My mother was diagnosed at the age of 39 with breast cancer while she was pregnant with me. I am now 39, the age she was at diagnosis, which has brought up many different emotions for me – anger, sadness, fear. I have two beautiful daughters, currently ages 6 and 9. My mother had two daughters, my sister and I were 6 years and 4 years old respectively, when my mom died. I feel grateful that I have already gotten to spend more time with my girls than my mother did with us; however, during this 39th year, I have found myself often getting lost in thought about the emotions my mom must have gone through at the thought of dying and leaving us behind. I wonder about the fear and sadness she felt, and I have had moments of fear about my own death.
As a mom, my heart breaks sometimes for her loss. As a daughter, even almost 35 years later, my heart still hurts for my loss. I would love so much for my daughters to know their Grandma Tina and have her be involved in their lives. I tell stories about her, but my stories are mostly second hand because I was 4 when she died and that makes me sad. I love my girls more than I ever thought possible, and from what I know of the person my mother was, I know she felt the same way about my sister and I. I feel loved by her, even though she was only in my physical world for 4 years. The love from a mother is felt forever…and the grief of a child is never ending. I am a 39 year old mother who feels so lucky to be able to be actively involved in my daughters’ lives – like attending afternoon tea together (see picture); but there is a part of me inside who will always be a daughter who misses her mother.