Things I Want You To Know

Last Wednesday night, my mom said goodbye to this world.  It was the culmination of a 27-month battle with stage-4 leiomyosarcoma - a rare, aggressive cancer.  She spent those 27 months fighting as hard as anyone could, taking the strongest chemotherapy around, and, frankly, enduring more suffering than anyone should.  Today would have been her 66th birthday.  As much as her passing could have been anticipated in the face of such illness, I can tell you that it doesn't make her loss any easier.  We were close, and I can't find the words to describe the heaviness of my heart.  I'm going to get back to my regular blogging schedule next week, but in the meantime, there are some things that I want you know about my mom.

1. We might not have shared any genetics, but she was the best mom a girl could ever hope, dream, wish, or pray for.
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Jerry Spears
I was adopted when I was 6 months old.  In fact, that first picture was taken when they picked me up.  I may not remember it, but this was the best day of my life.  For as long as I can remember, I've known that I was adopted, but I never once questioned that she was my mom.  About 6 years ago, I sought out my biological mother out of nothing more than curiosity about what she might look like.  At the time, my mom got a little sad that I might be looking for something that she couldn't give me, and I just remember thinking how absurd that was because I could never, ever in a million years think of anyone other than her as my mother.  She was just that great.

2.  She was the leading lady in a real life love story.
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I have seriously never seen two people love one another as much as my parents did.  On one of her last days in the hospital when her pain meds were making her a little delirious and repetitive, she repeated "Anywhere he goes, I go."  And that's how they were.  They were always together.   Over the last two years -- and even in the month that she was in the hospital -- my dad hasn't left her side.   They never fought.  Growing up, I always joked that they set an impossible standard for my own future relationships.  They celebrated their 38th anniversary just 6 days before she passed away, but it was as if they'd been together forever.

3. She was fun.
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She loved to laugh.  She was downright silly sometimes, and she taught me that the #1 trait to look for in a man is a sense of humor.  We spent many a summer at amusement parks.  In fact, the last trip that my parents went on before she was diagnosed was to Universal Studios.  You know, just a couple of 60-somethings on a romantic trip for two to a theme park.  She couldn't even not smile for a soup line picture!

4. She was fancy.  And she always smelled good.
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Jerry Spears 1
My mom was a lady that liked to look nice.  She was always dressed up, and her make-up was always done.  In fact, she was insistent that I do her make-up even when she was in the hospital.  She didn't drink alcohol, but she drank all of her beverages from wine glasses because she thought they tasted better that way.  I can't convey it pictures or even in words, but she always -- and I mean ALWAYS -- smelled just lovely.  I'll never know how she did it, but there was just something so comforting about it.

5. She was a stone cold fox.
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I mean, I think these pictures speak for themselves.

See you next week.

Mandy P
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  1. What a lovely tribute to your mom -- I'm having trouble not tearing up as I read this at work.

    And agreed, she was a fox -- that halter top! And that hair!

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I know that's kind of a useless thing to say, but it's very true.

  2. Mandy, I'm so sorry for your loss!

    This post was a lovely tribute to a woman who sounds absolutely fabulous.

    Hugs to you and your family.

  3. What a beautiful tribute to your mom... thank you so much for sharing with us. Sending you peace and love. xoxo

  4. It really sucks when the world looses someone as awesome and uplifting as your mom, but I she has rubbed off on you in so many ways, and for that I am thankful. Every time I hugged you and inhaled, it made me think of her. You just smelled so good. I was supposed to be comforting you, but you made me want to stay like that forever (I'm creepy, I know). Tuck your pussybook under your arm and carry your head high, for her.

  5. Beautiful Mandy, what a lovely post. I really don't have any words other than that but thought I would leave a comment so you know we are thinking of you.

  6. Ahh Mandy, this made me cry. A rare feat generally, but I think I've come to tears over your sweet mom more than anything else in the last 2 years. She was a wonderful woman and so full of life and fun. I don't think I'd ever seen the picture of the day you came home, and I love it. You are a beautiful representation of her. I hope you and Michael take a commemorative trip to Tunica one day, just for her.

  7. This made me cry remembering my step-dad's death (it was a short-lived 2 month battle with brain cancer), so I know what you're going through. What a beautiful, emotional tribute.

  8. Your mom sounds like an amazing woman. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.

  9. What a beautiful tribute! The love you have for her is evident. Very sorry for your loss

  10. Mandy I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Your mom was clearly a very special lady and you clearly have inherited her sense of style (and I'm sure, much much more). A lovely tribute; thanks so much for sharing her with us. Big hugs.

  11. Mandy, my heart is breaking for you. This was such a lovely tribute to your fantastic mother. I can't help but smile b/c our moms seems so much alike! My mom would always drink her beloved Cokes from a wine glass - it just tasted better that way :) I will be thinking & praying for you.

  12. I'm so very sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute.

  13. Dear Mandy, you don't know me and I don't know you. I just recently started following your blog. This tribute to your mom brought tears to my eyes because it was written straight from your heart. Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman and I'm sorry that you lost her while she was so young. I lost my younger brother suddenly so I know what it feels like to have that heaviness in your heart. My thoughts and sympathies go out to you and your father. You two are so lucky to have had her in your lives. She may be gone but she'll be in your heart forever.

  14. What a beautiful celebration of your mother! My daddy passed away 2 1/2 years ago so I understand a bit about the pain of losing a parent. It just hurts so much. My heart goes out to you and your family at the difficult time.

  15. I'm so sorry for your loss. You have written so beautifully about your mother. I am sure she was as beautiful and amazing as you say.

  16. such a beautiful and touching post. thinking of you mandy.

  17. To drink all beverages from wine glasses....may we all live each day to the fullest because we knew your mom's contagious passion, class, and laugh!!

  18. I'm so sorry about your mother's passing. From what you've shared, I'm sure she was a beautiful person, inside and out.

  19. I'm very sorry for your loss Mandy.
    From the pictures and all the sweet things you wrote i can say your mom was a very beautiful and happy woman.

  20. Very sorry for your loss, Mandy. Your mom sounds so amazing. :)

  21. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I know the pain your heart is feeling from the loss of your mom. Just know...the pain will ebb, but the wonderful memories of her will not. She will always be in your heart.
    My deepest sympathies,

  22. Hi Mandy, I had never seen your blog before until now yet after reading this post I can already feel what loss the world
    will have to endure after the passing of your mother. I wish you so much peace at this time, and thank you for sharing a little bit of her with us. I am sure she will be greatly missed.

    All the best,

  23. sorry about your mum. she sounds AMAZING!

  24. This seriously brings tears to my eyes. I cannot imagine having to go through this as you have - I would not make it. You are so strong, especially to be sharing this with us. Thank you and many of us have you and your mom in our hearts!

  25. Oh good grief! Not only is this a super-sad post, but as I'm reading it, an acoustic version of 'Fix You' comes on my Spotify. Now I'm a total wreck, at work. I never met your mom, but she sounds like made an awesome impact on your life. So sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing :)

  26. Dear Mandy, what you wrote brought tears in my eyes and made me think of my mum. I guess your mum must have been proud to have such a tender and creative daughter. I am very sorry for your loss and the pain she went through, but keep in mind that people continue to live in our memory. Katerina from far away Greece.

  27. Mandy, I was just thinking about you and your mom. What joy she brought to the world. It's no wonder you turned out so dang well—she sounds like an incredible mom. Sending you lots and lots of love.

  28. Belatedly dropping by to comment here... so nice of you to share these memories of your mom. We've been thinking of you, hope the transition back to work has been OK.

  29. I've just found your blog and this is the best eulogy a mother can have. I think I know exactly how you feel because I lost my dad. As your mom,he was fun and full of life no matter what. I miss him even after 20 years of his passing but every time I think of him his jokes and laughs make me laugh again. A big hug from Argentina for you,Claudia

  30. Mandy - I loved reading about your memories of your mom, what a beautiful post. It sounds like she was such an amazing lady, and you are both so lucky to have had each other - a real blessing. Sending you lots of love and hugs.


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