Bittersweetest Day | Finding Joy

October 19, 2013

This year on Sweetest Day, I find myself realizing that it’s been twelve years. 12 years with, 12 years without. On October 19th, 2001, I was doing one of the things that I love most. Cooking. I was making breakfast for my family. It wasn’t unusual for me to be up before everyone else, putting a pot of coffee on for my parents and ¬†cooking some breakfast. I was an early bird. It was a Friday morning and my sister and I didn’t have school because of the Circleville Pumpkin Show (a huge autumn festival that basically shut everything down for one week every October). So I made pancakes and decided to try something my little 12 year old self had never done before…making sausage on my own! I felt so accomplished and couldn’t wait to show my parents and sit down and partake in this delicious breakfast. I set everything on the table, sat down, and looked up to see my dad over by Mom’s bedside. At this point in her four long years of battling brain cancer, she had hospice care at home. Moments later, dad was holding her tightly and weeping. Instantly, I no longer had an appetite. My heart sunk so low, I felt like the world stopped. I was no longer proud ¬†and excited about what I had just accomplished. Nothing mattered…she was gone. Moments like these change you. You learn quickly what is most important. The 12 years without haven’t been easy. It has been a process of finding joy even when the pain from that day catch up to me and fill me with sadness. Today, Sweetest Day, is a reminder for me to cherish the memories from the 12 sweet years that I did have with her. To find joy in that…to find joy in the fact that this is not how it ends. There is a greater story still in the process of being told. Find the sweet moments. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dark it may seem in a given moment. Find the light and hold onto it with all your might.


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  1. Megan O'Brien

    October 19th, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Love seeing all of these pictures and getting a glimpse of your mom through you. She would be so proud of the woman of God you have become! So thankful for our future hope and the promise that all things will be made new. Big hugs!

  2. Grandma

    October 19th, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    You are a beautiful writer Amanda. We are so proud of you and Melissa and see so much of your mom in both of you. When your heart hurts continue to hang on to those sweet, sweet memories.
    Love you bunches, grandma

  3. Natalie Anthony

    October 19th, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Oh Amanda! My hearts breaks for you on this dreary Autumn day. My mom had a brief battle with cancer and died when I was 15. October is always a difficult month for me. Peace to you-

  4. Kathy Messick

    October 19th, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Dear Amanda, What beautiful words for such a wonderful Godly
    woman and mother. She loved you and Melissa so much. On one of our last conversations she said I promised not to cry today. I don’t want to leave but I know God may have another plan. She didn’t want to leave you but she with grace and courage accepted God’s plan for her life. I continue to pray for your family.
    Love, Kathy Messick

  5. Missy Rogers

    October 19th, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    I knew your mom when we were very young – 10 or 11 years old – and I remember her fondly. Thank you for sharing these pics and your memories of her.

  6. Karen Gillette

    October 21st, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Amanda: I had no idea that Kaylin’s wedding day was the anniversary of your mothers death. Knowing that now, makes the photos you took of the 2 of us that day even more special. I told someone this morning that I am more teary eyed today looking at the beautiful photos you took of her than I was all day Saturday. I know your mother is very proud of the woman you have become and of the very special talent you have. I can’t thank you and Jeremy enough for the amazing pictures. I will always remember you on Kaylin’s anniversary and the unselfish gift you gave to us on her wedding day. Thank you so much and God bless you and Jeremy.

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