On the 25th of May I got an email from my mom saying that she thought I better come home. At the first of the month, she was diagnosed with bone cancer and the doctors thought she might have anywhere from six months to a year. She seemed to be doing okay, although she seemed to be more tired than usual. The day before she emailed me, she had broken her shoulder as she leaned on her elbow to get out of bed. She and Cindy went to see the oncologist later that day and he said that she actually had Multiple Myeloma, a form of cancer that attacks the plasma in the bone marrow, which is why they originally thought she had bone cancer. By Sunday, when I skyped with her, she was very tired and a little disoriented. When I skyped with her, she kept falling asleep while we talked. I received permission to leave the mission and go to Utah, so Monday morning, I boarded a bus for Mexico City and flew to Salt Lake City. I arrived about 7:30 and found Lynda and Steve waiting for me. Cindy and mom were going to pick me up, but Mom was too tired. We got to Aurora by 11 pm and Cindy, Lynda and I just sat and visited with mom till about 1 am when she went to bed. Tuesday and Wednesday we stayed with mom and tried to visit with her as much as possible, but she was sleeping a lot and on pain medication, so mostly we just sat with her and did what we could for her. Thursday morning at 4 am she slipped peacefully away in her sleep. Cindy, Lynda and I spent the day together starting to make arrangements and on Thursday, June 7, we had her funeral. Most of my kids were able to come in Wednesday night for the funeral and we also had a wonderful time seeing each other and being together after almost a year. I came home to Mexico on Saturday and was completely drained.
I'm really grateful that I was able to be with her for the last few days and that I was able to spend some time with my sisters. We haven't been together for a long time like that. My mom was a great lady and many of the people in Aurora stopped by to offer their condolences. Each of them had a sweet memory of mom and lots of good things to say about her. She touched many lives and had a positive influence on many. I'm grateful for the things that she taught me and for the wonderful example she was for me. I will miss her immensely but I know that she is with my dad again and I am happy for her that she is free from the cares of this world. How grateful I am for the Plan of Salvation and the knowledge I have that I will see her again.
Mom at our family reunion in Sedona, Arizona, 2010
four generations! Janet, Mom, Kimber, Van and Ryan
Kimber and Mom at Dad's funeral, 2008
Mom at the MTC with us and our tutor, Matt Bird
Mom came to our setting apart with Elder Holland
and some of our children in June before we left for our mission, 2011
with Taylor before his mission
with dad at the annual 4th of July picnic in Aurora
Mom and Dad in their backyard in Aurora, Utah