Mom & her Jacob (I miss you mom)
It is with a heavy heart and a profound sense of loss that I share news of my mom's passing this past Tuesday while sleeping peacefully. John, Aaron & I were together with mom as her spirit left this world. Thank you for your kind thoughts these past few days. While I have not had time to respond to your messages and wonderful stories, please be assured that I read each one and shared your thoughts with my family.
One week ago, I returned from the mall where I had spent an afternoon in Panera Bread surfing the web and relaxing while eating a light lunch. When I got back, late in the afternoon, Aaron went out for a run wearing his Luna sandals, headlamp and other associated ultrarunning gear. I went upstairs to sit with mom, and we talked for about 30 minutes about this or that with the same quick wit & jovial humor as always. Months earlier, I had the occasion to open up to mom and assure her that she didn’t need to give me anything, as mom had already given me so much– raising Aaron & myself, teaching us to be independent, strong & caring. I was in tears but mom wasn’t.
One week ago, as I sat there, I knew there were a few more tales that needed to be told. Mom was always my rock, even when the roles should have been reversed by all rights. When I was a senior in college, mom was scheduled to get a mastectomy to fight This Thing, and I gave it not a second thought. Meantime, my paternal grandmother was entering hospice. While I knew Grandma Ethel was also fighting This Thing, hearing of the move shot a hole in my heart. I was in tears. Who did I call for support? I called my mother, still recovering from her operation, and cried into the phone as she cheered me up as no one else could. Amazing.
Last May, I reuinited my with close friends, the SungLiDimicco clan, in Boston with my heart heavy with fear that This Thing had morphed into something ever more dangerous. I was comforted by my friends, especially the crazy 2-hour trip to park Derrick’s car and sample the finest crappy homemade ketchup in eastern Massachusetts. I could barely speak, and upon seeing my brother & especially my mother, it took every ounce of strength I had to hold back my emotions. Mom was as strong as ever that Mother’s Day, and to celebrate and remember, Aaron, Mom & I drove to her mother’s grave a few miles from our Beverly home. Upon reaching the grave site, I unleashed a flood of tears unlike any before, for it was safe to cry. Mom thought I was crying for Grandma. After unleashing that storm, mom reassured me & spoke some words as we all asked for strength. And I got strength that day. All the strength I needed these last 7 months I got from my mother, as her bravery in the face of adversity set an example I could never hope to match, but one to which I could aspire. Last week, I told mom all that, except the bit about the ketchup & Derrick’s car.
So one week ago, I told mom how she gave me my strength & how she would always be my rock. She heard all of it, and knew more than ever what she meant to me. Mom was her regular self that day, just a mother & son sitting around talking like it was any other day. And I feel so lucky & privileged to have said everything I needed to say. Mom’s spirit left her body this week, but it lives on through me & Aaron and all her friends & family. I’ll miss her so much.
Mom was a free spirit who enriched the life of all she encountered, making friends all over the world in just an instant. Mom's sharp wit, natural curiosity and friendly humor brought joy wherever she went. She left me with so much, including just a touch of her artistic gift-- I've started to catalog mom's paintings, please visit to understand her gift first hand.
I would be humbled if you made a donation in Rachel's name to the American Cancer Society as I fund raise for the Relay-For-Life on April 30 - May 1.
Mom led a truly full life, full of stories & friends from all walks of life and all around the world. John, Aaron & I are grateful for your friendship & support. Please say a prayer for Rachel. While mom's passing will leave a tremendous hole in all our hearts, please be assured that her spirit will enrich us all in this world and beyond. Thank you and God bless