Saturday, April 24, 2010

Noriko Yamane Murphy: 1950-2010

Early yesterday morning, my mom's 5-year battle with cancer came to an end. Today, after one of the busiest days I have ever experienced, I find myself feeling overwhelmed by the things that have happened over the last couple of days.

Ironically, she did not die of cancer. She died of a heart attack. Even more irony:  about a month and a half ago, we found out that her cancer was growing at an alarmingly rapid rate and aggressive treatment would be necessary. She was receiving that treatment when all this happened.

When my mom went into the hospital Thursday, she just happened to have a very special houseguest--perhaps her very best friend. This friend, who my mom hadn't seen in a long time, along with my sister, were able to be with my mom in her very last moments. My sister had to make some incredibly difficult medical decisions for my mom that day, and it was an immense comfort to know that both of them weren't alone through all that.

As soon as we could, Jake and I packed up my brother and the kids and drove to Utah. While I have been incredibly busy with funeral and burial arrangements and legal matters, I have not had to fix a single meal. In fact, when we arrived at my mother's house, Yuko had prepared a delicious homemade meal for us. After she left, the doorbell rang, and another dear friend of my mom's handed me a box filled with fresh rolls, cheese, and sandwich meat, "in case we got hungry." And the meals keep on coming.

I had avoided telling Ellie about her grandma as long as possible, but by the time we drove into my mom's driveway, Ellie was really asking some questions I couldn't put off. So I told her that Grandma died. Before I could go into "do you remember what we learned at church about what happens when we die?" she started dancing around and pointing to the sky shouting, "Grandma is with Heavenly Father!" She said all this like it was the coolest thing that had ever happened. Maybe she's in denial. Maybe things will "hit" her later and we'll really have some emotions to deal with. Or maybe she gets things much better than her parents do. I don't know.

Some other dear friends of my mom's got together and purchased a wonderfully generous gift for my mom. I won't get into it what it was, but I will just say that I am still in awe of how much love they must have had for her.

In addition, numerous friends have offered help, support, and flowers, and I truly feel blessed to have so much at such a tumultuous time in my life. I believe that many of the more difficult burdens we've dealt with have become much lighter because of all the help we have received.

For those of you interested, her funeral will be on Wednesday morning in North Logan. If you would like more details, please contact me.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am headed off to bed. I am quite exhausted, and I believe I still have a lot more to do tomorrow. I will attempt a more coherent and interesting blog at a future date.


Stephanie said...

Thinking of you and your family at this difficult time. Sending much love and support. The Hougaards

Marianne said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I am so glad that you are getting so much support at this time and I want you to know that your are in our prayers!

Noah Nandi said...

What a beautiful post! It brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry to hear about your mom. And I'm so glad you have people looking out for you.

wylie said...

Katie. I have been thinking so much about you and hope that you know to call us for anything! We love you and are so sorry for your loss.

Kim said...

We are here ALL next week, let me take your kids so you can have a break! I will call you later!