her hands so perfect. I know in the long run I will never regret all this time I have devoted to her last days on earth.

Friday, October 10, 2008

angels are near

Mom has gone 48 hours without food or water.

She no longer has strength to get out of bed. She hurts a lot. She is on a pain pump which releases morphine consistently through her port. There is also an optional button on the pain pump you can push every 10 minutes or so if you think she is still hurting. I push it every 10're welcome Mom.

Mom tries with everything she can to speak but it is hard to understand what she says. Any little word- we hold on to. She smiled yesterday morning many times as she was visited by a slew of new visitors...the nurses have made comment about Mom's many friends. I told them, "You have no idea- Mom has more friends than anybody I know- she is greatly loved by many."

I couldn't sleep last night. I kept getting the chills and I would dream off and on about Mom. I really felt like she was dying last night.

Joette spent the night last night with Mom. Joette told me that throughout the night she kept holding her hand up toward the ceiling. Lynette, a great friend of the family, who owns a adult care facility, told us just 2 days ago that many of her patients reach upwards when they are dying.

The veil is thin...the angels are near. Mom is reaching- she is ready to go home.

I really want to be there when she takes her last breath. I pray I will be...but I think it is up to Mom right now.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

first frost

We woke up this morning with frost on the ground...Mom's flowers will soon be gone.

Mom is sort of non responsive now. She sometimes says things out of the blue but she mostly just hums when trying to speak. Her voice sounds different. She slurs a lot. Her eyes roll back in her head a lot. She hurts all over. The cancer is spreading through her body. The brain tumors are effecting parts of the brain that cause her to be very agitated and emotional. She cried and cried for 2 days straight and we couldn't leave her side. She kept getting out of bed. The bed alarm would constantly go off and the nurses would find Mom trying to walk across the room. They once found her sitting at the table. The nurses finally gave her a stronger anti anxiety pill that calmed her down. She seems to be a little more comfortable at the moment. She has a catheter now and so she doesn't have that many reasons to get out of bed...but her mind still tells her she needs to go to the bathroom- the nurses are so kind and loving- they politely put Mom on the toilet even though she has a catheter in- just to allow her to feel comfortable and at ease. Although it has been about 2 days now that she hasn't left her bed- I think they wheeled her out to hear Joette play the piano but she was awake for maybe 5 minutes and fell asleep.

With the love and service of others I have been able to spend time alone with Mom. So many wonderful people have offered to watch my kids and it has meant so much to me. Thank you...I am so touched by the wonder of it all- so many of you have been so generous- helping in anyway you can...what an example you all are to me.

Yesterday I spent a couple hours with Mom. Calie (my brother Keith's wife who is practically my real sister) came about an hour after I got there. Mom knew we were there. She moaned and attempted to open her eyes several times. I even said, "squeeze my hand Mom if you are in pain" and I felt her soft hand grip tightly around my hand. She even said "Hi" to Calie with all efforts. But that is more words really. She mostly slept.

Yesterday Calie and I sat in her room and watched her as we talked about the marvelous lady Mom is. We told stories and shared feelings. Calie's words, "even now she is teaching me something...She is always teaching me something" Calie also said, "I look forward to her influence on my family from the other side" Calie, I will always remember meant a lot to me to share that moment with you. I love you.

I fought with my Dad the night before. All emotions are running high right now. After our heated argument I felt so embarrassed. I felt really dumb. I thought of my mom watching me from Heaven and being so disappointed in me and it crushed me. I just want to honor Mom better- try harder to forgive, be more patient...The next day I told Dad I was sorry... and I made him a big salad. That made his day. I love my Dad and I can only imagine what his heart must be lacking right now.

The nurse told me yesterday that Mom is real close. She also said that women always last longer than men. She said men die very quickly compared to women- women are usually grandmas and mothers and they want to nurture and take care of everything right up until their last breath. I thought that was beautifully said...

I just can't believe the moment is here. It doesn't seem real. Mom always pulled through somehow and so I just kind of stopped thinking she would eventually die. She just kept beating the odds over and over again. Now it is here. She isn't coming home. This is so weird and painful- yet peaceful. I am so grateful for the Gospel- what hope the Truth brings. Last night I was moping around the house and wishing I could have Mom back. There is still food in the fridge mom has bought- the cupboards are full of her stuff- she was always disorganized- like me...and so this transition time is so hard because she is still so much everywhere...but I realized how wonderful it will be when I get to see her again.

But she isn't gone yet. I get to see her this afternoon and I can't wait.

I would post pictures but my mom's computer doesn't have a SD card reader- but here are some links to Joette's and Calie's blogs. Mom looks different because of the steroids she is taking for inflammation in the brain. Her face is swollen from the medications...I decided to link their posts since the time Mom decided to get the Gamma Knife treatment which was the second week in August- since then she has declined at a very fast pace. We all kind of sort of believe the Gamma Knife put her body in over stress mode and that not all of her brain tumors were it has saved her eyesight but it didn't slow down the process of tumor growth in her brain...

Tuesday August 26, 2008
Thursday August 29, 2008

August 29, 2008

Friday September 19, 2008

September 21,2008
September 22, 2008
Tuesday September 30, 2008
Friday October 3, 2008
Sunday October 5, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

motherless home

Yesterday Mom was energetic and so talkative....a complete turnaround from the previous 3 days. She was moaning from head pain and so the nurses prescribed a triple dose of steroids- which explained the wonderful miracle of yesterday. She was telling stories, laughing hard, listening to everyone...oh it was just amazing. We recorded her, hugged her, cried with her...I even wheeled her out to her flower garden and got some last minute advice on how to take care of her flowers...she was there and it was wonderful...

Today we took her to the hospice house.

It was a hard decision. She woke up not knowing who I was for a few minutes. She kept saying all morning "when do I get to go home?" "why am I not home yet" Despite the wonderful steroid boost- we decided it was best for Mom to be where she will be cared for all the time and where we as a family can go and just visit her without being worried about how to lift her, how much medicine to give her...getting up several times a night. Plus she kept trying to be mom and so she wasn't relaxing very well. I was the one who had to tell her this morning that we were taking her to a special place where she will be cared for by the nicest nurses in the world. She seemed ok with it.

I wasn't ok with it.

Last night we were all in tears.
It would be the last night with Mom in the house.

Everyone came over to the house...all the grand kids. Mom was so lively and she hugged each grandchild and said powerful words of wisdom and love. Mom even said the prayer...and she blessed our family...when the lights went out and everyone went home...the house seemed really quiet and...we just couldn't bear the thought of mom leaving...

Joette woke Mom up and asked if she could play piano for her one last time. Dad, Joette and I all cried as we listened to her play hymn arrangements...I packed her bags last about a killing of the heart right over- I had to rummage through my mom's clothes, through her smell...through her room and I couldn't hold back the tears. I have so many memories of coming home late at night and sitting on Mom's bed and telling her about my day...

Joette and I prayed Mom would pass away last night in her sleep...

This morning before we left, Mom showed many signs of weakness and her upbeat self from yesterday was already fading. I put her classy black coat on her. She looked beautiful. Once mom was in the car, the house immediately felt empty...

Our home is all Mom- everywhere you look is her- her creations, her hobbies, her decorations, her callings, her friends, her food, her touch, her laughter, her interests...what is home without Mom?

Being at the Hospice House was peaceful. There was a sense of relief. It has to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I love the design and the colors of that place...there are indoor ponds and plants everywhere- homemade quilts- kitchen with homemade soup- a kids play area- it is really a nice place. It was good to know Mom will always have her pain managed there...

The nurses always come to me for everything. They always pull me aside to ask questions...somehow they must know how close I was to mom...I could rub her back for hours...

At the hospice house,I got off the phone with Collette who was watching my girls today and I said out loud, "I can't believe Julia fell asleep at Collette's house" and knowing it wasn't really that important to my brother, dad and mom pops out of nowhere (you never know if she is out of it or not) and said, "oh...that is so good she fell asleep" With a big hug, "thank you Mom for caring about the little things...thank you"

Coming home was the most loneliest feeling in the world. This big house...full of Mom everywhere. It is like she has already gone back home to Heavenly Father. Just sitting here at her computer puts a big sting in the chest...she spent hours here creating, writing, playing with photos...Mom was never afraid to learn anything.

Well tonight we sleep motherless. I would do anything to talk to her right now.

Somehow though we find room to giggle and enjoy one another. This experience is so very much in the Lord's hands- there is peace with the hurt and that is enough for me to keep going...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


September 29, 2008

I am with mom now...

she turned 59 today.

The room where she lays is very peaceful.

Seeing her was emotional. She said, "I have been waiting for you."

Mom is completely different. She is lost inside her head...yet she is quick to say "I love you"

I love to touch my rub her hold her while she goes to the bathroom. Every moment is precious. I love her. It is very rewarding to serve her.

I took her for a walk today in the wheelchair. It took almost 45 minutes to get her in the wheelchair- but the sun was bright and the air was early fall warm. It was a perfect moment to be with her...we live in such a beautiful has always loved where we live-...

well I need to go. Will write later- don't have a lot of time to write...

happy birthday Mommy


I went downstairs today and found Mom's last jar of apple sauce in the fruit room...and I about lost it. There are touches of Mom all over this house.

So I have been here for 3 days now. When I first saw her Sunday night, Mom was so excited to see me- she even told Dad earlier that day she wanted a bath so she could be clean when I got there. Everyone I have talked to has told me Mom has been waiting for me to get here...and in the past 72 hours she has declined greatly.

The first day she was sort of carrying on a conversation and she kept wanting to kiss Kenzie and Julia. Today she hasn't said much of anything...just cried a lot because of the pain. We are considering moving her into the Hospice is just still so concerned about everyone that she is having a hard time relaxing and sleeping...Dad is getting tired and today he actually couldn't lift her off the toilet without needing help- it is turning into a 2 man job now- Mom is very emotional and has muttered words like "I am stuck...I can't do this anymore"

Mom looks sick. Her face is swollen from the steroids...she is skinny and she is too weak to open her eyes...but she has a hard time sleeping...the littlest noise wakes her up.

I am strung out. I am so tired. Julia isn't sleeping well at all. My girls are always in the way- their little screams make Dad nervous and...we found a morphine pill in Julia's mouth...I know, you can gasp for air- all too much. I want to help mom but sometimes my girls are taking too much out of me- I am getting some help tomorrow...thank goodness.

well I don't know what to write really. Mom is losing her strength. She didn't eat today. My heart aches. We get tears several times a day. We sing songs and hymns and she seems to enjoy it. There is some peace when she sleeps and we can feel angels near at times- but she is still in a lot of pain- so it hasn't been pleasant really. We are trying to figure out the pain medication routine...and get her comfortable but mom's spirit is an energetic one and despite not being able to walk, she still wants us to help her move from the chair, to the bed, to the kitchen...all so she can keep moving...that's my mom.

There is nothing greater than holding mom's hand...she is so soft and...she loves to hold hands. Yesterday we talked about death. She asked me, "how did I get like this?"...and "why am I sick?" I explained to her that she has cancer and Heavenly Father is calling her home. She told me she doesn't want to go home alone...I kept telling her how beautiful it will be and that Heavenly Father will put her to work right away. She responded, "really?" I asked her if she was afraid to die and she started to cry and said, "I never thought I was but I think I am"

What a ride this has been. I am very tired. I am going to bed.