May 25, 2021 Latest post:
Dec 14, 2021
There is a rainbow, but first I need to tell you about the storm. ~ Many of you may know that Melissa, my mom, also known as Lu Lu, Mel, Dirt-Girl, Wonderful Aunt Lissa, and many other fabulous nicknames, has had a challenging journey with a very persistent and painful cancer.
Her history with cancer dates back as far as 2001 and she has earned many badges of honor along the way. It didn’t matter how hard the news or how difficult the treatments, she navigated it all with more courage and grace than I could ever describe in words. Her signature hopeful and positive spirit has undoubtedly been one of the main currents under her wings that has carried her this far.
Because of this, It may be surprising to know that her most recent diagnosis is terminal and progressing fast. Currently, she is being cared for by her family alongside a beautiful hospice team in Columbus Georgia. She entered into the hospice program in February of 2021 and the main focus since then has been comfort and pain management. When I got word how things were developing, my girlfriend Mary and I quickly flew from our home in Hawaii to be with her at her home in Georgia. We brought all the Aloha our spirits could carry and found more along the way.
That was late February, and since then it’s been a full on family affair. Everyone including family, friends, neighbors, animals, plants, and care-members have shown up to support in their own unique ways. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. It’s been incredible to witness, especially during the current social environment. My mom has been able to share many heartfelt and exceptional weeks with many of us since we arrived. I have hardly left her side, and when I’m not with her, her sister Jan who has been her keystone care-taker is right there with her every step of the way. The loving-support from her older brother Kim and his wife Nonnie has been paramount in more ways than one. Mary has been our lead entertainer and spirit squad leader, my dad Roger has lovingly crafted some of the most soulful and comforting meals upon request, the Jackson family along with Melissa’s dear friends Shannon, Leslie, Maria, Wanda, in addition to our loving Pine Mountain community has nourished us with locally grown food, friendship, blessings, and presence. The list goes on, and even though the reality is a sad one, it’s been so full of life. It’s truly a gift to be able to be here, with her, and spend this time together.
Still, with all the support and her unwavering courage and grace, there are painful mountains to climb. We release into full blown tears colored by sorrow, grief, joy, and love while we hold each other tightly, looking into each others eyes, being present to feel it all. This has been one of our main focuses together. To honor her truth and feel the rainbow gamut of emotions that it brings forth so she can feel light and free. In those moments, all the hard emotions inevitably transform into bliss and boundless gratitude for life and everyone and everything in it. She doesn’t miss a moment to make a joke along the way.
We know in our hearts, no matter how this unfolds, liberation is the outcome. The storm clouds are starting to part and the rainbow begins to shine brighter and brighter as she moves toward her liberation. She is an earth-angel and her physical presence will be missed, but her soul will forever live on in an infinite amount of ways. Please take a moment to feel her presence in your heart, and if you feel called, please share any memories or stories or blessings for our lovely Melissa.
I will do my best to make sure that they are all read to her and continue to update this group with her status.