JULIE'S THOUGHTS ABOUT HER MOM
ANOTHER POST BY MILTON:
For new readers to this site, I am writing since Kristy's battle with a GBM brain tumor and her passing on July 21. Kristy made me a romantic so I write to share christian love stories.
I have asked Julie to write her thoughts about her Mom as I finalize the last posts on this blog. I am so very proud and thankful for Julie and Jennifer. They make their Dad proud.
My dad asked me the first of the week to write something about my mom. Well, I have had a very busy week. Report cards were due (I’m a teacher.) My boys had a lot of homework. It was difficult to find the time to sit down and gather my thoughts. I was finally able to sit down late last night after a long day of work, after I put the boys to bed, and I began to try to write something.
I thought and I thought, and my heart was so heavy. I went back and read old posts, wanting the Lord to impress something on my heart to write. And all I felt was heaviness. Dad finally called me again about 12:30, and was worried about me being up so late. He told me to go on to bed. I had to get up in about five hours.
When my family writes, they always write something so uplifting. Something that is inspiring. When I spoke at my mother’s funeral, God gave me those words. They came flowing from my heart. Right now, I want to write something inspiring. I mean, my mother was amazing. How hard this could be, you may wonder. When I go back and read all of the posts and look at all of the pictures, my mother was vibrant and faithful and full of joy every single day until the very end. How amazing is that? I wonder what it must have felt like to have been told, “You are going to die. And it will be painful at the end. You only have a few months left.” I can’t imagine what that REALLY, TRULY must have felt like.
I’m sitting here at my computer, and I know I have things I would like to share with you all. Things about my mother and my father. But right now, the ideas won’t come together. My heart is heavy and my eyes are filled with tears. So… I’ve decided to just be honest. To tell it like it really is. It hurts. It hurts to lose your mother. She was 56. In the prime of her life. I would like you all to please continue praying for me and for my family. I will make it. I’m built from stern stuff as my mother would say. But life has changed for me. It just doesn’t seem as bright as it used to be.
I remember the night I found out my mom had a brain tumor... She and Dad told me the day before that they had found out she had lost 25% of her peripheral vision. I knew that something had caused that, but never in a million years did I think she really would have a brain tumor. I remember the seriousness in my father's voice as I listened to him over the phone that Wednesday night. Our life was forever changed.
I remember the day of my mother's surgery. Our family and close friends all waited in the waiting room together. Janet, Dad's sister led us in the song, "How Great Is Our God, Sing with Me How Great Is Our God. How Great Is Our God. He's The Name Above All Names. Worthy to Be Praised. How Great is Our God!" I remember when the doctor came to talk to my dad, my sister and me. He told us they would let us know in a day or two if it was cancerous. I know he really knew then, but he wouldn't tell us anything. I remember telling him, as we walked in to see her, "She's a really special lady."
I remember a couple of days later when the doctor came in the hospital room to tell us her diagnosis. My dad, sister, I, and some of our family members were in the room with her. No one had really looked up much online about brain cancer. And I hadn't done much research, but I did read a little. I remember the moment the words "Glioblastoma Multiforme Stage 4" came out of his mouth. Everyone else in the room had to wait for him to explain what that meant, but as soon as he said those words I knew they were a death sentence. I had read that someone who has that only lives 6-9 months. Immediately tears began to stream down my face. I had to get out of that room. I quickly ran out to the waiting room bawling. I had to pull myself together before I could go back in there. But mom, she barely blinked an eye when they told her. Wow.
I remember going to Cheesecake Factory with her and my sister one day for lunch. I sat there in that restaurant, and I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, “My mother has a brain tumor! It won’t be long and she won’t be here to be able to have lunch here again with me!” It was the weirdest feeling sitting there with all of those people going on about their daily lives, and my mom was sitting there and she looked as normal as could be, but she was dying.
I remember visiting my mother throughout her illness. She was always giving to us, even though she was sick. She truly had a servant’s heart. On one of my visits from Tampa I had had a busy week so I brought my laundry with me when I came to Jacksonville. We had a busy day, going to the cancer center and then I think we went out to eat. When we got home we decided to take a nap which is something she never, ever did before she got sick. I told her I would do my laundry when I woke up and told her to please just leave it that I would take care of it. Well, as we lay on her bed, she insisted on scratching my back. (Our family likes to scratch backs and give each other massages.) Here she was the one who was sick, and she wouldn’t let me do anything for her, she still wanted to take care of and look out for me. Later when I woke up, I went into the laundry room to do my laundry and found she had already done it! She was dying of brain cancer and was still taking care of herself and looking out for and helping her family as well. I just couldn’t believe she had washed and folded my laundry. I did not want to put her out. She was so sweet….
Well, as I gathered my clothes off of the dryer, I realized… She had forgotten to wash them!! She was at the stage where she was getting a little confused and mixed up with some things. I discovered she had thrown my dirty clothes straight into the dryer without ever washing them and then folded my still dirty clothes! I never told her, but Dad and I sure did get a good laugh out of that one!
I know this post is a little different from the normal posts on this blog. But I just felt like being real today. I miss my mother so much. God has placed some things on my heart that I do want to share. I’ll have to ask Dad when he would like me to do this. I have thoughts swirling around in my mind. Thoughts on my mother’s faithfulness, and on the depth of her love for us ( I mean, what kind of love is that, how sweet, how deep, how real, and how selfless- that she told me she knew who would be good for my father. I’ll have to share that story with you all soon. It happened when we were getting ready to go to lunch one day, as we were putting our makeup on in her bathroom. She told me about Wanda with a sparkle in her eye! That came from her, and from God- that was the farthest thing on our minds! None of us ever thought anything like that about Dad after she would be gone. We wanted her here. We wanted her to get healed.)
I also want to write about her amazing sense of peace and of her deep joy that she had through the great times and that she exuded all the way through death’s valley.
And finally, I want to write about my dad and about Wanda. Both of them have experienced heartache- that comes with life…. But this is truly the most beautiful, special, sweet- oh so sweet christian love story that has ever been. CHRISTIAN LOVE STORIES… my mother couldn’t have chosen a more fitting title for her blog.
That is what I think EVERY SINGLE time I open her blog and read her words… CHRISTIAN LOVE STORIES.