Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A No Tree Christmas!

There is a town in my state named No Trees, Texas. And it is aptly named. However, that is not what this post is about. This post is about my Mother, her desperation to hang onto life and the upcoming holiday season.

It started out last March. My husband and I accompanied my partner, Karen , and her husband, to find the shop we had so longed dreamed of. In the midst of the celebration for finding the perfect location, I got a phone call from my Mother. She gave me the news that she had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow. It is a deadly disease. It is incurable. She will always be in and out of remission. She will always be on chemotherapy. She will forever live on the edge.
Our plans were put on hold. Dreams are not important when meeting reality head on. My husband and I retired so that we could be available when Mother needs us. We were really lucky we were in that stage of out lives.
I was the prettiest child my Mother ever raised. I was the smartest child my Mother ever raised. I was the easiest child my Mother ever raised. In other words, I was the only child my Mother ever raised. I am an only child with a terminally ill mother...faced with the challenge of making her final years her best years. After all, she had built her life on making my early years the best years of my life.
So this holiday season will not be filled with the normal decorations....lighted trees, carefully landscaped front yards, mantels overflowing with magical scenes. No, Christmas will be filled with trips acrosss the state of Texas. Trips back and forth to Mom's house...a 6 hour drive, one way. Trips to Lubbock to see grandkids and great-grandkids and trips to League City to join in celebrations with grandkids on the coast who are still trying to recover from the hurricane! Christmas will finally be about family...and nothing else but family!
My Mother in her youth. Isn't she pretty?
Mother with her niece, Helen. Mother always considers Helen more than a niece...she thinks of her as a sister or daughter!


Mother in the middle with cousin on left and sister, Esther Ruth, on right.

I am sure this Bath House is not akin to the bath houses our generation thinks of! I believe this bath house was in a national park!



This is the man my Mom fell in love with. Mother married Billie Winston Wood and they had a fantastic marriage! As mentioned before, they had only one PERFECT child....me! My Daddy died when he was only 58! Mother has been a widow for 28 years! I know she loves me and my children and my grandchildren and her family and friends, but I don't think she has had one truly happy day since Daddy left her life!





Mom was a seamstress and always made my clothes! Here, we are twins!





Isn't Mom cute here? I have not seen her act goofy often. I wish I could see that more often!





Mom, Dad and me in Colorado! We were campers!







Mom was obviously a better mom that Aunt Ruth! I wasn't crying!

Mother made all my birthday cakes! As you can tell, we were singing Happy Birthday!





Mother with three of her four sisters. Aunt Elois was missing. From left: Aunt Naomi, my Mother, Aunt Mildred and Aunt Esther Ruth.



My mother with all her siblings: Aunt Naomi, Aunt Esther Ruth, Aunt Eloise, Uncle Willie Frank, my Mother (in long dress), Uncle B.C. and Aunt Mildred.



Mom looks her best as a Great-Grandmother! Here she holds Tango only a week after discovering that she had multiple myeloma!



Mother is the Best...whether as Mother, Grandmother or Great-Grandmother. Here she is pictured with Great-Grandchildren, Madisyn and Tango! See what good genes I got? I mean, who the heck would think she is a Great Grandmother?
So, my friends, during the holiday seasons, remember that we will not have any trees or glitter, but we will have glimmer in our eyes. We will be sharing the love and joy and support that only family can provide.
My Mother has a goal. She says that she will live to be 100! Help us pray that will be so!
Malisa














11 comments:

delighted heart said...

Oh Honey (you know us Texas girls can call each other that!)
My heart goes out to you and your family and mother along with my prayers. You won't regret the time you spend with your mother this Christmas. There will be many more trees in the years to come. My mom went home to heaven 2 years ago Monday. (I blogged about it) Give your mom a big hug for me. I loved the photos...we must be close in age...I think I had some of the same outfits! I'm praying God's peace and comfort for you all this season.
Blessings and Hugs
Patti

trash talk said...

Sweetie, you do have a tree this Christmas, a beautiful Family Tree and your mother is the star on the top branch. What a lovely, lovely lady. I adore ladies who will not, no matter what, give up their lipstick. Hang onto her as long as God permits and know there is another Texas gal out there who is keeping y'all in her prayers. Debbie

debi said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mother and father! There are no words for me to add to what everyone has already said...except "ditto"! xo...deb

Susan S. said...

WOw....your post really spoke to me. I lost my Mom 15 years ago to Multiple Myloma. I know exactly what you are going through and want you to know i'm hoping for the best. A lot of progress has been made on help for this diagnosis so I wish you and your family the best. Enjoy every minute while you're together...it always goes too fast. Blessings to you and your family.....Susan

Cher said...

Malisa, My sister has had ovarian cancer for ELEVEN years. That's lots of chemo, lots of radiation, lots of stress. It jumps around in her body a flea on a dog! Like your mother, my sister has one child plus three granddaughters. She comes to MD Anderson from Denver every three months and plans to keep treating her cancer like a long term disability instead of a terminal disease. There's still lots of livin' left in your mom and my sis and we'll be there to help 'em with it, won't we!

I loved all your pictures. We all need to remember to print out OUR pictures instead of leaving them on our computers. Our grandkids won't have anything to look at if we don't!

The Texas Woman

delighted heart said...

Malisa....
Thanks for your sweet comments. I've had you on my mind several times this evening. Prayers are going up! Your mother has the sweetest smile! Hang in there.....
Blessings and Hugs!
Patti

paige said...

oh my....prayers for you sweet one

Sydney said...

It's so wonderful to see all the old pictures isn't it? Whether you know someone in them or not. They tell such a story with the clothes and the background now that a couple of decades have passed. I know that your Christmas is going to be sweet and that you will all hold each other tight as your mom and you all make this journey. I can see that 100th birthday now, can't you???

lulu Redstar & Lauri Evans said...

Bless your heart! You've gone and made me cry this morning. Thank you for opening up your heart and memories and photos. I have a friend who's lived fairly normally with MM for over 10 years! I hope your lovely Mama has the same or better luck! This will be a bright and shiny Christmas for your family. Please remember all of us girlies in Blogistan are with you!
ox lulu

lulu Redstar & Lauri Evans said...

Malisa what a precious post, your mom is so sweet just like you. Best Christmas Wishes, Lauri @ chippys

Anonymous said...

Your mother, my mother, our mothers,
all beautiful.