Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Year Ago


This week was another tough one for me, sorting out and reflecting on all that happened last year. Losing both of my parents quite suddenly just three weeks apart, from two different fatal diseases. This week marked the one year anniversary of losing my mom to glioblastoma multiform. She was 59 years old, just 8 days away from her 60th birthday. My mom had an explosive and contagious laugh. She was always knitting hats and making blankets for the babies in the intensive care unit. She was frank, spunky and a little unpredictable. We were blessed to take care of her everyday from the time of her brain surgery to the day she died. We laughed a lot, cried some, and made the most of every moment we had left. I love you mom. 

mom {a life well lived}

mom {a life well lived}
Mom is the pouty one in front.

mom {a life well lived}
On her wedding day

mom {a life well lived}

mom {a life well lived}

with the four of us kids

mom {a life well lived}
Mom with one of her doggies

mom {a life well lived}

mom {a life well lived}

mom {a life well lived}
mom & I


Almost all of the family (minus one brother)

Always the jokesters 

mom {a life well lived}

mom {a life well lived}

Mom & Dad celebrating dad's 60th birthday, just 10 days before she found out she had a brain tumor.

mom {a life well lived}
The tumor, that she nicknamed "Fred"

mom {a life well lived}

Mom & Dad with all of the grandkids

mom {a life well lived}
"Team Jackie" shirts
"My biggest problem is that the left part of my brain 
has nothing right in in, 
and the right part of my brain 
has nothing left in it."

mom {a life well lived}
If you have to cut your hair off, you might as well make it fun.

mom {a life well lived}

mom {a life well lived}
Emma lending Grum her hair 

mom {a life well lived}
Mom visiting Dad in the hospital

mom {a life well lived}

Thinking if my last night with my mom one year ago tonight. Her breathing was sporadic . I got to sit by her side until she drew her last breath and drifted away to eternity at 2:45am 09.26.12

Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord;

and let your perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the Mercy of God,
Rest in Peace.


Joanne said...

I don't know you, your mum or your family, but this photo story is a beautiful tribute to your mum and has made me cry. I hope you all get through the anniversary with courage x

Leonie said...

You all showed so much courage under unimaginable heartache. A lovely tribute today. xxx

Cami said...

"explosive and contagious", what a perfect description of Momma Rusk's laugh.
Been thinking and praying for you all week sweet friend.

Courtney said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile now and I remember when you first posted about the death of your Mom. I was shocked when I first saw the pictures. A part of me thought, "why would you want to remember her when she wasn't at her best?"

In April of this year I drove 5 hours across the state to be with my mother in the hospital as she died from complications of MS. I thought of you, and the beautiful post you wrote about your mother's life. So I brought my camera and I took photos. She looked awful and I kept apologizing for taking out the camera and piercing the awkward conversations with the sounds of the shutter but I took the photos anyway.
Because of you I had the courage to capture one of the most important moments of my life. At 28 I lost my mother but those photos help to remind me of the strength we all have, even during the hardest challenges of our lives.

I've been waiting for the appropriate time to say thank you and this post is it. So thank you! for sharing with strangers the struggles and joy and experiences of your family. You make more of a difference in people's lives then you realize.

noel joy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your encouragement and your heart. I am so thankful that you were able to share those last and precious moments with your mom just a few months ago. I promise to pray for you as you struggle through the months ahead, and look back on those moments.
God bless you.

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Chark said...

God bless your family. Losing one parent is hard enough, losing both so close together is brutal. I can see your mom was well loved.

Latrice said...

Love you Noel. I know we never talk and I rarely visit your blog anymore, but I know from the times we met you're an amazing soul. Following you through this challenge has been inspiring. It brings tears to my eyes knowing what you had to go through, but you once again shine like I knew you would. You're a beautiful person inside and out and your parents are so proud of you I'm sure. They are watching you always. Big hugs and keep it up. Xo


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