My experience with my mother gave me the strength to go through the emotional trauma that occurs after a death. In our Irish Catholic fishbowl, we had the family fight, the wake, the family fight, the burial, then finally the family no longer on speaking terms. It also gave me the strength to let her go. I did everything within my own ability to make it okay for her. It was the least I could do for the woman who bore me, raised me, and forgave me. I could ask for no greater gift than the one I could carry with me. I learned never to give up hope. Even in the darkest hours, faith holds the light. Once you open your eyes, the rest is cake.
I'm not sure if she ever really accepted the fact that she was dying. Sometimes I thought she did and other times not. My accepting it, looking at what was happening right here now, was the most difficult fragment of my journey with my mother. Like her, sometimes I did look at reality and sometimes I didn't. Those times it was just too painful. I wouldn't trade a lifetime for what I had with my mother that year. What she did for herself was best. What she did for me was awesome. This book is meant to revere the woman that she was, the woman she became in the end and the mother she will always be to me. Elizabeth was an extraordinary woman with strength and wisdom beyond her own belief. This book is to honor her memory and her beautiful soul.