For those of you who have never experienced the loss of a parent,
it is without a doubt one of the most emotionally crippling things that can happen to a family regardless of your age. For
me, my mother was more than just "my mom," she was in every sense of the word, my mother, my friend, and my confidant.
My mom was someone that no matter what was going on in her life was able to drop everything at a moments notice and be there
to offer her support, her wisdom, her love and her guidance.
In the fall of 2007, she fell ill and knew something was wrong, more than
just your common cold. My mom was the type of person, who wouldn't even let on that something was wrong. She would never
burden anyone else with her problems; she was much too private a person for that. After several visits to the doctors, and
multiple tests she was finally diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in early December.
Over the next few months, we attended several doctors' appointments together. I felt that it was my
duty to be there for her and to hold her hand in her time of need. She had always been there for me throughout the years
and it was indeed my time to step up. My own family knew exactly how much it meant to me to be able to do this for her.
The prognosis for her form of cancer was not
good and she knew that it was just a matter of time before she would be taken from us. My mother was always a planner, overly
organized, and ready for anything at a moments notice. This however, was bigger than even she realized. She came to terms
with her own mortality and planned her demise right up to the last detail. For her, nothing could be left to chance.
She had a plan to visit a local hospice to make arrangements for palliative care
once she was released from the hospital. Her condition worsened to the point where I made the visit myself. We were able
to secure her a spot in the hospice, and were rapidly making plans to have her transferred. As beautiful and peaceful as
the hospice was, it still made me have an emotional break down while touring it, as I knew that that was it; I was about to
lose my mother.
In the end, she never actually got to see
it. She passed away peacefully, in hospital, with her husband of 45 years (my dad), and myself by her side. There is no
place on earth I would rather have been at that very moment than there by her side, and at the same time I wanted to be somewhere
far far away.
Cancer, in whatever form it presents itself is a nasty, devastating disease
that doesn't play favourites. Places like the Princess Margaret Hospital and their Foundation for Cancer Research strive
to make life easier for those affected by it. They try to be an influential voice and help to raise awareness for the Doves
of Hope campaign in hopes of raising in excess of $1 Million to fight cancer.
Each Dove is dedicated to the memory of a loved one lost to cancer and is representative of ones own unique journey.
A donation to such a wonderful cause will help to unite us all in this fight to conquer cancer in our lifetime. I urge everyone
to donate and remember those no longer with us, or to support those dealing with cancer in the present tense. It can and
will be beaten someday...
In memory of my mother, Janice
Lowes, I dedicate my Dove of Hope to you in hopes that you are indeed in a better place. We miss your funny laugh; your hysterical
sense of humour and of course your undying love of everything that is family. xoxo