Wednesday, October 10, 2007

etching myself in their memories

"I'm starting to forget Emma."

My nine year old son said this to me a couple of days ago.

Our old dog died last summer. She was very nearly fourteen and had had a great life but her passing was a sad event for my little family.

"I can't really remember what she looked like or the things she liked to do," he went on.

"That's perfectly normal," I replied.

"Is it?"

"Yes, and that's why we tell stories about our loved ones who've died, to help each other remember them."

"Like the time Emma almost drowned Grandpa?"

"That's right. And you have lots of pictures, too."

That was pretty much the end of our conversation but it did put a lump in my throat.

I'm in remission but I do know what the statistics are when it comes to Stage IV breast cancer. I try not to torture myself with these but I know that I will die long before I am ready.

The thought that I might become a hazy memory to my children is something else on which I try not to dwell.

But it hurts.

This morning, I was cuddling with my youngest, covering his little head with kisses. I felt both intensely happy and very, very sad.

"Remember this moment," I wanted to whisper.

"Remember me."


Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, I can't even begin to tell me just how much this post has touched my heart.

Anonymous said...

Truly brought tears to my eyes.

Anonymous said...

(((hugs)))sweetie, you'll be remembered. How can they not? you're teaching them everything they know! They'll be like you, and that's how they'll remember you.

joy said...

There's something so special, I think, about being in that hard as it is, being aware of how very precious every moment is and how special memories can be is something I kind of strive for...thanks for reminding me to slow down.

WHAT'S NORMAL? said...

I just found your blog today. I'm a breast cancer survivor out five years. I have three children and there was a day that wanted to whisper to them. I will say a prayer for you and check back to see how you are doing.

Anonymous said...

I cried as I read your poignant words. I think about my mortality more so now that I have a child (she's almost 4). I also lost a beloved pet several years ago.

Hugs to you.

Mom2Amara said...

You wanted to whisper to your son. But I remain speechless. I've sat here for a few minutes, contemplating what to write. But all I can say is that your sons are so lucky to have you as their mom. Your compassion is so evident. And your heart is large :)

platespinner said...


i know my husband is thinking these same things. so glad you're in remission.

statistics are just statistics--they don't account for the individual. the odds of my husband getting his cancer at his age are about 1 in 10,000. statistically he had nothing to worry about, but here he is up a creek.

so you...maybe statistically you're in a tight spot, but in actuality have a long and lovely road ahead. this will be the image i keep in mind for you and for your whole family.

Anonymous said...

Are any of us ever ready to die? Along with everything else, my daughter has taught me that it’s not how long we have on earth, but what with do with our time, and our happiness that really matters.

You will be remembered.


Anonymous said...

Mom died 16 years ago. I was 9. I can't tell you the finer details about her. I don't remember her favorite food or the sound of her footsteps. I don't remember what she looked like. I remember how she smelled when she'd get ready to go out. I remember she loved to hold my hand. I remember she loved Xmas and would absolutely BLAST Alabama's "Christmas" album on Christmas Eve. Most of all... I remember how much she loved me. To me, that's all that matters.

Anonymous said...


Ditto Platespinner and Anonymous, who've said it all ahead of me. As I read this posting I thought both:

1) We do not know the outcome in any specific case and many who predicted their lives would be too short are still among us, many years later and
2) I lost my mother almost fifty years ago and her presence is with me today.

Your children will remember you but let's plan on the boys, years and years from now, still having their lovely mother in their lives.

B in T

Anonymous said...


As I clear the lump in my throat...
There are two things to remember.
First, none of us knows how long we have. Ironically, your disease means that you and your loved ones are actively storing up memories as you live. They will be very strong and distinct ones, now so much of looks, but of words, gestures, emotions.
Secondly, you'd be suprised how strong those memories are and how long they last. I lost my father 55 years ago, and there are times he is here beside me. I lost my mother almost 20years ago and there are still times I catch myself as I go to the phone to tell her something.
As for Elka, she walks with me all the time.
Be yourself and your presence will never leave your children and your spouse and your friends and other loved ones, no matter what or when.


Anonymous said...

My Mom died from liver cancer in 1974 -- 33 years ago. She was 41 and I was 17. She too feared that she would be forgotten. But you don't forget a Mom. I'm now about 10 years older than she was when she left us, and I don't think there has been a day that I haven't thought of her. You will be remembered, Laurie, and lovingly so.

Blondie said...

I was reading through your posts and came to a screeching halt at this one. Oof. Little tears in my eyes. Of course your children will remember you. Memory comes with sounds and smells. I can't remember what my grandparents look like and then I'm hit with a whiff of something that reminds me of them and there they are in all their glory!!!! You are such a good momma. Right now I can feel the sensation of my mother's hug even though I haven't seen her in a while. These things stay with us always. Always!!