This is by far the hardest page I've done. It is tearing me up. This is the left side to my "Her Size is Diminished in Me" layout.


Katie Pertiet DelMar Shores Kit
Lynn Grieveson Worn Page Edges No. 4
Katie Pertiet Vintage Frames No. 29


If I had made this page four years ago, when I made my first few layouts for this book, this page would have been so much different. I have always loved my mom, but her role in my life over the past decade or so has been focused on being an amazing grandmother to my children and a very wise mom of a grown daughter. It is hard to articulate what a mother means to you, especially when you’re not the type to write poetry or tell flowery stories. She was very transparent; what you saw was what you got; there were no games, no manipulation, no appeals to emotion or guilt trips. Always avoiding confrontation, she was so easy to love and always the life of the party. Six months later, the grief that covers me comes after the simple things. Finding a great deal on a pair of shoes; using a good coupon at Macy’s; trying a new recipe that was a flop; making a huge batch of peppermint bark popcorn. I cannot articulate my love for her, but many friends have said again and again that they know how much I loved her, because of the depth of my grief at her loss. The sadness is still very new, and not at all welcome.

June of 2013 brought the worst news we had ever endured as a family. In 2007 my aunt died after a short fight with cancer. It was a shock, but we had nearly a year between diagnosis and her death. My grandmother fell asleep the day after her 98th birthday, and slipped away peacefully. Again, we were sad, but she had lived a long, full, faithful life, and we could say goodbye.

My mom thought she had been fighting pleurisy for a couple months. Finally, they did a CT and found the spots on her liver and the tumor on her pancreas. Metastatic pancreatic cancer, stage IV, no treatment. To say we were shocked and in disbelief would be an understatment. She was only 74! We thought we had another 25 years together. But there is no guarantee, no promise of tomorrow. Five weeks later, she closed her eyes for the last time. The day before my 40th birthday, I said goodbye to my mom, until we meet again on the other side of this life.