Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Miss You, Mom

My Mom was always very supportive of this blog and kept it bookmarked in her favourite sites. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing this news with the world. Nevertheless, it's hard to capture my feelings into words.

My Mom fought multiple myeloma (a cancer of the bone marrow) for eleven years. She lived her life with so much optimism and a  big smile on her face despite having this terrible illness. She was kind to everyone: strangers, new nurses and hospital staff, people who probably didn't deserve her goodness too. On Saturday, February 11, 2012, the day we feared for so long came. The night before I got the call. Saturday morning I hopped on a plane and rushed to the hospital. She held on for 9 more hours so I could hold her hand and talk to her about anything, everything. She's been holding onto life so bravely for the past decade just for us. Then at 9:40 PM she floated up peacefully to Heaven. Just like that. My brain still can't wrap around this. It was so sudden - we still chatted and wished each other happy Chinese New Years two weeks before. But she more than deserves this peaceful rest and we are happy that she doesn't need any more chemo, medication, pain, suffering. As much as it hurts to let her go ... bittersweet.

Last week was rough and it stretched on like a year. I tried to keep this inside and not share with many people but I am so thankful for the friends that called me and patiently listened while I sobbed incoherently. Thank you guys. And if I haven't yet told in person yet, I just don't have the strength to mouth the words again and again. My Dad and brother have been so strong too and we are here for each other and even closer now. We went through the motions of starting to plan the funeral and it all came together beautifully, in the process allowing us to focus on how special and bright our Mom's life was. Looking through old photo albums was both difficult and calming. She was just 24 in these photos, and she had a rare radiance and beauty, in youth and after she became sick. The memorial service took place this past Saturday, with lots of family friends flew in from all over the country, and it meant a lot that they would come so far at short notice. My Mom touched the lives of everyone she met. If you talked with her for 5 minutes, she would change your life and you can count yourself a really lucky person. She made us strong because she was and is the best role model there can be.

This is why I've been MIA from the internet for a while. It's going to take a long time to heal and even if the world stops turning, we won't forget her. But life moves forward. I'm going to have a lot of adventures for her - go all the places she couldn't travel to because she was sick. I'm going to take care of my body and never forsake my health just to get ahead in work. Since coming back yesterday, hearing people complain around me about tests and work and not having enough time to do things they love makes me realize that the small things are not worth stressing over. A lot of things have been put into perspective and I hope that this inspires you to appreciate the time you're given instead of complaining. My Mom somehow never blamed, yelled about the pain, or tried to make us miserable with her. She did everything she could to live a normal life and to give her family happiness and spent all her remaining energy worrying about us instead of herself. She's always been an angel. I'm going to try hard to be a better person every day, to become like her and to continue doing things that make her proud. In a way, she won't be missing anything - she has the best seat in the house. 

We love you so much, Mom.

39 comments:

Michelleesque February 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM   said...

My condolences to you and your family. I can see where you get your beautiful looks from. She sounds like a wonderful person, after all, she did raise a very mature and beautiful person like yourself. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. <3

Lubna February 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM   said...

Wow, it's really brave of you to talk about something so personal to the whole world, and still be so strong about it. I understand it's a very sensitive subject, and I believe she's in a much better place now. She sounds like such an inspirational person, I actually wish I could've met her. May her soul rest in peace, and I wish you all the luck and strength in your life, yours and family's. :)

Lubna
ELLE VOX

Nic Nic February 22, 2012 at 10:31 AM   said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Angie. I cannot imagine the pain you went through, and probably still going through now. You and your family sound very strong - hoping you guys will pull through. I can see that you mother was a happy spirit with her beautiful smile. My condolences to you and your family - stay strong!

Pooja_G February 22, 2012 at 10:44 AM   said...

Life does move on, but no-one can replace a mother. I am sorry to hear about your loss, and I pray for strength to you and your family, in this rough times. She has been a wonderful person and I am sure wherever she is, she would want to see you to be happy and strong.

Phoebe Limanta February 22, 2012 at 10:48 AM   said...

Oh honey.. my condolences to you and your family through this very difficult time. I lost my dad just a year ago and I know how hard it is and how much it hurts, but I know you're one strong lady so you will get through this... It will just take time... Even though it's been a year since my dad passed, I still miss him just as much everyday but as each day goes by, it starts hurting a little less and I start crying a little less too... My prayers and thoughts are with you hun, take care of yourself. *hugs*

Lisa Ng February 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM   said...

Hey Angie, your mom is so beautiful and vibrant. She sounds like she had great character and was a great role model. My condolences to you and your family. Take all the time you need! -Lisa

Kristy February 22, 2012 at 11:06 AM   said...

Aaaawww Angie, so sorry to hear about your loss. My deeeeeepest condolences for you and your family. You definitely have your mom's smile :) Take as much time off as you need. Be strong because I know you are! :)

www.monochromachic.com

Lauren February 22, 2012 at 11:10 AM   said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Joey February 22, 2012 at 11:12 AM   said...

My condolences to you and your family. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Sulaman c: February 22, 2012 at 12:32 PM   said...

Stay strong Angie! Your Mom was an amazing person and I hope you and your family will stay strong. My condolences are with you guys. I'm glad to see that you will keep your health strong. I'm always here for you!

Harry February 22, 2012 at 12:46 PM   said...

I am sure she supports everything you have done and will do, and is very proud of everything you have accomplished and strive to accomplish. Stay strong, we are all cheering for you :)

Ping February 22, 2012 at 1:21 PM   said...

awww angie, i'm so sorry for your loss. i lost my grandma a few years ago and didn't think i'd ever be without her. she's like a 2nd mom to me. i understand your pain and hope you surround yourself with loves ones who can support you through this difficult time. my condolences to you and your family! wished i can give you a big hug!

Frances February 22, 2012 at 2:05 PM   said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. You're so brave to be able to take on such a positive perspective. I know from what you wrote that you're a strong person and you will turn into the kind of person you want to be. May she rest in peace.

PetiteLittleGirl February 22, 2012 at 2:07 PM   said...

I had no idea. I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine my life without my Mom. Your Mom is in a very good place right now. Stay strong, Angie!

Oreleona February 22, 2012 at 2:37 PM   said...

Angie I'm so sorry for your loss, my condolences, I pray for strength for you and your family

Winnie* February 22, 2012 at 2:48 PM   said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Angie. Your mom will be living happily in heaven. She looks beautiful in the pictures, and was a beautiful person making this world a lot better. My condolences to you and your family. You look like her so much and its very brave of you to write your experience out. Please take good care of yourself, as you are a part of her, part of the angel that will always be missed.

Rainy Days and Lattes February 22, 2012 at 3:17 PM   said...

Angie, I was very shocked to read this... and it's than very touching. I'm very sorry for your loss. I know your mom is at peace now and I'm very glad that with every word you write about her, you always have a positive thing to say .I see a very striking resemblance to you and your mom. She dresses as whimsical and quirky as you do :)You need to be strong now, for your brother and your dad. Visit them when you have a chance, and never go a day wishing you should've done this or that. I know you'll be sad for awhile, and it's realistic. I just hope you know that she's there always :) Always, always. Make her proud :)

I'm sorry I'm a terrible writer. It's hard to write these words to say it the right way.

sugar sugar February 22, 2012 at 3:50 PM   said...

Hugs.
I am very sorry for your loss. Your mom is in a better place right now and is watching over you and your family. I'll be praying for you and your family.

Karen February 22, 2012 at 7:10 PM   said...

Angie, I'm so sorry and my heart is with you and your family.. I know it is a difficult time for you. Thank you for sharing the story of your mom's beautiful life with us. Please take good care of yourself and know that you have my support.

Alice Gu February 22, 2012 at 9:16 PM   said...

Thought this post was difficult to write, I thought this was the most beautifully written blog post of yours because I can almost feel your heart and soul pouring through my computer screen. My prayers are with you and your family to stay strong. I can't imagine how much it would hurt to lose a loved one that close to you, but I just know that you and your family are now going to be that much stronger, and we'll all look up to you as role models when we will inevitably lose a loved one to Heaven. I will hug you and see you soon hopefully!!!

P.s. to make the mood somewhat more uplifting...I have an embarrassing story to tell you. So I read this post this morning, like I do with all the posts on dashboard, and I sort of forgot about how I have a weekly meeting with my PI every wednesday morning. Of course, I couldn't help crying after reading the post, and of course my PI decides to show up at my cubicle right then so we could meet. so he saw me and was like omg are you ok?!?! and I was like yes yes i'm fine!! sorry *sob sob*!!!!! and he responded should we move our meeting to tomorrow?? I dont' mind! and I was like no no i have a ton of questions for you that I need answered before I move on the next task *sob sob*!!!! embarrassing on my part, but amusing in retrospect.

carizzachua February 22, 2012 at 10:16 PM   said...

oh my, this entry is making me cry. Im so sorry to hear this news. Condolence to you and your family. You look so much like your mom. Stay strong, we are all here for you. Thank you for sharing this beautiful message and I'm sure your mom is happy now and proud of you.

Alterations Needed February 22, 2012 at 11:13 PM   said...

I'm so incredibly sorry to hear about your loss. My condolences to you and your family.

Channie ♥ February 23, 2012 at 2:37 AM   said...

I'm so sorry for what happened Angie. My condolences goes out to you and your family. You are incredibly strong. Even if I haven't met you, I know that you are such a good person. Your Mom is in a happy place now. Hold on. We are here for you.

Nikki February 23, 2012 at 3:42 AM   said...

My condolences to you and your family, Angie. I may not know what it feels like to an extent, but I have lost many loved ones before and I sort of know the feeling that you're feeling at this moment. Your mom seems like a beautiful person not only on the outside but also on the inside. I may not have known her personally, but I believe that all mothers in this world are probably one of the most hardworking, loving and understand people you'll ever encounter. You must be so proud of her as she is with you.

Now, I see where you got your inner fashionista from :) I will keep your mom, and the rest of your family in my prayers. <3

TralalaHana February 23, 2012 at 7:47 AM   said...

You are strong, Angie. Take a break and let it heal a little more :) She was truly beautiful and you really look like her in some ways. Be glad, you had such strong and amazing mother. My condolences to you and your family. Be brave:)

Anne February 23, 2012 at 9:59 PM   said...

Im sorry to hear about your loss, dear. I actually cried while reading your post >< Hope things go well for you

<3

Rinny February 23, 2012 at 11:41 PM   said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your loss Angie - my heart goes out to you and your family during this difficult time. The way you talk about your mom, I get the feeling that she was a very optimistic individual, especially since you say she tried her hardest to live a normal life and not let her illness affect those around her. I think she would be very happy to know that you've learned to appreciate the time you're given and to move on with your life - she probably would have wanted you to do exactly that.

P.S. I see a lot of you in the pictures of your mom - not only do you have her looks, but her cheerful and strong personality as well :)

M February 24, 2012 at 8:43 AM   said...

Im so sorry to hear this.. :( This post was so beautiful..<3 Hope you're doing fine, though. Again; My condolences!your mum sounds like the best mum in the world!
http://spliffedcookies.blogspot.com/

Lulu February 25, 2012 at 3:22 AM   said...

Angie, I'm so sorry for your loss, my prayers go to you and your family, stay strong during this difficult time, I simply can't imagine what you must be going through :( Your mom was beautiful, and I can see your resemblance to her. *hugs*

Talking Thirty February 25, 2012 at 8:49 AM   said...

Very sorry to hear this news, Angie. I've pasted below a poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye that I found comforting when I lost someone very close to me. I thought it might provide some solace and comfort to you as well1.

Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft star-shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die. - Mary Elizabeth Frye

Really Petite February 25, 2012 at 11:01 AM   said...

Oh Angie, I am so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing this with all of us- that couldn't have been easy. My sincere condolences to you and your entire family.

aki! February 25, 2012 at 3:30 PM   said...

I just got done doing my mom's nails and now she's sleeping on my couch. I think that your mom raised a great individual and keep being strong. I had to read though this post in chunks because I kept on crying. I don't know you very well at all but I'm here if you want to talk.

7% Solution​

mauishopgirl February 25, 2012 at 10:40 PM   said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Your mom was beautiful.

Hugs from a new virtual friend...

(I hopped over here from expandng...your blog was listed as one of Lisa's favorites and I can see why (she has excellent taste, don't you think).)

Mary February 26, 2012 at 10:08 PM   said...

I"m sorry for your loss! Glad you shared a bit of your mom to us. I too had to go through this last year when my dad passed away. I hope you and your family the best.

Mary

Nathalie St-Pierre Roths February 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM   said...

My sympathy to you. I have many family members who passed away from cancer. I am battling cancer also since 2009 so I know exactly how difficult it must have been for your mother, in more ways you can ever imagine. You are so young to loose your mother. I do hope you have all the support you need.

Hugs,

Nathalie
http://nathaliecalifornie.blogspot.com/

Miss Woody February 27, 2012 at 4:18 PM   said...

lovely photos !

PinkOrchids February 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM   said...

Hey Angie, I hope you're doing ok. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your mum has an amazing smile, you look so much like her! And I can see where you got your lovely dress sense from!! Her outfit really brightens up the day!

Hope you're family are well, please take care and we'll talk soon.
*hugs* xXx

Carol March 6, 2012 at 7:40 PM   said...

Oh, Angie, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your mother looks so happy and bright in those photos - just as you describe her. Sending you and your family warm wishes and virtual hugs.

Marianne M. March 9, 2012 at 7:23 AM   said...

I am very very sorry for your loss, this post really touched my heart and brought tears in my eyes although i just met you and your blog, i am really sorry :(
i dont wanna say what everyone else says that time will heal your wounds, cause i am not in your shoes and i can't judge if i am not in your shoes.
my only advice is to remember her just the way she was and cherish her memory which i am sure you'll always do.
i was trully inspired by this post as well, your mom had to be a unique person and her approach towards life was fascinating and a lesson for all of us.
thank you for sharing :(

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