Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The final day with my mom.

Is there an interest is having this blog continue?
I just want to thank everyone for the support during this very difficult transition. The service at Our Lady of Malibu Church was so beautiful and to see the church filled with my moms wonderful friends and relatives is something I will treasure.
I really want everyone to know how my mom spent her last day. I was with her from July 5th to July 10th. On her last day, July 10th she walked outside with me and enjoyed the sun on her face. She said we needed to come outside everyday. She sipped on some tea and ate about 4 tablespoons of Cream of Wheat. We were outside for about an hour and she asked me to read from the bible. I am not too familiar with the bible and where to find stories so I just started turning the pages and began reading. I ended up reading a story about Jesus on his last day before his crucifixion. My mother asked me what I thought of that story. She then shared her thoughts and said how amazing it was that Jesus, knowing he would be crucified the following day, he was still able to help the people and continued healing others. I then read to her from a book that shares stories about people who are facing their loved ones on their last day. The stories were so touching and I could not get through the stories without tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. She loved hearing the stories about people right before they die. This was the first day I believe my mom actually accepted that she was still alive. She was hoping for her own death the entire week. She wanted to go and she wanted the suffering to stop. On Saturday she said, "well, I guess I am going to be here a while." I agreed. I really thought I was going to have her at least another week. My mom then went inside for a short nap, her friend Elizabeth arrived, my mom watched a movie and she ate saltine crackers and chicken broth. My mom also had a strawberry popsicle which she said was very yummy and if I could make sure there were more of those for the next day. My mom was so peaceful all day. She was eating, drinking, talking and participating in life. She was so alive. I had decided to leave at 4:00 to head home and take care of my own life, but told her I would return in a few days. Her friend Elizabeth stayed the night with my mom and for that I am so thankful. I felt so at peace with my mom and her condition that day when I left. My mom did have a look of question when I said I would see her in a couple days, but she did not ask me to stay. The day before she had said I should go home and be with my husband. That was the first time she had said I could leave. After I left, her cousin Ronnette came for a visit and my mom wanted a Starbucks latte. I don't know if she ever drank that latte because she did get nauseous later on. She shared with Ronnette the song that Quincy, Jen, my mom and I had written, End of the Road. Her and Elizabeth then had many conversations and my mom went to sleep. At one in the morning my mom awoke and said she was having trouble breathing. She was given oxygen, a dose of morphine and a hand to hold so she knew she was not alone. She couldn't quite catch her breath, but she was still talking and living. She then took four large breaths and passed away around 1:30 a.m. on July 11th.
After all of the suffering my mom went through the past 3 years with the cancer I am so thankful she did not have any further suffering. Her last day was so peaceful, she was so ready to be with Jesus. She had accepted everything and gave the process to God. I have never met anyone who truly had accepted Jesus the way my mother had. I am so thankful I was able to spend the last six days of my mothers life with her. I am truly blessed. Thank you mom for showing me how to be brave. Thank you mom for sharing your friends with me, they love you so much. I will miss you, but I know you are not that far away. Maybe you are here right now making sure I say all the right things. I am sure once a mother always a mother. Say hello to Grandpa, tell him the beach party was just as he planned. Was that you who turned the music up at Charlou's?
Love always, Kelly


At 1:15 PM, Blogger Joan said...

thank you so much for sharing all those details with us, Kelly. you are so generous to your mom's friends.

take the best care as you move thru these days of getting used to a changed world. both Carmens are smiling down on you !

aloha no, jec

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Patricia said...

Kelly....Your mom treasured you and Quincy and all the grandkids. That is all she would speak of whenever we talked. If we were together it would be the first thing she would do.... bring out those grandkid photos. I would love for you to continue Carmens blog for several reasons, for a while anyway. One being it is nice to still have a place we can all talk of her and secondly it is a good way for you to be able to communicate with all her close friends. That may be helpful to you. I love you Kelly and I miss your mom so much. xoxo

At 7:51 PM, Blogger sally said...

Hi Kelly, I'm so glad we had the chance to talk today. I just was thinking of your mom so I thought I'd look at her blog and I was glad that you made another entry. I really enjoy your writing and hearing about Carmen's last day really made me feel good. I'm also so happy that she had so much faith. I trust she is having a wonderful time in heaven. Lots of love, Sally

At 8:30 AM, Blogger vsacksteder said...

Hi Kelly, Yes, I would appreciated it if you would leave CarmensNotes up for a while. I've been going through the years, reading her entires, and I find it comforting. So yes, my vote is yes, please leave CarmensNotes up for a while longer.

At 6:01 PM, Blogger Kristen said...

Dear Kelly,

I did not know your mom. I found her blog as I researched cancer treatments...quite by accident. For 2 years approximately, I followed her stories. She seems so sweet, so positive and so full of life. I could never understand how someone I never met, never talked to, could have such a positive impact on me.

I am thankfully cancer free, but I live everyday knowing how lucky I was and saddened by those we lose everyday to this disease.

Thank you for sharing your mom's last day. I believe very much that she had peace of mind and was ready. I believe very much that most of us are afforded that gift at the have peace.

Is there an interest in the blog? Sure there is. However, although your mom was so open and shared her beuatiful family and friends through stories and photos, please don't feel obligated to keep it going. Keep it there, if possible so people can stop by every so often and remember a story she had told.

I was very sad to learn of her death. It came the same day I reached my 3 month cancer-free diagnoses and the same day that I completed my very first 5K road race. When I was diagnosed with uterine cancer last Fall, I was so beyond terrified. But I got through it and the new year brought me a diagnosis of being cancer free. It was hard, physically and emotionally, but I won that battle and will never forget what it feels like to have this disease in my body. I could relate to your mom's posts and always thought how much stronger she was than I was.

I can't imaging losing my mom. I lost my dad and I miss him, but something about losing your mom is just unimaginable. I know that you have good memories and family that love you. I wish you and your family all the best and am thankful I knew your mom, if only in the virtual world.


At 8:55 PM, Blogger Bonnie said...

Thank you Kelly for sharing your Mom's final day....It helps me feel more at ease that she was surrounded by so much love from you and her family, and dear friends so close by her on that day. She was a special person, and meant alot to me. I will treasure our friendship, school days, beach house days, reunions, dinners, etc. I hope you enjoyed the DVD I made celebrating our (her friends)love for her. She always had a smile, and was such a positive, brave, and spiritual person to go through this fight. She will always amaze, Bonnie

At 9:10 PM, Blogger shirl said...

I hardly know what to say. I was ill for awhile and did not go onto the computer. I was thinking of your mom recently and wanted to send a card but decided to lookat the blog. So happy I did. I know she is in peace with God Almighty. I will miss her because she was such a people person and loved happiness in life and made it happen with me and others too. I can just see her now, in Heaven, playing her harp and all the Angels around her singing "How Great Thou Are" to the Almighty God.
God is with Carmen,
With Love,

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Lyn Montano said...

Hi Kelly,
I would love for you to continue CarmenNotes too...reading your comments helps the healing. You shared Carmen's last day at the Larronde's and I'll never forget watching you share these feelings-not easy for you! And dang! You look so much like your mother!!
So please, continue for a bit..don't want to be selfish..but you are so much your mom.
Love, Lynda

At 9:12 AM, Blogger Patricia said...

Morning Kelly...Thinking of you and your Mom this morning. How I miss her smile and laughter. It is a nice thing to be able to write on here about her. I remember so well going to the Dragon beach house as a kid and she would play the piano and your grandmother would sing her heart out. Or the boys (which was the really why I would be there) would be jamming in the living room with me watching in awe and lust. It was such a treat to have Carmen as my friend and I always loved hanging at the Dragon house. Then going up to her bedroom and just "girl talking" into the night.
I miss her so much. Love you Kelly.

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Patricia said...

I miss talking to you.
Love you "madly"

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Joan said...

Tonite I'm so pleased to be presenting a 2-hour radio show dedicated to Carmen. Her father was born 96 years ago today. "The Dragon Family's Musical Legacy" will focus on her father, but I'll air several of her recordings, & talk about all her siblings as well. If you see this in time, you can stream the show live on Wed. from 9:06-11:00 pm West Coast time, at -- go to "streaming" -- choose any option for "KHPR/KKUA/KANO".

This is for you, Carmen !

aloha no, jec

At 8:14 AM, Blogger Patricia said...

MIss you Buhn...soooo much.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger cowabunga blends said...

While looking up a totally unrelated song on itunes today, I saw Carmen's name in the credits of another song and found this blog.

I am sorry to hear about your loss. Your mom played harp at my wedding in 1992. We met her through my mother-in-law Frances Jones, who hired Carmen to play a concert at the Episcopal Retirement home in Alhambra, CA, sometime around 1991. Frances died of lung cancer in 1999.

Having your mom and her beautiful harp playing at my wedding truly made the day special, and is an element of that day that I will always cherish.

God bless you. I know that she is in heaven playing with the angels.

At 7:40 AM, Blogger DAVID HAAS said...

I have a question about your blog. Please email me!


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