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    Thursday, November 06, 2008

    A Special Month

    I am so disappointed with myself. I had a post all written out, and thought I had scheduled it to publish today. And yet, I cannot find it anywhere. Apparently I need to rehash the pain that is cancer. November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month. Don't you love having a month dedicated to every cause? I think December should be Cash Depletion Awareness month. January should be Sanity Losing Awareness month. But lets just focus on this here month. November. There is a certain symbolism involved here.

    My mom loved the Holidays. She would set up the Christmas tree at the office on the day after Halloween. She would cut out the Christmas show schedule from the newspaper and tape it to the fridge. Her embellished sweaters and watches and bracelets and pins and socks would be out in full force. And November was her jumping off point for all of this craziness. It is no small irony that the very cancer that took her life has it's scheduled awareness month at the very time of year she lived for.

    I hate that I need to be aware of cancer in general. I especially hate that I have to be aware of pancreatic cancer specifically. I hate all that the awareness means. It means so many people are losing the battle. It means so many families are torn apart. But specifically for me, it means I have to remember all the feelings that come along with losing my mother. Every June I will remember that day of the diagnosis. Every July I will remember the dying and the funeral. Every August I will remember that drive across the plains to my home, knowing on return it would never be the same. September and October will bring thoughts of her birthday and conference weekend. And now November will bring the awareness. Only to usher in December and the Holidays. This seems to be some sort of sick monthly countdown. I wonder if every month will be special?

    7 Response(s):

    hanner said...

    Thanks for sharing that, Keli. I really enjoy your blog posts all the time, but the mention of all the special months in this post kind of made me laugh. At Women's Services we're increasingly aware of all kinds of random months (White Ribbon Month [anti-pornography], Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Eating Disorder Awareness Month, etc.) and we sometimes joke about how no month is special anymore.

    But I was just thinking about how I should make every month special--knowing that life isn't permanent, residence isn't permanent... anyway, your stories about your mom remind me of that. Thanks a lot. I'm glad we have a long-distant cousin-in-law blog-relationship :)

    Jill Johnson said...

    I am sick of Pink. Bring on the purple.

    Why is it that nobody knows about Pancreatic cancer but the economy could be corrected with the sales of all the pink crap. don't get me wrong I am a supporter, but dammit support something we are losing.

    Kelli said...

    I think each month will get easier but lets get through the next 2.

    Larissa said...

    I'm sorry Keli. I just visited my sister-in-law's grave last Saturday. At the time of her death, it was the hardest thing I had had to go through. It's been six years and it does get better with time. But, when I was sitting there at the grave and I really THOUGHT about things, the flood gates were opened. It's just so hard. So, so hard. Stay strong.
    There's been so much bad news with everyone I know recently. The only good news for us is two weddings. One being Meg's. Fortunately, we have those happy times to focus on and look forward to. Here's hoping there's more! Hang in there.

    Meg said...

    It's too bad she didn't make it to see her own awareness month. Remember us thinking, if she can only make it to Christmas? Now, I thank my lucky stars she didn't.

    I hate Cancer too. I hate what it does to peoples lives. I also agree with Jill, it's time to fight a battle that we are CONSTANTLY losing.

    nikkipicky said...

    I want a purple ribbon!!

    You are awesome. Hang in there. The holidays are going to be bittersweet, but your mom would want you all to embrace every joyful moment. :)

    *MARY* said...

    What a beautiful post and tribute to your sweet mother.