Tuesday, June 29, 2010


My mom passed away 6 years ago.  It's been a long time, but yet, it feels like yesterday. 

Sometimes, I catch myself thinking, "I need to call Mom and ask her..."  or "Mom will think this is..." or "I miss..." and then I remember - She's gone. 

Tomorrow marks the day that my life changed forever and the relationship that was budding and growing came to a halt.  I can't help but feel regret at losing her at such a young age, but I also understand that she is in a better place. 

Recently, I also see evidence of my mom in my life and in my daughter, who never even knew her Grammy.

For lack of better words right now, I'm going to do a re-post that I wrote about my mom in February.

Our Little Angel

Out of the blue today, while M was sitting at our kitchen table, surrounded by crayons and craft paper, enjoying her snack, she piped up in her little voice, "I think I've seen your Mom and Dad before Mommy..."

Now, understand, we see my Dad, "Poppa" every year or two. We last saw him when we lived in Stockton. So May of 2008 - Madeleine would have been 5 years old. I was suprised when Madeleine seemed to remember him, and asked when we were going to see "Poppa" again. (Hopefully soon!)

And then she said, "Well, I've seen your Mommy too"...

My Mom died of stomach cancer when I was 5 months pregnant with M.

I softly and gently explained that wasn't possible because Grammy went to heaven when M was in my tummy.

M tilted her head to the side, and paused in contemplation for a moment, and then stated, "No Mom! I've seen her. Sometimes, when I'm sleeping she stops by to tell me "Hello".


I'll never forget it - The morning my Mom passed away, she made a point to call each of her kids.

I remember my phone ringing at 6am and seeing on my caller ID that it was my sisters number (my mom chose to stay at my sisters home with the help of Hospice rather than a hospital) and all of a sudden I could hear my heartbeat - a slow, irregular, dreadful pumping with a roaring thundering in my ears.

I answered with a hasty "Hello?"

It was my mom, feeble voiced but on a mission.

I had to strain to hear her words - she seemed hard pressed to finish some sentences, so some of those words that were in her heart never made it to my ears...

But I knew. I knew what she was saying.

She was whispering her goodbyes.

I wish I could recall with clarity everything that was said on that brief phone call. I wish I would have had the foresight to grab a pad of paper and scribble everything down. But I didn't...

I wouldn't understand the magnitude that her passing would have on my life until months, even years later.

This was my first time losing someone I loved.

I listened, crouching on the floor by the corner of my bed, hand pressed to my mouth, trying to contain my emotions.

I don't think I said much.

The beginnings of our conversation are blurred forever, try as I might, I can't recall them,

But this much I remember, My mom, the woman that I loved more than any one person in my life,the one who gave me life, who taught me how to walk and talk, and who prayed incessently over me, the woman, who as a teenager, I battled against, cared for, rolled my eyes at, and silently cursed sometimes

apologized to me....

She said, "I'm sorry if I ever let you down. I'm sorry if I wasn't a good mom to you at times... I love you Janelle and I am so glad you are my daughter and that I got to be your Mom. I love you."

I was horrified! The last conversation with my mom and I didn't expect an apology. I didn't need one.

Hurriedly, I pushed aside her words "No Mom, no apologies. I love you and you were a great mother to me. I love you so much."

Silence on the other end.

I felt sick...

"Mom? Are you still there?"

"Kiss my new granddaughter for me. I wish I could see her..."


That was it. The last conversation I would ever have with the single most important woman in my life. I tried to hit redial but the line was busy.

She was calling my brothers...

I tried the number again, desperate this time. I had so much more to say to her.

Busy... Beep beep beep...

I laid on the floor, and cried.

Beep, beep, beep...

No answer.

I called my husband who had worked the night shift that particular day. He was due home in a few hours.

"I think I just had my last conversation with my mom.. Today is the day - please come home."


I don't remember how long I laid on the floor before I heard T stirring. I heard him in his crib, laughing and babbling, banging something against the railings (trying to get my attention no doubt), and I let him stay there.

I laid with my face buried in the carpet, weeping.

Grieving for moments remembered and moments to come that would now be short one special lady.

Finally, I knew T was getting fussy, I went in and opened the door to the nursery. His little blonde face peering through the rails at me, dimpled mouth all wreathed in smiles "Mamma-mama!"

I picked him up, made a bottle and rocked him for a while, thinking of my mom, with tears streaming down my face, his chubby hand pressed in the crook of my neck.

She passed away a few hours later.

My sister, Kim, was there with her when she passed. Reading her Psalms and singing to her. I am so thankful that Kim was there with my mom when she made the transition into the eternal.

We found out a month after my mother passed that we were expecting a baby girl.

So for M to tell me that Grammy stops in to tell her "Hello" every once in a while...


I believe in God. I believe in angels and I believe in heaven.

Do you?

T and Grammy 3 days before she passed.


  1. So beautiful! praying for you today and tomorrow. love you! xoxo

  2. So precious about Maddie. My prayers will be with you this week. Thank you for sharing this beautiful memory.

  3. Janelle - I remember reading this the first time you posted it and had tears streaming down my cheeks. This afternoon, once again I sit silently weeping. What a special gift God has given you with Maddie. Never doubt that Jesus in fact will minister to her and that your Mom can be a part of that ministry. His ways are far above our ways. May God bless you !

  4. Janelle - As I sit here with tears streaming down my face, I am praying for you during this anniversary time. I can hardly think of losing my Mom. What a blessing it is to know that angels are watching over Maddie.

  5. This was beautiful, even through the pain. I can't imagine losing someone so close. I've only seen a taste of it through what my Husband has experienced with his brother, but it's not the same as if it were mine.
    Prayers this week, that the Lord comforts you with sweet memories of your Mama.

  6. It's taken everything in me to not cry right now. Thank you for sharing this lovely story. I can't imagine the grief, I'm sorry you had to go through that, but I'm so happy she knew Jesus. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. Janelle,
    Thank you for posting this, I can't imagine it was easy. You are an amazing mother which no doubt stems from your mom!
    Much love from Jessica.

  8. My prayers are with you and your mother and YES, I absolutely believe in angels! Sounds like your daughter has an amazing one!!

  9. I found you through Amy's blog and read your beautiful posts....this one really moved me to tears. My heart breaks for you and the loss of your mother. I am so sorry.
    I believe in angels and I believe your daughter spoke to your mom. So beautiful and amazing...& I wish you never had to say goodbye. xo