Jami Stephenson
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My Mother

You know "you" better than anyone else. If you think something is wrong, keep looking for answers.

My Mother and I

My mother was a beautiful woman. She was full of life and full of love. Her laughter was contagious. There was no one she couldn't start a conversation with. It didn't matter who you were, she would talk to you. My mother was one of the greatest women I know. 

She lost her dad at a young age. She loved him so very much. She often said she had never gotten over the loss. I could only imagine how difficult it could be to lose a parent. I had absolutely no idea how hard it really was. My mother was intelligent. She had a way of figuring things out and making it work. She seemed to be able to fix any situation, no matter how bad it was. My mother was a fighter. She would stand up for what she believed in at any cost and if you happened to mess with someone she loved, you had to watch out. She was a force to be reckoned with. She worked hard for what she had and she worked hard to keep what she had. She made sure no one in our family ever had to struggle. She helped my grandparents and anyone else who needed her. She was a giver.

My mother tried to helped me get through the loss of my dad. I learned that's something you have to do on your own. I had no idea that seven months after him she would be gone, too.

She started getting sick. She couldn't eat without feeling bad. Nothing tasted like it should. She was nauseous all of the time. She was tired all of the time and just wanted to sleep. She visited doctors with no success. She tried to find out what was wrong. No one had answers. This went on for a year. No answers, no help. 

Then, she started losing her balance. She fell. She broke her arm. She didn't know what was happening to her. Her arm wouldn't heal. She had me look up her symptoms online. It wasn't good.

She had finally had enough. She went somewhere different. They determined that she had pancreatic cancer. She had already had it for over a year. They gave her a round of chemo and said they may be able to shrink it and for her to go home and just go for chemo. I was going to take her. She had so many things she needed to take care of when she got home.

That Friday morning, January 17, 2017, we were going to get her from the hospital. I went to her house to help my step dad get her stuff together. We got a call from the hospital. They said she wouldn't be able to get home. During the night, her condition had worsened and this woman who was a fighter had for some reason given up.

My step dad rushed to the hospital. I went to get my grandparents and we prayed she would still be alive when we got there. She was, but it wasn't her. She was pretty much already gone. Around lunchtime, we lost my mother. I don't know why or how the cancer wasn't caught in time. I lost a huge part of me that day. Life has never been the same.

When someone tells you they are sick, listen to them, don't dismiss it. Go to whatever lengths you have to until you find out what is wrong. Don't give up or quit. You may be faced with "if only I had done more" later. I face that everyday. What if I had pushed harder, what if I had tried harder? I will never know.

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My Mother
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