Ovarian Cancer - Our Journey - Post 13

We often hear people say don't put things off, don't procrastinate.  Tell someone you love that you love them, don't miss an opportunity to do that.  We've heard a thousand stories that drive that point home and I'm jumping ahead in the story a little bit here but this is mine. As I've been writing these posts, a lot of memories have come flooding back. Most of them are still hazy but some of them are incredibly clear. Those that are clear are sometimes painful.

Every year in Walla Walla, WA, there is a hot air balloon festival. It's not huge but it brings hot air balloons from all over the area and a few from out of state. My favorite part is the night glow. Balloons circle up and when the sun sets, they all fire up and the glow is breathtaking. The patterns and colors on those balloons are lit from within and it's gorgeous.

When I first moved out here I was fortunate enough to experience it one weekend. From time to time, Mom and I would talk about planning a trip over for the balloon festival. She so desperately wanted to see all of those balloons in one place and to experience that night glow show I talked so much about. 

We planned on getting a hotel, hanging out together, enjoying the balloons, the food, the craft booths... For many years it simply wasn't in my budget. To be honest, I don't know if it was always held over Mother's Day weekend but at some point we realized that was when it was held and while my grandmother was alive it was a bit tricky for us to plan on going. Nan couldn't travel like that anymore and Mother's Day was important to her. It always made us laugh - she would treat us to brunch. On Mother's Day. The oldest mother in the group, our matriarch and she treated us on that day of all days... But it was important to her.
I digress. It was, ultimately, why we never went to the balloon festival. Then Nan passed away and while it didn't occur to us that first year, it did finally sink in that we should go. So for three years we talked about it and in that talking, Mom was diagnosed. That changed things a bit. Suddenly it became urgent but then again, not so urgent. In all of Mom's treatment, we let too much time go by that first year - we couldn't get a hotel reservation and there was no way Mom was sleeping in a tent. The second year I wish I could remember what happened but I can't and so whatever it was, we didn't go that year, either.
Finally, January, 2011 we thought about it with plenty of time and made the arrangements. We were going with a few of my friends and we set it up so that Mom & I would have a room to ourselves if she were able to go but if she weren't, there wouldn't be an extra room.  We talked about that trip and talked about that trip for months.  Mom seemed excited but now?  Now I think she did that to avoid disappointing me.  Remember how I mentioned earlier Mom in tune with God, knowing He was going to call her home?  I'm fairly sure on some level she knew she wasn't getting to Walla Walla but at the same time, hope lived on and she might have thought "maybe..."

We were headed out on Friday and I talked to her briefly on the Tuesday before and it was then that I asked her and she said 'I don't think so.'  And that was that.  The end of a dream.  A small dream, mind you.  In the grand scheme of things, for all of the stuff I was able to do with my mother, not going to the balloon festival was fairly minor on the list of things we couldn't do but still...  It was another dagger, driving that point home.  Mom was dying.  Dying.  She would be gone.  Not here.  I couldn't call her, I couldn't ask her what she was up to today...did she want to go...  I couldn't ask her how to make her pork chops and I couldn't lose her lasagna recipe (again) because I wasn't going to just be able to call her and ask her.

Even as I sit and type this, I can feel it.  Inside.  It starts in my gut and wells up until it's so huge and so much pressure from the inside that I feel like if I don't scream, I'm going to explode.  I know God's plan is perfect and I know He didn't make any mistakes in calling her home but still...  Mom???  Why did He need Mom then?  Why so young?  Why so early?  Why so soon??? 

Going with her to the balloon festival wouldn't have changed the hurt in losing her.  It would mean one less regret, though. 

By the way - that scheduled trip?  The Walla Walla Balloon Festival 2011?  May 13-15, 2011.  Mom died on the 15th.

Don't put off until tomorrow...

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