Mary Jean’s Story

Site created on November 14, 2019

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Journal entry by Mary Jean Vickers

Friends,

It is with the heaviest of hearts and profound sadness that I write to share that my dearest mom passed away suddenly on Friday, September 10th. She had surgery as planned on Thursday, September 9th and the surgeon was generally pleased with how the day went. She was stable on Thursday evening and my dad was able to see her and I spoke with her on the phone. On Friday morning, my dad received a call just before 7 am that my mom was being coded. Despite heroic efforts over two hours from the medical team, my mom was ultimately not able to be resuscitated and my dad was there for her final breaths. We believe she likely had a pulmonary embolism. We are comforted in knowing that she was not in pain and I am so grateful that my dad was at her side. My husband and I drove up immediately from South Carolina and arrived in Ohio on Friday afternoon. Always my mother's daughter (practical and wanting to be helpful), we had decided that I would wait to come to Ohio until around her discharge so that I could be her nurse (along with my extremely capable dad!) at home. I was not allowed to be in the waiting room during surgery due to COVID restrictions, so this seemed the best course to all of us. I know she wouldn't want me to second-guess that decision. 

It's hard to put my mom into words, but, of course, you all knew and loved her. She lit up a room with her smile and laugh. There was simply nothing better than making her laugh until she cried. She cared so deeply and passionately for her family and friends. She was the first to drop everything to help and always, always wanted to solve everyone's problems. No problem was too great or small for her full attention. For me, she was my fiercest advocate, biggest cheerleader and fan, and loved me without bounds. She was my first and forever best friend. We were so similar in so many ways, and while my stubbornness probably drove her crazy, she also knew where it came from! I know she was proud of me. I know she is proud of me. I am so grateful for the beautiful faith she passed on to me and it has and will sustain me during the trying days that lie ahead.  God may not yet know how relentless she will be in her advocacy! Saint Mary Jean, pray for me and for us!

And you, her dear friends, have sustained her and encouraged her so much during these past two years as she bravely fought this battle. She was always so overwhelmed by how many people cared about her and were just as devastated as her over her cancer diagnosis. It never surprised me to know how many people loved her, but it is a tremendous comfort to us in these days. On behalf of my dad and I, thank you for your love, friendship, support, prayer, encouragement, and sustenance.

While the days and weeks ahead will be filled with tears and there will forever be a hole in our hearts, my mom would want us to find joy again. She would want us to embrace life and live it fully. We will do our best to carry her legacy and will look forward to one day meeting her again in heaven. 

We would welcome your presence as we celebrate her life.  Friends may call Tuesday, September 14 from 4-7 p.m. at Egan-Ryan Funeral Home, 403 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio, where a Prayer Service will begin at 7 p.m.  Mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday, September 15 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Cathedral, 212 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio.  Burial to follow at St. Joseph Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the James Cancer Center or Mount Carmel College of Nursing.  

With deep gratitude and love,

Elisabeth

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