It has been a while since I wrote my last post. Sadly, things are not all that great for my family right now. My mom passed away on Thursday, May 10th at City of Hope. Two weeks ago during her weekly appointment her doctor decided to keep her in the hospital and run some tests. They gave her an MRI and CAT scan and on Friday the doctor told the family that she was terminal. She had developed tumors or "growths" all along her lower spine. They were pressing against her, causing a lot of pain and it made it very difficult for her to walk. She also had fluid building up in both her lungs, which they were unable to drain. The cancer had also spread to her blood, which was very strange for multiple myeloma. Apparently, my mom had an unusual chromosome that made her myeloma extremely aggressive. The doctors said they had never seen a case like hers before, that it was the worst they had ever seen. They told us she would only live a few more weeks, and not even a week later she passed. I was able to prepare myself for this, it wasn't easy and sometimes I forget that I can't just go to her room and find her there anymore. She suffered so much these last few months and we were so positive, that we never really talked about death. The only time she ever brought up her death was when she told me about 5 years ago (before she got sick) that she wanted us to play Edith Piaf's song "Non Je Ne Regrette Rien" or "No Regrets." That is the way she saw her life--no regrets.
She was so sick by the time she got to the hospital, that she could barely speak. The last time that I "really" saw my mom was on Wednesday, May 2 when I helped her get into the car with my dad and told her 'I love you mom, I'll see you later. Good luck!' She was an amazing woman, everyone who knew her loved her. She was also beautiful from the inside as well as the outside. She didn't even look sick, when she passed all the stress on her face vanished and her skin glowed. She looked so peaceful, like a doll.
It doesn't get easier. Losing someone you love is never easy. The void, the gaping hole in your heart never closes. Life goes on but it is never the same. Her body may not be alive, but we aren't bodies with souls, rather we are souls with bodies-- and the soul never dies. Especially my mom's, her soul was larger than life. She brought joy into people's lives. She made people's lives better by just knowing her. My Mom gave her love selflessly to those around her and it was returned two-fold. She was a gift to everyone who knew her. Her life was a gift to her mother, father, brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces/nephews, friends, and especially to her husband and children. She was too good for this world. She suffered through a hateful disease that she didn't deserve. She fought valiantly, with more strength and grace than seemed possible. I know her spirit never gave up trying to stay here with us. She didn't want to leave us, she wanted to be here for the next chapter of her life. She had a lot more life to live and a lot more love to give. It was her body, her fragile human body that gave up fighting; but her spirit never did. There are so many things that I won't be able to experience with her, starting with my graduation June 17th. We were so excited about this milestone. She won't be able to experience it with me, at least not physically. But, I know she will be there in a different way... I know she will be there.
The line from The Beatles' song "The End" from Abbey Road, epitomizes Liz Luna's legacy:
And in the end, the love you take
is equal to the love you make.
My mom took a lot of love with her, because she gave so much love to the people around her, especially her friends and family.