Brand building through storytelling

My Mother – Lois Shilts

Lois SReading all the stories from other women that have lost their mother makes me realize that I AM NOT ALONE IN MY INCREDIBLE PAIN.

My mother was dx with Glioblastoma, the most aggressive kind of brain cancer there is. She was given 12 – 18 month to live. She had the surgery, followed by radiation and chemo. She weathered the surgery, chemo & radiation very well, but the monthly chemo pills really knocked her down. Mom always felt she would beat this problem . . . always the eternal optimist.

I took a FLMA Leave and was able to fly from Chicago to L.A. every month to spend a week with her. This was treasured time together. As the months went from 4 – 5, her speech because very incoherent and I found myself merely nodding when she tried to tell me something because it no longer made any sense.

My mom died 6 months after dx and we brought her home from the Skilled Nursing facility two weeks prior. She had the most wonderful caregiver in the world. In the 2 weeks she was home prior to her passing, she was always happy, smiled and dearly loved her caregiver.

To say that I am devastated would not come to close to describe my feelings . . . she was my best friend . . . I phoned her every night and we spoke for an hour. She knew everything going on with my kids and grandkids, husband, work, etc, etc, etc.

I cry often and wish I could get a grip, but I feel so hollow and miss her more than words can say . . . I miss those wonderful talks we shared – she was so wise and my daughters dearly loved their “Gram.”.

At her Memorial Service, my daughters shared their wonderful memories of their special “Gram.” One daughter even said ‘I didn’t think you knew my Gram was a Bail Bondsman, did you? Well, yes, she is. I had a little problem in College and knew my parents would go ballistic, but knew Gram could deal with it – so it was her that I phoned. To this day, we have shared this “secret” and my parents never knew.” Well, my husband & I heard this and chuckled – she (now 40 yrs old) still won’t tell us what her ‘little problem’ was.

My mom used to send my girls $15 every month when they were in college – she called it pizza money. she also gave each of them a phone card so they could phone her any time at no expense to them. Yes, this mother of mine was truly a unique person.

I pray that I can survive the incredible pain and loss I feel. I not only lost my mother, I lost my very best friend . . . and I know I will never be the same.

Posted by Karen Waitek

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