Catherine Perez My mom, Cathie Perez

First post: 8/27/2016

On August 1, 2016 my beautiful mother passed away.
We had all been praying for a miracle since my she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last November.  
Now we sit here and wonder what happened to that miracle...
No, it did not come in the form that we had hoped, but I have come to realize that it did arrive.
A gift from God that many do not receive. We were all fortunate enough to lay next to her, hold her hand and say everything we needed to say. 
Opportunities that everyone takes for granted, speaking straight from the heart making sure every single word is spoken. She held all of us in her arms, giving us advice like she always has. 


She wanted us to be strong.
But I've learned that being strong doesn't mean that you don't cry, it doesn't mean that you don't break down. 
In fact, I cry so much I think I'll hit a point where there are no more tears, yet they keep flowing.
Strength is not learned, or taught, it sits there...waiting. It waits for you until you need it the most.  It waits until you're completely broken. 
And boy are we broken.


Strength takes on many forms. Strength is my 2 year old, Hadley, who finds me crying and puts her hand on me, rubs my back and says "it's okay mama". Strength is Parker who is always there to make you laugh when all you want to do is cry. Strength is Brayden who was always telling me "don't cry, Gigi is going to be okay", and you were right Bray...
Gigi is okay, she is with her father who she loved so much and she is riding her horse all around checking out heaven and all that it has to offer. Mary is welcoming her into her arms and holding her close.


I get my strength from my mother, who got her strength from her mother, passed down from generation from generation. 
It takes someone strong to make someone strong.


We had so many plans for the future. She gave and gave and gave and was always there whenever I needed her, and boy did I need her. There wasn't a day that would go by where I didn't need her, but my dad needed her more than anyone. Their bond of 43 years of marriage showed us what "til death do us part" truly means. She was his rock. I am so proud of the courage that he has shown, but I know that it all came from my mother letting him know that everything is going to be okay.


My friends and I would always joke about turning into our mothers, and my first response was always, "there is no way I talk as much as her!!"
But here I sit, and I can only hope that I become half of the woman and mother she was.


Strength is giving it your all despite the outcome, but Strength is also knowing when the fight is over.
She faced death w such grace and courage, I am in complete awe of how strong she was through these last 2 weeks.


STRENGTH IS MY MOTHER


She lived life to the fullest, never missing an opportunity to have fun. Horse competitions, trips to Mexico, jimmy buffet concerts... she lived. 
Her grandchildren were her world and I pray to God that she visits them and they keep their memories of her strong in their minds.  She would have done anything for them. 


Everyone knows the bond between a mother and daughter, it is something that is irreplaceable, it is something that cannot be understood, it is a relationship like no other. But she also had that special bond with each one of her sons, this is a testament to what kind of mother she was to each and everyone of us. She was truly our best friend. This special time that we had together was a gift, and that gift will never be taken for granted.
She even said to me that she didn't know she was loved this much by so many. All of the messages that she received filled her heart with so much joy and I know that her heart is overwhelmed by the amount of love being shown right now.


I have learned that it is easy to have faith where there is hope, but when your hope is gone that's when your true faith is tested. 
Faith is like a muscle; it develops by being used. So, I encourage everyone reading this to open your hearts to this, because that is what my mom would truly want. I know for sure, because she said it many times... she does not want us to be sad, she wants us to rejoice in her beautiful life. 


I will never understand why something like this would happen, it is unfair, and heartbreaking...
but I have leaned on my faith throughout my mothers journey with cancer, so that is what I'll try to do now. 


I love you mom❤️
Kristen 

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