The First week of March….

Cherry Blossoms should remind us of new life… but every year they remind me of death.

On February 28, 2001 there was an Earthquake that hit the Pacific Northwest.. I can’t remember exactly what the magnitude was… 6. something?   It shook hard enough to damage some buildings… enough to scare people here in the Pacific Northwest.  I lived in BC,  Canada at the time… with my husband and my baby girl.  I was sitting on the floor and felt a rumble… I wondered.  Then a few minutes later I found out the rumble epi-center was near my home town of Olympia, Wa and nearby areas all in fact had an earthquake.  I started to worry ~ a little.

Mom my was in the hospital in Olympia at the time.

Probably not more than an hour later I got the call…. mom’s cancer had gotten worse… it was “time” to come and say goodbye.  So I called my husband and had him come home from work, I packed a few quick bags and we loaded our baby girl into the car and drove into the earthquake zone.  A few people thought we were crazy… driving to the heart of it… not to me… My mom was way more important to me than a possible aftershock. She had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer while I was pregnant with my first baby ~ she was lucky to survive 9 months after diagnosis.  At the beginning of that year… Mom knew her time was near… on her birthday in mid January she had given us instructions for her funeral, things like what songs that she wanted to be sung or listened to,  she wrote a list of which of us 3 girls  should have her treasured things (she didn’t have much) but she wanted us to have her treasures…

she started to say goodbye.

That first week of March after the earthquake..

is not a week I want to remember ~

and it is not a week I will ever forget.

It was a few tearful days watching my mom struggle to breathe…

she could not talk that week.

On her last night ~ March 6 ~ she gave each of us three girls a kiss… and intentionally gave each of us an additional kiss for each of our children … though I had one baby at the time… she gave me an extra one… I knew it was for the 2nd child I planned to have.

(She always hoped for a grandson… what a bittersweet moment being told my last child was a boy ~ he was the only grandbaby she never got to meet… my son Sammy.)

I will never forget those days… I hate them… but they are my last memories of her.

The next morning I went to see her… she only had a few hours left… we knew…

my aunt sent us home… she told us to remember her breathing…

I left…   I don’t regret leaving…

my last precious memory is kissing her goodbye the night before.

The first week of March is always a weepy time for me… those first signs of Spring are bitter sweet.   My mom did not live an easy life… but now she is in total peace … no more pain, no more tears, no more heart ache, no more fears… she rests…in peace.

I like to think she looks down on us girls … and smiles while watching us raise our children, enjoy life and remembering the things we loved about her.  I like to think she smiles when she sees us do crafty things or go junk shopping!

I talk about her to my children all the time.. she loved throwing us birthday parties, she was very crafty, she loved volunteering at our school, our friends loved her and all her crafts.  She loved babies, children and animals.  She loved  antiques, garage sales and sewing.  She loved to crochet (sp?).   She loved the beach.  She loved spring blossoms, lilacs and planting gardens.

The deeper into life I get… the more I LOVE being like my mom!

I love cherishing her by sharing all my favorite things about her with my kids… I am constantly saying…. “Grandma Norma loved… ” and  “Grandma Norma used to…”   she died too young… but I choose to think on the good things… to remember the moments I had with her… remembering the beautiful person she was… it is not always easy… and I stumble… The Lord knows my heart!  She gave her life to Jesus in her last few months… she was baptized in the hospital a few short weeks before she passed away.

I am thankful for the little blessings in life.   =)

Early signs of Spring make me weepy…

just like songs that my mom requested for her funeral make me weepy…

She loved Elton John… so do I..

You see her name is Norma Jean…

She loved that song… “Goodbye Norma Jean” …

so did I… but now it means something totally different to me…

I didn’t have a choice … I said goodbye to my Norma Jean.

She also loved this Hymn…

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Ev’rything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Ev’rything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus Knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge;
Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee;
Thou wilt find a solace there.

This hymn means something different to me now…

it reaches deeper into my soul than it did the first time I sang it in my early 20’s ~

when I gave my heart to Jesus.

Life never goes the way we expect it.

My mom’s early death is one of many reasons why I am Seizing My Days …

each day is a new day to Seize the moments God has given us !

Some days I will stumble and fall… but the Lord will pick me up.

sometimes He will carry me… sometimes He will watch me soar.

He is my strength… though I don’t always give Him the Glory He deserves!

I am thankful to have God in my life… I am thankful I can trust Him..

In Him I find Peace…

I am thankful that even during the difficult times in life… He is there.

He is loving me… teaching me… showing me..

comforting me… growing me … blessing me.

Blessed are the pure in heart… for they shall see God.

I choose to give my heart to God.

I love signs of Spring… though it is a bittersweet time…

it does bring new life … the sunshine… the flowers…

the things that make our hearts smile…

Seize Your Day today… go and enjoy the people you love!

That is how I plan to spend the rest of my sunny weekend ~

even it if is the first week of March!

Good Bye Norma Jean ~ I miss you and I love you mom!

18 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Jen Gacek yazmış:

    What a beautiful post Jenn! How sad to lose your mom at such a young age. I’m glad you’ve come out of it with an amazing attitude! Seize the day…you are so right!

  • 2 Wendy @ Faith's Firm Foundation yazmış:

    This was a very moving post to read, and a teary one for me. Thank you for being so vulnerable. It touched me on several levels, because I am a cancer survivor (8 years ago this spring) and I also lost my dad 20 years ago, but it seems in some ways like yesterday. He died 8 days before our little girl was born. He was sure I was having a girl, though we didn’t know it. (I was worried he’d be disappointed if it turned out to be a boy, because he always referred to our unborn child as “she”). I think the Lord told him. I’m so glad your mom was saved. That makes *all* the difference. (My dad was not saved.) My mom-in-law who died this past summer was. Knowing that we’ll see our loved ones again is a great comfort to me. My mom is not saved and is getting old, and I am deeply concerned about her salvation. You are blessed with wonderful memories…though it is hard to go through the “anniversaries” it is an important part of grieving to remember. Thanks for sharing your precious memories with us: it is blessing her memory and honoring her.

  • 3 Jenn yazmış:

    I’m sorry to hear your Mother lost her battle. This post was a great tribute to her. I will never hear the song Goodbye Norma Jean and not be reminded of your post or your Mothers story.

  • 4 Becky yazmış:

    This was a beautiful post, and so beautifully written.

    I can’t imagine losing my mom, how hard that must be.

    She has got to be smiling as she looks down and see’s you seizing each day 🙂

  • 5 Debby Pucci yazmış:

    What a beautiful post. I know it holds sadness but is such a big part of your future. I love my Mother when I was 31in March also and my children were very young. I have lived past the years that my Mother lived. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • 6 TooManyHats yazmış:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Having lost my mom 11 years ago, way too soon, I totally understand how you feel. Big hugs to you.

  • 7 Pennie at Mom Thoughts yazmış:

    What a heart-wrenching post. Thank you for sharing. I lost my dad last September, so those kind of memories are fresh for me, yet. He was spry and active the day before. He woke up the next morning at 2:15, watched angels in the upper corner of the room that my mom could not see for about 5 minutes, and then stood up to go to them – his body fell off his spirit, and he was gone. We had no time to say good-bye. But, he was alert and active to the end – he was a hyper guy, so this was the way he would have wanted it! 🙂
    I can’t help but think, sometimes, what it will be like when my mom goes – I’m VERY close to her (I was close to my dad, too.) I am the child who lives closest to her, so part of my week is spent visiting her when I can, caring for her and doing things she can’t when she needs it, calling her and checking in on her. What will I do when that part is gone? When my mind wanders to those kind of sad thoughts, I am almost paralyzed with sorrow. I have to stop myself from thinking about it. My mom is a big part of my life. I love her so much. We have so much fun together – my mom and I.
    Your post brought tears to my eyes. I’ll bet this week is difficult for you. I’ll bet if I would have met your mom, I would have become good friends with her – just like I know you’re right – if we lived closer, we’d be good friends! (We’ll have to settle for cyber-friends!) My thoughts are with you, Just Jenn! Your mom sounds as though she has left a wonderful legacy in your life. How blessed you are.

  • 8 Steph yazmış:

    beautiful post. Sigh. I am so glad that this life isn’t it. We have an eternity to look forward to where people don’t die and there are no tears.

  • 9 Blessed Adventures yazmış:

    Thank you for this beautiful real post! I am so very sorry for the pain you must feel missing your mother. She sounds just wonderful! I am so happy you know that peace from our Lord. He is the only way to make it through times as this. Only him and how great it is you know this too. Blessings to you and Im lifting you and your family up in prayer as this time of the year brings back pain and saddness.

  • 10 Traci yazmış:

    I have a golf ball size lump in my throat… what an emotional yet beautiful post you’ve written here. I feel as though I’ve walked with you, that I caught a glimpse of what a precious woman of God, your sweet mother was (IS!).

    I look forward to meeting her in heaven someday.

    Thanks for following Ordinary Inspirations. I so look forward to following your blog, as you Seize each day, and encourage others to do likewise!

    A BIG Hug sent your way,


  • 11 amy prikazsky yazmış:

    What a beautiful, real post! I can’t even imagine what you went through and still do thinking back to that time…My mom’s favorite hymn is also what a friend we have in Jesus…What a great way to remember your mom but also know that she is a better place…I will definitely be remember you and your family in my prayers during this time..


  • 12 Traci yazmış:

    Oh my goodness, how this post touched my heart! I have been in tears the whole time reading this. I am so glad you found my blog and I found you! You know exactly what I am going through with the loss of my mom.
    The hymn you shared was one of my mom’s favorites too. As I read those precious words, I could hear her sweet voice singing them. Oh, I miss her so much!!!!
    I am so sorry for your loss too. Your mom sounds so precious. You can never replace a mother’s love. But I am trying my best to pass it on to my boys. Just like you, I see so many of my mother’s qualities in me, and I love it more than ever. I pray I can be just like her!
    I hope that you can read some of my older posts about mom. If you click on “mom” in my sidebar, it takes you all the way back to August when we found out she had cancer. She passed away 7 weeks after her diagnosis. I treasured every second I had with her.
    Thank you so much for sharing your heart with me!
    Your new friend,

  • 13 Char yazmış:

    I can’t see very well though the tears, from reading your blog. So sorry for your loss. I have an idea for you…make your mom a cake and celebrate her life. Tell your little ones stories about Grandma on her special day. We’ve all been blessed by some special people, and it’s hard when they leave us. It might just give you a reason to look forward to March instead of dreading it.

  • 14 Julianne yazmış:

    Absolutely beautiful…what a great testimony to your mom.

  • 15 arizonamamma yazmış:

    Heartbreaking and touching at once. I love the way you choose to look at your mom’s early passing, but it is still just so sad. This is a wonderful post, and I am sure it brought a smile to your mom in Heaven.

  • 16 Double Wide Mom yazmış:

    what a beautiful, inspiring testimony. You have a special way with words and I look forward to reading more.

  • 17 Transparent Mama yazmış:

    I love that you said you love being more like your mom the older you get. A lovely tribute to your sweet mom.

  • 18 Megan yazmış:

    Oh wow, Jenn, what a beautiful post. I’m so sorry about your loss and that this time of year is hard for you. I’m thinking of you and sending big hugs your way.