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Welcome to my mother's life story

This is a tribute to a strong and courageous woman, my mother, to whom I owe much of what my life is today.

My mother with my daughter, some two months before she was diagnosed with mediastinal cancer of the lungs, a very pround grandmother of all her grandchildren.

The story goes....

Mom was born in 1933, in a small town called Eastview at the time, her quiet mother Anita was homemaker and her strict and reserved father Joseph was at one time a master plumber. With a meager salary in those days, times were hard but they managed, my grandfather, her father, was very strict and life wasnt always so rosy if I remember the stories. She quit school because her father needed the extra income it could provide the family and so at eighteen she worked for a clothing store and started her life. She then met a young dashing man, someone my granfather knew and presented to her and so the story starts...

In 1955 at the age of 21, my mother met my father, his name was Robert, they dated and fell in love, they married June 18th and had their first of eight kids, born in April of 1957. Seven more babies followed with the last one born in January 1975.

Here we are......

This was a family photo taken in 1980 by one of my brothers who passed away in Febuary 1992 of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma , a photographer at the time and later a school professor. This was a wedding anniversary gift for my parents, which still hangs on my mother's appartement wall to this day. ( That's me with the pink bandana)

The Best Years

My childhood was a happy one, memories that are ever etched in my mind, the kinds where you remember tastes, smells, images of the time of old, Christmas, Easters, birthdays, births, weddings, deaths. If my mother could write instead of me, she would fill these pages with countless memories, the good, the bad, the not so good, the not so bad. My father and she were married 44 wonderful years and they had their own share of miseries, money was tight countless times, desperate times called for desperate measures if you will. I think it was only when the eldest kids grew up and had jobs that money was a little easier because they paid room and board. We grew up and and some of us had our own families at that point, Mom and Dad were doing ok by then but Dad had taken sick with a depression over the years, it was hard for a proud man to not be able to provide for his family and so my mother did what she could. We moved alot too, whatever was cheaper and put more food on the table seemed to be the thing for a long while. I think it took alot of courage to do what they did all those years, food stamps, favors from friends, loans, no heat sometimes, it was too expensive. I think they still had a good life and I think they were proud anyways of what they did to get by. By the time I was old enough to be independent and on my own, my parents plucked me out of many troubling situations and have always been there when I needed them most.

The lonely path

May 18th,1999, at home with my mother, a sudden brain aneurysm took my father, he plunged into a short coma in the hospital and later died on May 22nd at 6:00am. He died laughing when it hit him, my mother told us, his favorite show was playing on tv. The road was tough, here was a woman,a mother and a homemaker, living and breathing for her husband and her eight children, day in and day out for 44 years; learning to live without the most vital part of her life, now gone, her children grown, enjoying her grandchildren but still missing my father, wishing things had been different, maybe more time, I think it was at that point that I saw the light in her eyes fade and life went on for her because she knew she had no choice. Not everyday was bad, she made some new friends and did alot of senior outings with her group, which I knew were things she looked foward too. There was always one of us kids looking in on her, she live by herself and so we often took turns to either take her out or just visit. Her many health problems and her limited income were things that bothered her alot and why the reason I asked her to come live with us, and so she did last November. I hope and I think that I have done right by her, I did what I wanted to do, my sense of loyalty was never at question with myself or my mother.

This is were I come in...

My name is Julie, the youngest of the eight kids, I have been married 11 years, with two children.

For any full time caregivers out there, I applaud you. It takes guts, it takes patience, love, understanding. What I realize is I was learning how to grieve and to understand that I was slowly loosing my mother to something I couldn't fix, nor anyone else for that matter. Her face, the tiredness of it all and all I can do is imagine what it must be like, this is were anger sets in, the sense that you loose both ways. She talked about past years, her experiences, her achivements, her failures, her tired face looked at me wanting to leave and be done with it all, and she did, as I looked in her eyes in those final moment, I told her we loved her and that she could let go, and a few moments after, she passed away knowing we were there and that we loved her as much as she loved us.

The last chapter

My mother is back in the hospital again with progressive symtoms of lung cancer. Her body functions are slowing down and her usual diet has come down to mush basically. The doctor have been straight foward, they are not very hopeful and she keeps getting worse. The cancer has metastasized to her lower lungs and up her throat. The doctors have asked that we take a decision for her about doing the biopsy or not but said that it wouldn't do much good and wouldn't change the outcome or the possible complications following it. Basically they are keeping her comfortable and free of pain and that is what really matters to us.

Another story has been told, and another chapter has been written, it was an honor to share with everyone this wonderful part of my mother's life and it was a priviledge to give back to her what she gave me.

( Cécile C. born Feb 28th, 1933 passed away peacefully surround by her family, June 3rd at 12:30pm in a local hospital at the age of 73 of a brief but courageous battle with lung cancer. Predeceased by her loving husband of 44 years, Robert, and her son Claude, in grief she leaves her children Pierre, Pierrette, Claudette, Robert, Cécile, Chantal and Julie. She also leave four sons in law, Daniel, Claude, Léo and JJ and her 11 granchildren, Sandra, Marie Claude, Sylvie, Rachel, Liane, Valerie, Vicky, Nicole, Melanie, Veronique and Miguel, whom she adored. The family wishes to express our special thanks to the 4th and 5th floor of the hospital and all the staff and doctors who took care of her during her stay.

I Love You Mom
Hope you found peace and Dad

The last few pictures

Here is Mom dozing off at home after 2 weeks at the hospital for pneumonia, she now needs 24hour oxygen to keep her saturations up.

Bingo Maniac

Mom was a bingo maniac. But beware if she wasn't the one yelling out bingo. Her face spoke many words but there was only one that would let the other person know how much she was pissed off for not winning...LOL.

Everytime she would come to my house for the weekend she would play online Bingo...and for some reason she would win alot. I could never win...came close, but never!!! GO FIGURE!!

So, now that I keep her picture next to my computer and when I play online games...I sometimes glance at her picture and it seems that she is laughing at me or watching me...

Love you
Mom
Claudette