Two years ago at this time...

(a little bit of background on today's post can be found here.)

I haven't been here in a while.
And that's bad of me.
Really bad.

But I've been busy.
Very, very busy.
Busier than I've been in a long time.
And I find myself asking myself,
"Am I really this busy?...
or am I just trying to keep myself busy?" 

I'll be honest with you.
This month has been really hard for me.
Extremely, painfully, gut-wrenchingly hard for me.
I think this is the hardest time I've had since she's been gone.
Last year was not this hard.
I'm not even sure that her passing was this hard.
I wish I knew why...
I wish I could explain it.

And then I feel like I'm supposed to get on here and be all full of cheer, 
and fabulous ideas, and delicious recipes...
when truthfully, all I want to do is cry on your shoulder.

You know the little kid, standing in the kindergarten doorway,
arms outstretched toward the form retreating down the school hall?...
You know, the one stomping her feet, throwing a fit, screaming,
Yah.  That's me.

And I feel guilty baring all of this to you.
I feel like I must be being too transparent...
I'm too new to blogging to let you see this side of me...
the ugly, raw, wounded side...
the hurting, aching, not-pretty side.
I'm going to turn you off, and I'll never build my readership this way.

But then I question, why am I blogging if I can't be real?
Because the "crazy-about-thrifting-finds Erin"...she's real.
And the "ready-to-try-an-awesome-recipe Erin"...she's real, too.
And both of them are just as real as this Erin...
the "my-gut-is-nauseous-from-the-missing-and-the-longing-and-I-can't-think-straight-
so-I'm-going-to-scrub-my-kitchen-cabinets Erin."

This week has been especially difficult for me.
Mom went to be with Jesus on Friday, October 29, 2010.

So, while next Monday is the actual date of her Home-going, 
this week--the last week of October--feels like the anniversary.
You'd have to know how Mom's passing came about. 
I'll share that more in depth someday, I'm sure.
The short-short, though, is this.
She had friends in from out of town for a couple days of crafting
Thursday the 21st and Friday the 22nd...
they left to go home on Saturday morning, the 23rd.
She went in to the hospital on Monday the 25th.
She went Home on Friday the 29th.
It was that fast.
Really, really fast.
A nineteen-year battle with cancer...
ended in seven days.

We were blessed.
We were truly, immeasurably blessed that it happened so fast.
She had very little suffering in her last days.

But imagine a book with 6,764 pages.
That's how many days are in nineteen years.
Now imagine that the final chapter of that book is only seven pages long.
There's a bit of relief that the book is done...
that you actually know how it ends...
but you really thought the ending was going to be a little longer...
you didn't think it was going to come so sudden...
especially given the fact that the book was so long.

And the fact that Mom's final chapter literally happened entirely in a seven-day period of time,
has etched the details of those days into my memory forever.

Two years ago this afternoon,
I received a call from my dad at the hospital.
Some tests that had been performed on Mom came back with less-than-desirable results.
I needed to come to the hospital.  Now.

Two years ago tonight,
my two younger brothers
flew in from California and met my dad,
my youngest brother (I have three),
and me at the hospital.

Two years ago tonight,
all five of us gathered around her bed to say good-bye.

Two years ago tonight,
Wednesday night, October 27th, 2010,
I spoke to Mom for the last time...
the last time she ever acknowledged me.

I held her hand...
both her hands...
her arms...
any part of her I could grasp on to...
I told her she was my best friend...
(she was...and to this day IS the best friend I've ever had)
and she nodded...and patted me as I hugged her.
And when I started sobbing on her chest,
she shook her head...
as if to tell me not to cry...
not to be sad.

Two years ago tonight,
we sat in a Family Room on that floor of the hospital,
calling hospice...
talking with the hospice nurse until the wee hours of the morning...
making sure we could get Mom home.
That's what she wanted.
She had told us so.

She wanted to go Home from home.

please forgive me for not being here.
I know it won't always be like this...
and I don't think it will be like this every year.
But I write from the overflow of my heart...
and right now, this is all I have to give.


  1. Have never read your blog before. thanks for your honesty. I have no words except I'm sorry. Right now i am praying for the God of all comfort to be real to you, not pretending what that will look like or feel like for you, just asking for it.

  2. So sorry Erin. Grief is so untamable and comes in unexpected waves. Allow it to come and with the comfort you receive you will be able to give others. Hugs to you this evening.

  3. oh gosh sweetie. im pouring tears right now. sorry you are feeling this pain now. i lost my mom in march of 2010 from bc and it was the worst year of my life. i go for weeks now without shedding a tear..which i cannot believe. big hugs to you. embrace the pain, it wont last too long

  4. I hated reading this. But i loved reading this. I hate you for making me cry because i hate to cry. But i love you for making me cry because i was that close to her and am that close to you. Love love love to you this week and always.

  5. My heart is aching for you… my grandmother also had a similar story and although she was so far away from us, she called everyone to say hello… little to know it would be our very last conversation with her. Her 15 year battle with cancer also came to a quick ending but she fought so hard, for so long. I’m sorry for your loss, your pain, your grief, your frustrations but am also thankful for your sharing. To this day, I cannot think, talk or acknowledge her aloud because I break down so hard. It’s awful and I know that it will never get easier but I try to live my life to make her proud and know that she is with me always. Hang in there friend!

  6. brave. I think you must be emulating her by writing this very real and courageous post. There will be time for the other Erin's to come to the surface only by giving this precious grieving one some space to breathe.

  7. Thank you for being real. We experienced this ourselves this weekend when my Mother (In Law) passed suddenly after having a stroke. We live in an apartment in their basement. I'm thanking God that he put us through the difficult times of the past 3 years so that we would move back "home" and allow our children two years to know their Memaw in a very personal way.

  8. My heart hurts so badly for you. I've felt loss, great loss, but not the loss of a parent. I can't and am not yet ready to even imagine that. If Internet hugs mean anything, I'm sharing hundreds with you.

  9. Erin-
    Thank you for sharing.
    My husband has a man who works for him who, just this week, lost his wife to a ten year battle to cancer.
    I can relate to the mom with cancer, but my mom is a nine year survivor...this was the day we found out it was cancer.
    She is still here, but Kristine is not, and my aunt is not, and many others are not.
    I thank you for reminding me how lucky I am to have my mom here, but also to remember those who we have lost.
    My heart is with you.

    On a lighter note, I think we are thrifting kindreds miles apart.
    I am new to thrifting this year, but am obsessed and find we gravitate to similar things. Let me know if there is anything you are specifically looking for and I will keep my eye out for it!
    Again, thank you for being raw and honest...

  10. Tears. Nothing but tears.


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