It is with great sadness, on August 16, 2021, my precious mom, Mary, went to heaven.
Because my mom was diagnosed with bladder cancer in October of 2019, she had many challenges she faced.
Mom fought a good fight.
However, because of an error in her thyroid medication, she was taking more than double the amount for over 5 1/2 months.
This error I believe, created more stress on her body than she could handle.
In the last two weeks of her life she contracted shingles as well. These caused her more discomfort.
Three days before she passed away, I got a text from my sister, her blood oxygen level was low. Then she passed out before the rescue squad got there.
The next day we found out through a CT scan her cancer had spread to her lungs, bones and lymph’s. This all seemed to happen so quickly. No one was expecting she only had days to live.
Thank God Delta Airlines is so amazing. I flew stand-by on a flight the next morning.
I wish you could have felt the love and support of our very large, loving, caring family in the ICU waiting room.
Mom was transferred to the ICU before I got there. We took over the entire waiting room for two days.
We were all allowed to go in two at a time, gowned, masks and gloves on, due to her shingles.
Two things kept going through my mind, “I don’t know how to do this” and “How precious our family is”.
My three sisters and my brother felt the same thing. If you have ever lost someone so dear to you, I know you know what I’m saying. You can never really prepare for this.
The nurse mom had the last full day of her life, allowed Mom and Dad’s beloved dog Zoey in to lay with her for 2 hours. Mom petted her and tears rolled down her checks.
Mom said to many of us, over and over, “I love my family, I’m not ready to go, and I want more time”.
Me, my 4 siblings and my dad were there when Mom took her last breath and went to heaven. What a gift for us all to be there as she transitioned on to her final resting place in the arms of Jesus. Back with her parents, brothers, my big brother, and many friends.
Pastor Ruby is the most wonderful soul who came twice to the hospital to pray with Dad and Mom and also with all of us. Her funeral service was the most beautiful tribute to an amazing, wonderful loving, woman of faith and service. My mom, Mary Alice Johnson Shank.
It was live-streamed so my 8 months pregnant daughter Abby and husband James in Florida could watch. Plus others that could not be there could share in her tributes many gave.
One thing that stands out to me, my sister Kathie, said at the funeral, “Mom taught all of us so many things. One thing she didn’t teach us was how to live without her”.
I’m sure all of you who have lost someone so special and precious to you have felt the same way.
Because I know my mom is happy, healthy and loving heaven, my heart feels better.
I am here with my dad for a bit. This new transition for him at 91 1/2 years old and after 70 1/2 years of marriage to my mom, will not be easy.
Those of you who have read my articles for years, know through my writings what an amazing, magnetic man he is. Everyone loves Homer. Everyone loved Mary and Homer.
Now my dad will move forward the best he can. I said at Mom’s funeral, Dad has so much to give to people and he’s a man of faith, I know he will be giving & sharing for the rest of his life.
Our large family will rally around him. Many extended family members as well.
Lastly, there will be a hole in our family without my beautiful mom, Mary. She will live on in Dad, each one of her 5 children, our spouses, 17 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren. And the many who knew and loved her.
I love you Mom. I know you knew how much I loved you. Actually I think my mom was my greatest cheerleader. She enjoyed reading my blogs each week too.
I will see you in heaven one day Mom.
With love and great appreciation to my wonderful Mom, Mary,
PS. Here is the link to watch the video tribute of my moms life, played at her funeral:
PSS. Our family photo taken on May 21, 2021 at my nieces wedding below. The photo above was just one month before Mom passed away.