Tuesday 8 March 2011

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

Tomorrow will mark the one year of my Mom's passing yet I have that terrible gut feeling and panic that my Mom is going to die. Hear me out, for the last month, I find myself thinking about what I was doing a year ago...and I have been reliving it. Almost to the minute, a year ago today, I had returned to see my Mom at the hospital so I could see her before I went to bed. I sat by her bed and hummed 'You are my Sunshine' because that was about all I did for comfort or communication when I was with her. I cried while I tried to mentally imprint the feeling of her nice plump hand and I tried hard to etch the look upon her face and all her features. She looked beautiful.

I stayed for a little while and then returned when I received the phone call at about 2 a.m. I sat vigil with my Dad, my sister, my brother, my aunties (Jacquie, Camille, Mickey, Shelly, Colette, Suzie, Jeannine)and uncles (Harry and Joey). We sat quietly together with my Mom, through the night. She died the next day around 10:30 in the morning.

This last year has been a struggle. I have lost not only my Mom, but two other very important women in my life and in my inner circle. Such great losses bring wounds to the spirit. I am sure I will always struggle with my sadness in not having my Mom around to share in my life and my children's and I will forever miss her. I hope to come to a point that I may think of her and smile rather then feel heart pains. I hope I will continue to work on enjoying the moments that make my life and savouring my children as they grow. I will keep walking in this direction and I know I will get there. I have an abundance of fond memories and people who love me to keep me company along the way.

I truly can not imagine how I may have coped with my grief had it not been for this wonderful blog my Mom had created. This legacy she has left brought me to a world of people who are filled with much love, experience and wisdom. Your comments and words of support have helped to bring me comfort and take away the loneliness that comes from such grief. I hold many mantras from your wise words. I truly feel that others can understand the pain. This is life. From your experience I learn that we must go on and we will go on and that still, much beauty awaits. I will always have your words to look back upon and I know they will continue to bring me comfort. How do you thank people for this? I am truly grateful for every word that you have taken the time to share with me. I will miss sharing on this blog but I will leave the last words to my Mom.

How do I thank my Mom for what she has done by creating this wonderful treasure of a blog? I can go back and read her words and it is just like I have spoken with her. I still laugh at some of her posts and she brings back so many memories with her stories. I am so proud of my Mom for starting this blog. She always said her intention was to leave a sort of memory book for us. She has left us with a chest full of jewels and gold. We can now look back upon this magic book she has written for us and hear her, feel her and remember her magical spirit and we can now share her with our children.

I have also been so thankful for you, her readers. You gave her an audience she never expected but one she cherished and it made her and her family proud to read your responses to her. You helped to make her the author we always said she should be and your love and appreciation gave much light to her days.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I wish you all so much love and happiness.

Thank you for the priviledge Mom.

*Artwork by Stephano Vitale


A.Smith said...

But she is with you, like she is with me. Every time I see a buttercup I cannot help but to think: "So, what are you doing right now?" which was like a secret handshake between us. We both knew the other "knew" and we were ready to both listen and talk and that was all we did. We shared more secrets together than I did even with my sisters. Now, every time I re-read her emails the feeling is as fresh as the first time.

I know. I have been dreading tomorrow, even in the middle of my own storm, I dread to think about tomorrow. I wrote on my blog about it and I cannot believe it has been a year. She is with us, I mean that. She can never be too far away because true love just cannot die, and she gave, and got in return nothing less than true love.

I hold you and the rest of the family in my heart. I promised her that and I will for as long as I live. Much love to you, as always.

Anita said...

I also lost my Mom last year. I go to give her a call and realize she is gone... It is a hard thing when your mom was a great friend and your number one fan and supporter... I was late in finding your moms blog but I so appreciated her honesty and expression of what she was feeling. I am sorry she had to leave at such a young age. We go on...

Jos said...

Ah Angelique

I understood every word you wrote today. You are a writer too you know ... just like your mom, and yet very distinct too.

When feelings are so overwhelming we re-live them over and over, we try to make them easier to bear with each re-visitation ... even in some part of our heart we hope to make it different this time ... we wish .... oh how we wish that things did not turn out the way they did.

It's hard beyond description. That is the nature of grief. At least to me.

The time is coming when you will smile more and ache with less intensity. It happens so gradually that it's hard to tell the difference even whilst it's happening.

But these rememberance days are always going to be there. And so will we.

Much love to you and yours. And warmest hugs. xx Jos

Ces Adorio said...

Oh Angelique, I understand you. I know that feeling. I still recall the scenes of my mother's passing too. We will always miss our mothers because they were very good mothers. I miss your mother. I keep on reading old posts and comments from her. I sometimes follow the trail from my blog to here to Bella's. When I am sad, I read your mother's old comments and she still makes me smile and laugh the way she did back then. I shall never forget your mother. Every time I draw something related to a group of bloggers I always include your mom. She is the white dove flying. She was there when Bella and I had a race to the 1000th comment! She is there with the Bald babies. I shall always remember her. I love your mother. Take care, Angelique. TSUP!!!

Baino said...

Angelique it's a wonderful legacy and she is far from forgotten. Take it from someone who lost two women dear to her very close, a week apart in fact. My aunt and my mother, you do get to a point where you smile at the memory rather than feel sadness for the loss. I miss them both, always will but these days, I remember them living, happy, healthy, close. Much love. Helen.

Chrisy said...

I'm thinking of you dearest...I understand the reliving of the last moments with you mum...a year in human time might have passed but it's just the blink of an eye when you're grieving...take care dear girl...

Mim said...

One year - I can't believe it.
I thank Renee for her blog also. The wonderful lessons I learned from her...she taught many of her to live while she learned what it was to face death. Her courage and humanity were astounding. She was funny. She was wise. She was often silly and profane.
I only knew her for a year but I'll always miss her.
I wish you a happy wonderful life with your family and the same to your dad also.

yoborobo said...

Dearest Angelique, the honor has been all mine. Your mom has a special place in my heart, as does your auntie Jacquie. I think about them all the time. I know that they want us all to take life by the horns and experience it. I am trying to keep that message in my heart, and to honor them both by living it. I hope that you will post here now and then, but if not, I would love to email you. Your family has woven its way into so many hearts. I miss your Mom. I was reading some of her emails to me, and it struck me again, who it is we have all lost. She was one in a billion, that girl. :) Much love to you, and to your family, always. Please tell your Dad I am thinking of him today. xoxo Pam

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I was thinking of your Mom this morning, one year later. And I was thinking of her legacy of love too. Goddess bless you all. She lives on in you.

prutsels said...

Beautifully written, I wish you and your loves ones all the best.

Robin said...

Such sad, wise and oh-so-appropro words from Mr. Dickens....

Angelique, your own words are filled with beauty - even amid the sadness and pain that you feel. What a loevely tribute to post Renee's "Grace" one. Renee was (and still is) a rare being.... with a heart bigger than the Cosmos.... her capacity to love, in the midst of her own suffering, was astounding. As I once told you, although I never met Renee (in person), nor heard her voice over the phone....we did speak - through this blog. Without her - I would not be blogging....this is the truth. She encouraged me to "try it"....

I, too, have been counting down th edays until March 9th. Renee is always in my heart and I think of her frequently - but this past week - her presence is so strong.

You, Wahid, and all your family still have a long road to go....the pain of losing someone so special is immense....her death has left a scar that will never completely heal...but in more time, will hurt less.... but - Renee lives within all of you.... she infused your hearts with herself....and I know, just from reading your words, that you are her "Keeper of the Flame" and are infusing your family in the same way. Camille, this applies to you too....you are one special Sister!

I am writing far too much....but I needed to....

I send each and every one of you many hugs and blessings. Spring IS coming - the season of rebirth....last year, I found the timing of Renee's passing to be ironically correct....God recalls those special ones near the time of his own rebirth.

Love to all - always. My Renee candle will burn tonight in her honour.

♥ Robin ♥

studio lolo said...

Angelique, sometimes when I read your posts I swear it's Renee. You are so much your mother's daughter and I'm sure she walks beside you.

She was a force as big as the universe. It's amazing how many lives she touched by sharing her battle with grace and love, always hoping that what she shared on the blogs would help even one person. She helped and healed many, that much I know.

I'll always miss her. I have a card from her on my bulletin board and I have kept her emails. But more tangible that that, I feel her love and courage every time I face a challenge.

My love and prayers are always with you and your family, as well as Jacquie's extended family. And Wahid, your sweet dad. And sister/Aunt Camille. You are all an extension of Renee and her legacy. Never forget that.

Thank you for sharing. March 9th is another hard date to swallow when it comes up just as the date of my own mother's passing 25 years ago.

Sending you all strength, love and my blessings, always.


Nina said...

When you are sitting alone and all is quiet, I know you feel her there... she is there. On your toughest days she is holding your hand, brushing your cheek, pushing back your hair... she is there in the center of your soul whispering her words of wisdom. She is there on you happiest days, laughing with you, through you... Listen... you'll hear...When cooking a favorite recipe of hers, do you ever find yourself adding just a pinch of this... or that for no apparent reason? It is her, in your heart, guiding you as she always did.

It is not easy to see through the grief when it has you reeling inside.. but look at yourself in the mirror... she is there... that twinkle in your eye, that line of your smile... you will see her in others as well...

This goes for others that have gone as well... they are only as far away as our heart and soul... We can call on them and then listen, really listen... I know you Know they are there... always.... You can feel them... tickling your face, blowing kisses, wrapping their arms around you always.

Find comfort in the Knowing...

We are all Blessed by her's and now your blog....

May God Bless and keep you and grant you Love, Peace and Understanding.
Blessings to you and yours.
Love and Light,
Nina P

GlorV1 said...

Your MOM Renee will always be with us. Each time I come to her blog, I feel her still here. She will never leave us as she loved everyone. There were no enemies for her, everyone had a chance. I'm so glad I met your mom, she gave me strength when I talked of my son. She was rich in spirit and love and I thank her. There will come a time Angelique when you'll open the door and you'll really hear the birds singing and find the grass green and the sky oh so blue and when you look at the clouds, you'll smile, a real smile because your MOM is so happy for you on that day. The 7th was my son's 7th. year of not being here in this world with us, but he is in every sense always with us. There did come a day when I was able to do what I just said, but we always will have an emptiness that we accept and live with it. I feel your pain and I pray for you. We love you and will always love Renee.

Marie S said...

You are your mother's daughter. I hear your mother in you. I hear her spirit in you.
I feel her heart in you.
I miss her very very much.
I see though she is here on this page, in you, in my heart, and on the pages and in the hearts of all the people she touched with her love.
Thank you for spending your precious time with us.
Blessings all over you and your entire family.

Bella Sinclair said...

I have tears in my eyes from reading your eloquent words, and a smile upon my lips. Your mother was something special. There are not many whose spirit still shines brightly, and whose warmth still connects hundreds of people after they have passed. But your mother does. The words she left for you and your siblings on this blog are better than any riches on earth. I love your mother, and I love your family. Bless you, dear Angelique. Sweet hugs and everlasting love to you.

Unknown said...

I think about her almost every day!!! She will always be remembered....it is so hard to believe that a year has passed....I will miss her always....

aimee said...

I have thought about your mom and your family so much this past year, and especially this week. A few days ago I read through a bunch of her old posts. I still remember the first comment she left on my blog, and the funny letter she sent me in the mail about the dirty word magnets i sent her! Her amazing spirit through her struggle inspired one of my doodles and I think of her every time I look at it. If you would like a copy of it, please let me know at artsyville (at) gmail (dot) com. It would be my honor to send you a copy.

I will miss your postings, Angelique. You write so beautifully. And I am so sorry for all you have suffered in the past year. I know your mom is proud of you for carrying on. My love to you all.

kj said...

I think there will come a time when it won't hurt to remember.

We all understand, angelique. I am so glad you have found comfort from our love for your Mother, our dearest friend Renee. She did that for you as she did for her friends here: she made sure her legacy would include people who love one another, who understand.

I won't tell you she is still here. How I wish she would tell you that herself. But her love: it dwells within you as you.

And this blog: you will read it to Josephine and Domenic and they will read it to their children.

Thank you Angelique. Love to you always. You do her so proud


GlorV1 said...

I posted on my sidebar one of Renee's songs. She loved the song by Sam Cooke, A Change Is Gonna Come. Love you Renee.

A Camille said...

Wow Angelique this is such a beautiful tribute to honor your mom. You are truly a beautiful spirit Ang. Your mom & AJ are for sure looking down at you & how you've carried on this past year & being sooo proud. This blog is for sure the most precious gift your mom could leave for all of us here as this is your mom's words and thoughts. Love you so much and proud to be your Aunty

Gberger said...

Dear one,

I read this when you posted it but am away from home and have had not had quiet time to compose my thoughts to you. I want to tell you many things, one of which is that your mother's spirit is still touching mine, and I know she will forever touch yours and all who she loved, and still loves. For death cannot be the end of love.

I also want to thank YOU for continuing the conversation that your blessed mother started with us. It is a comfort to me to come here and read your thoughts. You are precious to me, because you are to your mother.

Finally, I think it's totally normal to go over the "last year at this time" memories. I have always done this - even after something like a breakup with a boyfriend. I find that as time goes on, I live less in the trauma memories of Katie's illness, and more in the sweet memories of her character and strength. I pray this will be the case for you, as well, with your mother.

Sending much love to you and your family, dear. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo (as your mother used to sign off)

JDConwell said...

Hugs girl. I lost my mom in '92--almost twenty years ago? She was 47. You never really reconcile it, but you eventually find less pain and a determination to remember the very best of her, and more importantly, to pass those on so the things she wanted to share remain and grow and continue to bless others.

Jaqi said...

Hi Angelique, I agree with lolo, reading youre words is like reading Renee's words all over again. Youre Mum lives on , through you , and Im sure I speak for everyone you have no need to thank us, it is us that need to thank you. Youre Mum was a sense of comfort to all of us, she showed courage and strength and at times of great sadness she always managed to be there for others. You have done so well to keep up the blog and it continues to be an inspiration to us all. Take care Angelique and know that there are many hearts all over the world in which a little of Renee resides, giving us the courage and strength to carry on. :-)

Laura said...

blessings to you at this time of renewed sorrow and joy in the memories of love that is eternal.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Angelique, for continuing your mother's blog for one more year. You gave us all a gift. I think of you and your mom and your family with prayers for tender mercies. Love to all of you.

~Babs said...

Angelique, it's always good to see you here.
When I look to the sky on a clear starry night,,,,I feel the glow of your Mom and mine.I feel the hugeness of God's love, made real by the beauty that surrounds me.I feel their love, and His love.For now, it's what we have. We will know them again, for He has promised. Life everlasting; complete in Him.
My prayers for your peace; it's coming,,,and it's what she wants for you.
Many hugs,,

One Woman's Thoughts said...

You wrote such lovely and sincere words. They were from your heart. And you ARE your mother's daughter. I hear her in you. Somehow I know she is smiling and her love is always with you.

I too miss her sense of humor, her words that just made sense, and her love of her family and others that she came in contact with. To know her, was magical. she made her space warm and welcoming to everyone.

This month is two years since I lost my twin brother and my parents are both gone now too, but in my most lonliest times, after a good cry, I feel thier comforting touch, their love, their sense of humor and I relaize how blessed I was to have had them in my life as long as I did.
My arms wrap around you at this difficult time, I can't say that it gets easier, but somehow we adapt and the memories are what give us strength again.
Blessings to you sweet lady and to and your family and thank you for sharing your mother with all of us.

Ces Adorio said...

Happy Birthday to my Beloved Friend!

Anonymous said...

Bless you so much! This past year must of been so difficult for you and your family. Renee, was a totally wonderful lady! You know I think of her as an angel! You are all angels!
Loads of love to you all!

One Woman's Thoughts said...

I understand the pain of loss of those we love. And I too have those feelings just like you. I don't know if they ever go away, but they do seem to have their ebbs and tides.
I try to think of the days that were good, the memories that are special and funny. Because we did have so many more of those days than the days of illness and death. So I try not to focus on the less, but on the more.
Blessings and a big hug to you.

kj said...

happy Mother's Day, my dear renee. your angelique is doing you so proud. you are missed every single day, together strong, see you again with a jubilant smile upon spotting you and all your wise mischief


Deborah said...

Just love, love, love. Big love is all that is left. Love is the only thing that survives.

Anonymous said...

Hello Renee:

I am in Oregon, and am writing to you because this morning, as I was walking beside a forest that sits by a river next to where I live, three birds started circling my head. Sometimes a fourth would join them.

They followed me a ways down the trail. I thought it was unusual, but let it go until I was walking back home, and the same birds began again to circle my head.

I believe in symbolism and in nature playing a role in providing us with spiritual messages, information or lessons - such events aren't uncommon with me.

So this evening I sat down at the computer and typed in: "Why are birds circling my head?"

The first url that was returned from my search was your blog, entitled "Circling My Head".

I just thought you should know.

God Bless You!


soulbrush said...

She was an angel to so many of us, and we all think of her often, I know I do. Dear Renee I love you still.

kj said...

time comes and goes, renee, and there is still and always love.

through mr. ryan and baby drew i am the grandmother we both will always be.

i love you, beloved friend

The Dutchess said...

Dear You..

Your sweet mother often visited my blog..and wrote me wonderful witty and wonderful sweet words..Today I opened this one...http://thedutchesss.blogspot.com/2009/08/ones-one-self.html...on the same day as I read this beautiful post you wrote..
Hug T.D

breast reduction surgery said...

This relationship that with your mom is the closes one of a human bond and can not be replaced.May her soul rest in peace in heaven and in your heart.

GlorV1 said...

Renee, sometimes I just have to come back here if just for a moment to express my thoughts. Watching a special on Canada's beautiful country, I was reminded of who else but you. It's beautiful there, just like you. I miss you Renee. I won't linger, I just wanted you to know that the thoughts are with you always. Love, gloria.

Yvonne Anderson said...

I was going through my old blog as I am re-invigorating it and was deleting posts.
Your mum was a frequent visitor so she had left many comments which I copied and read again and smiled when I thought of her.
She was a very special lady indeed.
Funny I should come to this blog again as a year has passed- has it really been a year?? Gosh
Much love and heaps of healing sent your way xx

Great-Granny Grandma said...

Dear Angelique -- your mom was a very special lady who touched and encouraged so many people (myself included). I always looked forward to reading her posts--even when I had no time to read anyone else's, and I cherished her comments on my blog.

You seem to have so much of your mom in you, and this was a very beautiful post. I did ot see it until I revisited your mom's blog today. I pray that the Lord continues to heal the pain in your heart and comfort you as only He can do, and that He will (if He has not already done so) restore your joy and fill your heart with His peace that surpasses understanding. (((HUGS)))

Yoli said...

Angelique, carry her torch, continue this blog in joy like she would have wanted you to do. You have inherited her gift to touch and heal with a word. Carry it on sweet girl.

Jos said...

I remember. I do, and I am keeping the promise Renee. I miss you. Love xx Jos

kj said...

two years now, renee.

and you iive among those who love you as if you are at the kitchen table.

i will never forget the gifts you have given me.

i pray that your family is well. i pray that soon it will not hurt so much to remember.

love always

GlorV1 said...

Hi sweetie Renee. I just had to come here today because your birthday is tomorrow. I want to wish you a very Happy Birthday. Love and miss you always dear friend. I'm playing one of your songs on my blog and have lit the candle for you. ::hugging you::

yoborobo said...

I wanted to stop by and tell you how much I think of Renee, and how much I miss her. I hope you are all well. Much love, Pam

kj said...

renee, do you now that my friend trace wrote a song for you called 'circling my head'? she sang it as her encore last night at a local gig.

camille lets me know how your kids and grandchildren are doing.

together strong always, beloved friend.


Breast Enlargement said...

Passing of mother is very sad moment of life. You have given such detailed description of the saddest moment of life

Nancy said...

Dear Angelique:

I was just thinking about your mother and she still touches me to this day. That's what a beautiful person she was. A beautiful soul who passed much to quickly, but who spent the last days of her life on earth as an angel. A sweet, loving angel. What a blessing to have had a mother like her. And, what a beautiful woman you must be, I'm sure of that.

(I miss you Renee!!)


kj said...

angelique, do you come here? i think at this time of year you perhaps do. your Mom is so alive here, so wise, so present and loving

she will never be forgotten by her friends here because she gave so so so much.

i wish you and your children and your dad and family a blessed christmas.

with love always,

Robin said...

Renee, I think of you a lot.
I have grown so much...thanks to you for your encouragement and inspiration. I miss you. I know you are never far from your families - real and blogging....

It's Christmas Eve....and I know Angelique, Wahid and all your real family are missing you.... me too...wishing I could pick up the phone or send you an e-mail sending love and blessings...

Every time I am in a church - no matter where in the world, I light a candle for you.

You continue to inspire all of us who were blessed to know you....and to those who did not know you, but read your blog.

Just wanted to say this....

Angelique, if you ever peek in here, know I send you all my love and strength...you are Renee's Daughter..she lives still through you and your family.

Love, always,

♥ Robin ♥ (from San Francisco)

Shaista said...

Dear Angelique - I have been thinking of Renee a lot lately… just wanted to to reach out and ask after you. How are you?
Keep in touch if you can- my blog is www.lupusinflight.com
Your mom used to feel maternal towards me because I have lupus.
I miss her xxx

Shaista said...

Dear Angelique - I have been thinking of Renee a lot lately… just wanted to to reach out and ask after you. How are you?
Keep in touch if you can- my blog is www.lupusinflight.com
Your mom used to feel maternal towards me because I have lupus.
I miss her xxx

Marion said...

Angelique, I keep a photo of Renee on my desk and think of her daily and pray for your family. I go back on my blog and often read comments she made on my posts. I only knew her a few short years, but I feel as if I knew her my entire life and I love her dearly. Her heart was as big as all of Canada and I know she lives inside you. Sending love and blessings. xo

PS: Have a blessed Mother's Day Sunday... ~Marion