Thursday, December 5, 2013

I hope you're dancing up there in heaven momma bear

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the chance to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance

I had fully intended on writing about my handsome son's birth story, but it's hard to write something so special in a time when I feel so broken. So, unfortunately, that story will have to wait.

This is probably the hardest post I have ever had to write (actually, I know it's the hardest.) And if you don't want to read something so personal and raw, please come back when a happy post is posted. :)

Many of you follow me on Instagram or Facebook so you probably already know that I lost my mom this past weekend. There, I wrote it. It's hard to believe you're really gone. How did we get to this point? How did it get to the point where I won't ever be able to speak to you or see you again?

It was just last year where we were all laughing and celebrating Christmas. I didn't think anything of your "I just don't feel goods" or your "just not feeling right" comments. I brushed them off as the weather making you not feel good (I mean, it was colder than hell and a snow storm when we were there!) It wasn't until those "I just don't feel goods" continued into January... and then February. Finally Daddy put his foot down and made you go to the doctor. It was just days later that you got that fateful text of Bella and Lola informing you that I was pregnant... You were going to be a grandma for the first time!!!!!!

It's like everything happened SO SO quick Mommy. Daddy brought you to appointment after appointment in those first few months. Sometime in March or April you could no longer work because you were so weak and standing made you so tired. You were having trouble breathing and we were all so proud of you when you stopped smoking... cold turkey! Around this same time your eye sight started to get pretty bad and you had to stop driving. Daddy continued to chauffeur you around to appointments and specialists. No one could figure out what was wrong.

It wasn't until I was back this summer in July for the baby shower you helped throw me that I realized just how bad and frail you looked. You were oh so skinny. You could hardly get up off the couch without help. You tried to put on a smile during my baby shower, but you were barely standing and needed help walking. You couldn't get on and off the one step on our deck anymore without help. You were out of breath after just a few short steps. You were hardly eating even though Daddy was feeding you all your meals. I remember sitting in the living room with you and Vince. We watched game shows (FAMILY FUED!!!!!) all day. I hated saying goodbye to you. Before I left I told you how badly my son needed his grandma. I told you that you couldn't leave me because I needed you... my son needed you to be around. You promised you weren't going anywhere. I believed you. I never imagined that I would never see you again.

Every time I called you seemed so upbeat and just like yourself. I wish I would have known just how sick you were getting. Sometime in August/September doctors said it was your thyroid and liver. By this time you could no longer get up and down the stairs and were pretty much bed ridden. You continued to see every specialist in Indiana and no one could help you. They then said it was your white and red blood cells. But they couldn't come up with a plan of action. All the time you continued to get sooo much sicker. Every time you bumped into something you would bruise and then bleed... Daddy had to bring you to the hospital numerous times so you could get mesh bandages because by this time, any bandage tore your skin right off it was so fragile. 

By the end of October Daddy finally broke the devastating news to me that you guys wouldn't be making it for the birth of your precious first grandchild. My heart was shattered into a million pieces - I NEEDED YOU. I didn't think I could or ever envisioned becoming a mother without you by my side. Daddy told me not to upset you because you were so heartbroken that you wouldn't be there to share that moment with me. I remember bawling but in the back of my head, I knew you wouldn't be able to make the trip for Colton's birth. By this time you had swelled so much that we both used to laugh about how we both looked pregnant. I wish I would have known that the fluid buildup in your stomach was a sign of kidney failure. A week or two before my son was born you had 12 pounds of fluid drained from your stomach. Only for the fluid to come back two short weeks later. Your organs were failing and we didn't even know it.

The week before Thanksgiving (Nov. 20) you called Daddy because you had fallen (we aren't sure exactly if you fell walking from the computer room or from getting out of bed.) We found out that you had broken your shoulder. Michael and I said this was going to be a blessing in disguise. You were too weak to have surgery on your shoulder, so they wanted to move you to a rehab center to make you strong. Finally, someone would be watching you 24 hours a day. We thought this would be our saving grace. Unfortunately, it turned into our worst nightmare.

This saving grace became our worst nightmare. By the time you were moved to the rehab center, you only made it a day and a half before being rushed back to the hospital on Monday (Nov. 25). Daddy said you were pretty much comatose. Michael and Mathew rushed home on Tuesday (Nov. 26) to be with you. They said you were getting better and woke up a little. The boys said you were telling jokes, it completely breaks my heart knowing I wasn't there. Unfortunately, it didn't last long because the next day (Nov. 27) Daddy called me at 2am and said I needed to rush home to you. I will never ever forget that fateful phone call. The pain and the tears I cried after getting off the phone is a feeling I will continuously relive. Vince and I, along with our brand new 22 day old baby boy and your first grandchild, booked a flight for 10 hours later, Thanksgiving day (Nov. 28), and rushed to your side.

Mommy, by the time we got there you were pretty much already gone. You never woke up again.  It crushes me knowing I was mere hours too late. I never got a chance to say goodbye to you. I never got a chance to tell you how much I loved you, to tell you how much you meant to me, to tell you how amazing my life was because of how you raised me. That because of you, I know I will be a damn good mother to my son. But, I find comfort knowing that, even without words, that you already knew all of that. The next day (Nov. 29) the doctor said that the only thing keeping you alive was the breathing tube and your blood pressure medicine. They said your liver and kidneys had completely failed and it was taking every other organ with it. The doctors never were able to pin point what exactly was wrong with you. That's almost the worst part - no diagnosis. No rhyme or reason for your death. You made Daddy promise that he wouldn't keep you alive on tubes. Plus, you didn't look like YOU. You had lost most of your hair, almost every inch of your body was badly bruised, and you were so so skinny and frail. We did a lot of crying, hugging, and reminiscing in those few days we were all together. We told so many stories about your life, but we also cried more tears than we ever have in our lives. We were all dying inside without you. 

As a family, we made the decision to let you go on Saturday, November 30th. 24 days after your first grandchild was born. Right before we let you go, we brought Colton in and we had him hold your hand. Your eyes opened and we knew that you felt him. That you were finally able to experience being a grandma, if only for a fleeting moment. At 12:50 pm, Daddy, Michael, Mathew, and I held your hand as we let you go. And at 1:15 pm on November 30, 2013, you were gone. 

A part of me is soo mad at you Mommy, why didn't you tell us that things had gotten so bad? I know why you didn't want us to know, but I wish I had the chance to be there with you and be there for you. How long did you have to suffer in silence with only Daddy? There are so many things you are going to miss. You'll never be able to see your grandbaby grow up. You won't be there to watch Michael walk down the aisle next week. No child should have to get married a mere 12 days after the death of his mother. You won't be there to see Mathew get his first big time lawyer job. 

I feel like I was jipped. I told Daddy the day after you passed away that I just needed more time. It was too soon to say goodbye to you. Daddy told me that life just isn't fair but that as a family, we will move on and heal. Vince used to laugh because we used to talk on the phone EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. FOR. HOURS. ON. END. Who will I call now? The pain I am feeling is unbearable and gut wrenching. I know I have to be strong for Colton and raise him the way you raised me, but I SOO wish you were here to help me, to guide me, to mentor me on this crazy journey called motherhood. My heart is so broken without you and I'm not sure it will ever heal.

27 years was just entirely too short. And I am so so SO sad that we won't be making it to 28. Although I am thankful for the time I spent with you, I would give anything to have another day... another minute... another second with you. I really wonder how I will be able to get through the day and get myself out of bed without you by my side. There are moments I'm just not sure I can go on without you, go on without my very best friend. We shared EVERYTHING with each other and now I'm left with the biggest hole in my heart that only YOU can fill. I'm hurting. I'm lost. I'm confused. And I'm shocked that this is my new life. I never envisioned being a motherless daughter in my late 20's. I never envisioned having to survive or live without you. It just doesn't seem fair that God would need you home at 58 years old. 

I wish you were here to meet Colton, but I know you would be happy to know that he is helping us as a family to grieve and cope with your death. It kills me inside knowing how badly you wanted to a grandmother and it's hard to even fathom that you won't be here to watch that little boy grow up. Daddy really loves that little boy more than words and it makes me melt every time he hugs him, every time he rocks him, every time he looks at him and tells him he loves him. I know it would melt your heart too. You would be so proud of me... of us as a family. Colton is helping Daddy to go on, a matter of fact, he's helping all of us to go on. We miss you Momma bear, but it's never goodbye, just see you later.

Anne Eibert Galligan
April 19, 1955 - November 30, 2013


  1. Sitting hear attempting to read through tears. I am so truly sorry for your loss. Love, virtual hugs, and loads of prayers.

    1. Hello meen, I've been following your blog for almost 6 months now without leaving any comment so I decided to quickly say hi today, just so you know you've got a fan somewhere. LOL. Your blog makes sense to me just like, another similarly interesting blog that I'm also a fan of.

      Keep it up.

  2. I'm sorry for your lost. Keep your mom's memory by being the best mom you can be. <3 *hug*

  3. Tears over here girl. I knew from Facebook things weren't good and I'm so sorry she was suffering for that long. Sending hugs and prayers your way for your family!

  4. This was extremely hard to read. I can't imagine what you're going through but I hope you are being strong. Take all the time you need to be sad but always always remember the good times with your mom. Lots of hugs to you and your family! I am very sorry for your loss.

  5. Oh my God, I am so sorry :( Sending prayers to you and your family.

  6. Caitlin, my heart is breaking for you. I cannot imagine the pain you are going through, but I hope you know I send lots and lots of prayers to you and your family. And even she didn't get to meet him, I'm glad that Colton is helping your family find hope thru this loss. Love you girl!

  7. I am so sorry that you are going through this heartbreaking time especially during a time that should be so joyful. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  8. I am so so so sorry for your loss! This breaks my heart to hear. You and your family will definitely be in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. The tears are flowing. Praying for you and your family through this. Sending as much love as possible your way. <3

  10. Reading through tears. I am so sorry you are hurting so badly. I am so sorry you are having to go through this so young. You are in my thoughts and prayers. May God comfort you and give you peace. xoxo

  11. I Told Myself I Wouldn't Cry. Yet There Was No Way To hold Back the Tears. I Could Feel Your Pain Through Your Writing. I'm so Sorry For Your Loss.

  12. I'm so happy you have your sweet little man and family to love on. I just could not imagine. My heart hurts for you. I am praying for you and everyone in your family. Your mom is looking down on you & is with you every step of the way.

  13. Sorry isn't even a strong enough word. I'm so sad for you. I couldn't even imagine. I'm glad Colton has been such a huge blessing through all of this. Praying for you and your family

  14. I smiled during this post. Seeing your mother and your family and how beautiful she is makes my heart happy for her mortal time here with you on earth. Selfishly it was too short, but seeing as I never knew your mother and could see a beautiful soul coming from the pictures you posted, I believe she is a beautiful angel now.

  15. Caitlin honey!!! My heart breaks for you. I wish I had the words to dry up those tears in your eyes. I am so so terribly sorry for your loss. You have a lot of beautiful pictures of you a your mom SO happy together to show Colton when he is big. He will know how amazing she really was by all of the stories you will have for him.

  16. I am so so sorry for your loss..I'm in tears because I just cannot imagine what you are going through. I wish I could give you a big hug. I'm happy you have that precious little boy to help your family in this difficult time.

  17. Cait, there are absolutely no words for how much I wish I could give you a big hug. I'm sitting on my couch over here in tears for you. There's no way I could ever imagine what it's like for you right now, but just know that we are here for you with anything that you need! <3 Love you sister.

  18. My heart just broke reading this. I truly am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my grandfather on the 4th - he never got to meet his first great-granddaughter, who he waited so long for. Even losing a grandparent does not compare to the pain of losing a parent, so I won't say I feel your pain...but I have an idea of some small part of it.

    Your mum would be so proud of you and watching over you and little Colton. I hope the joy of his existence can bring you all some peace this Christmas xxx

  19. I just cried like a baby reading this. I am so sorry for your loss. You have your mom's smile from those pictures and I am sure she is smiling down from Heaven as you celebrate your son's first Christmas this year.

  20. I am bawling for you. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  21. Oh my Gosh! I cried through this entire post-- not to make any of this "about me", but my Mother has Melanoma in the lymph nodes and I was with her every step of the way through one of the most horrible cancer treatments ever. The Interferon (treatment) was so awful that we though that would kill her before the cancer did. She's in remission now and gets scans every three months and checked for "spots" (if not has them surgically removed)-- we are told that if it comes back, it will be fatal, more than likely. And it's terrifying. What do we do without our Mothers? How are we supposed to live without the most influential person/woman of our life? And then, my own Mother just went through this with her Mother. She fought for so long with so many issues and in the end, if came down to blood pressure meds keeping her alive. *She made the choice to have them turned off and we had to let her go. Although she wasn't suffering anymore and is at peace now-- it's heartbreaking to watch my Mother go through this grief journey. All that being said, I truly feel some of your pain here.. although I haven't walked a mile in your shoes, I know what tragic loss feels like (from losing my son) and it's something that you feel like you can never get over. And you won't.. the pain from losing your Mother will never go away-- I'm sorry. But I promise you, no lie, time will make it not hurt as much. And when you say that you had Colt hold your Mother's hand and she opened her eyes-- she ABSOLUTELY knew what was going on. And she still does. You and your son have the most precious Guardian Angel in the entire world.. walking every step of the way through life now. Not a second goes by that she isn't tucking him in with you. When you rock him, she's right there. Stay strong and if you ever need to talk to another grieving person that has been through a lot-- remember, I'm here for you! XOXO
    Things will get easier! I swear it to you!

  22. I'm so, so sorry! I can't imagine the kind of grief you and your family must be going through--I know you will always miss her.

  23. Oh my goodness, I cannot express how much my heart is breaking for you. I can't imagine how difficult this must be, but my thoughts are with you and I am sending a big hug. I know that your mom is with you and your beautiful family every day, shining down her lovely smile.

  24. I am so sorry for all that you went through in the loss of your mom, my thoughts and prayers are with you as you walk this lonesome road! May God wrap His arms of love around you and give you His peace and comfort!