These past few months have been some the most emotionally charged moments of my life. One is never truly ready or prepared to lose a parent or loved one.
As my Aunt Adrienne said to me just the other day, “It’s as if a light had gone out in the world”. Such a perfect explanation of the emotions toward how my mom lived her life.
Those who know me, have probably heard me bitch and complain of what a pain in the ass she was and how she made me so crazy, and how it made her just as crazy. At the same time I know there were times, you had also heard me praise this courageous, amazing woman. As I type this I know how blessed I was to have Jacq as my mom.
My mom was a stage four breast cancer survivor for over 20 years, and most people who encountered her never knew she had breast cancer or of the challenges she may have faced that day or in her life. She fought an amazing fight right up till the end.
The day before she passed I said to her, “Mom, you need to put yourself first for once, everyone will be fine.” Her reply was, “I promise, I’ll try, love you very much.” She never wavered from who she was. She kept her quick wit, sense of humor, feisty disposition, and never ending warmth and love.
She was kind and patient with the doctors and nurses as they did what was needed to help her, as uncomfortable as it may have been. She would call her oncologist “Old Blue Eyes” even though his eyes are not blue. “Hahahaha” She would laugh, in a loving tone.
Everyone who knew Mom & her oncologist knew of the fondness they had for one another. She would greet the nurses with, “Hello, darling”, along with a smile and smart ass comeback.The love she gave was apparent by the overwhelming love she would receive by each and every person who came in contact with her.
Jacqui was just that type of human.
She would challenge you, love you, and make you want to strangle her at times, but in the end you always felt blessed to know her or to be a part of her world.
She had been known to buy a cup of hot cocoa, or a banana or water for the Salvation Army bell ringer in front of any store. She would offer water to the garbage men or mail person on a hot summer day. She smiled at every person walking down the street, thinking maybe they needed it because they were enduring a tough day. She treated people the way she felt they should be treated.
I remember Mom once taped a large poster board sign on the back of her car that read: “Pray for Peace” My father was not too thrilled, being he thought she was always looking to invite trouble. Hahahahaha
Just another Jacqui reference.
If she was in a heated argument, the V birthmark on her forehead would darken and you would know the scorpion tongue was being fueled.
When you speak to those who knew her, there is always a story or four you will hear that will touch your heart and make you smile. “Unique” is the perfect word to describe my mom.
I know she is no longer here for me to argue with, hug, tease, admire, or learn from… But I know she will always be around me, guiding and loving me in a spiritual sense. Jacqui believed the soul lives on, and now that she is with some of her beloved friends, family, and her love, my father Arthur, she is healthy and vibrant once again, living big all around us.
My life after now is something I’ll need to figure out with each passing day.
Remembering my parents, especially my mom, I’m trying to live my life as authentically as possible. My brothers and I are their legacy and they were all about being in service to humanity. So now we get to carry that legacy forward.
My Life After Now, was the last book my mom read before she passed 6/22/13.
She was so proud of my cousin Jessica Verdi, and told everyone she saw about how this book was a must read. For even with a different challenge than the character in the book had, my mother cried and could relate to the emotions of admitting and recognizing her “life after now” which for mom was breast cancer.
You are my sunshine. Always were always will be!
I love you, Jacqui.
Forever learning in your space, even with you gone. xxx
Until we meet again…
“As we walk to create light for others, we naturally light our own way…”
~Mary Anne Radmacher~
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