Some may have noticed that I have that things have been a bit quiet with my online presence and emailed newsletters. I greatly reduced the amount of time devoted to my business due to a family tragedy. Here is what I posted on my personal Facebook site a few months ago.
With the heaviest of heart, I must write my most painful Facebook post ever.
On April 1st, 2016 my mother was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, Glioblastoma Stage 4 in the Thalamus…the worst brain tumor in the worst location. Unfortunately, early this morning my mother lost her battle with this highly aggressive cancer.
My mom was the best mother a girl could have ever asked for. She has made me everything I am today. She gave me my optimism, my patience, my sense of empathy. I have lost more than just a mom. I lost a best friend, shopping buddy, adventure seeker, personal chef, handyman, firework chaser, and best grandmother ever. She was the most thoughtful and selfless person I have ever met. Always coming to my rescue, from a little girl struggling through school to a full grown adult struggling with parenting and life. She dropped everything to help me and did it with a smile. She was always doing and thinking of everyone else. From helping to plan my friend’s wedding to taking another friend to her proton therapy appointment and everything in between.
I can not imagine a world where I am not greeted by her giant smile, hugs, and kisses. I can not imagine a world without her amazing cooking. I will miss her chicken pot pie, salads, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies the most. A world where I can not call her up with a quick cooking question when I’m in a pinch. It is just too painful to think about.
She has meant the world to so many people. She was loved so deeply by an amazing group of friends and family. I am forever grateful for all of the support that was shown to my family over these last 4 painful months. People have dropped everything to rush to be by her bedside. In every room she occupied, her bedside was lined with chairs so that a heavy rotation of friends and family could sit and hold her hand.
My house is filled with constant reminders of her. The wonderfully thoughtful gifts, the walls that she helped me paint, the pictures she helped me hang, and the furniture she helped put together. She made my family’s house a home. I am forever grateful for everything she ever taught me and the amazing way she loved me and my family.
RIP to the sweetest mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend anyone could have ever asked for. You will be kept alive in all of us.
I love you Mom! xoxoxoxoox
Your devoted daughter, Claire
It has been a few months since she passed but it is no easier. I now feel like my title is now motherless daughter instead of mom, wife, daughter, photographer, etc. Losing your mom in particular is life altering, esp when you lose her early. Every day is a struggle. I know this is something I will never recover from but just learn how to manage the pain. I am still learning how to incorporate her into my daily life so I can keep her spirit alive. She gave me the most amazing foundation for life and know I am better off then most with that foundation.
The day we found out about my mom’s brain tumor, we were on vacation in Florida. (Slightly different from past trips to Anna Maria.) She was leaving the next day to meet with the surgeons in Philly. Here are a few shots of our last days together in Florida and her last birthday with us at home.
Thank you for sharing these very precious pictures of Maggi with us. I have no easy advise for you on how to recover from this tragic loss. I have found that being thankful for all of life – the hard and the happy helps. I recently wrote this:
I am enchanted by October. I find everything about this month irresistible. The sound and feeling of the crunch of leaves as I walk in the morning, the light that blazes so clear that is reveals all the nuances of the landscape, the vistas filled with oranges and yellows against an impossibly blue sky. Then in the evening the gift of the orange of a blazing harvest moon, with Venus sitting like a diamond next to it accompanied by the smell of the first fires being lit in nearby homes. All of the beauties of this month I give thanks for.
But most of all I give thanks that I am still able to be enchanted by October. For October brought to my family our greatest tragedy. A tragedy I wasn’t sure that I would be able to survive. But I did and we all did. And I give thanks that although my heart will fill with sadness this month, I am still able to be enchanted with October’s beauty.
Sending love to you,
This is a wonderful tribute and the pictures are too beautiful for words. I love you so, so, so much. Xoxo
Oh, Claire. I can’t imagine how hard these days have been. Thank you for sharing and for these beautiful pictures. What a gift to have them.