In 2007 my mother Sandra Rose Cheverier Munn was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer Stage 3. Shortly after in February of 2008, as my dad would say, “she crossed over”. Of course it was devastating. I couldn’t believe that this was happening. Who ever does? And it still doesn’t seem real. I had just opened up a holistic health center and wanted my mother to go through an alternative health route, but she felt most comfortable going with what she knew and trusted in allopathic medicine, while embracing some of the things I proposed. While I was challenged by the thought of chemo and radiation, I wanted to support her decision and knew that her belief and trust was a big part of the healing process. Unfortunately, for most of her life she had a weak constitution and digestion. After a long surgery to remove her uterus and her second chemo and radiation treatment, the cancer spread. She was so weak that she could no longer take any more treatments. She had other options that the doctors proposed, but she decided not to continue. I know that she took other people into account before herself. That is the way most moms live their lives. A long drawn-out battle with cancer can be ugly and painful for those involved. While I did want to look into all possibilities and last resorts, I had to accept her decision. After all, that’s the way she lived her life: No nonsense. Just get it done.
As we go through life, most of us don’t realize just how much we are loved. Upon her death bed she said, “I had no idea how much I was loved. I thought I was such a bitch. I thought no one liked me.” She also said, “Now I want to know about everyone, I find everyone so interesting, like they’re my best friend.” A deep love and opening came over her during those last days. One evening she woke up and looked over at my father with her 95lb fragile body and said, “Aren’t we silly?” with a big grin on her face. During this time she would often see vivid images of her mother Cecile, her father Armand, and brother Roger, who had all passed before her. She said they were coming to get her. I found this fascinating, because when I would try to lead her into guided imagery she would always say that she couldn’t bring her mind to create images and see things.
There’s a fierceness to living life. It’s a bitch, and yes, sometimes you need to be one. The greatest lesson she taught me is to realize that I am loved and cherished. To be interested in others from all walks of life, and not be so concerned with my self. And most of all- to be silly.
Here’s to you, Mom.
Posted on what would have been your 68th birthday: February 20, 2012.