My mother passed yesterday

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    Hi, Melissa,

    Nothing can express the sorrow when someone dear to us passed away.
    I am sorry for your loss.
    God bless.


    I am so sorry that your Mom has passed. My Mom passed back in February; I miss her. I read your posts, your poem, the obituary. You were strong to be able to read your poem at the service. Your Mom had so much to deal with during her illness. She was in denial. I think she handled the situation in her own way. I am happy you were there for her.
    Bless you.


    Dear Melissa, what a loving and beautiful tribute to your Mom and I have a sense that the apple did not fall far from the tree. When someone you love becomes a Memory, the Memory becomes a treasure and your Mom was a real treasure!


    Beautiful, Melissa. May your heart begin to heal….one day at a time.
    Hugs and love,


    This is the poem I wrote for my mother and read at her memorial on Saturday.

    I Remember
    By Melissa Palma

    I remember a wild childhood
    barefoot, exploring flowers, insects and rocks on the grass, in the sun, up close
    finding possums on our nature trail
    swimming hanging on to wolfie’s fur
    listening for woodpeckers and killdeer
    crossing the country road to gather eggs from the coop and visit the piglets
    eating a regular dose of ipecac with every new poisonous plant I consumed
    being barefoot and happy and free

    I remember mom talking to everyone around her, like at her recent appointments at the cancer center-
    “I like your pin. Is that a chickadee? Have you seen any blue birds this summer? We got babies this year. Do your Baltimore oriels prefer orange slices or grape jelly? Oh yeah? You live off Huron River Drive? You must know the Finley’s. They live over there too. Your maiden name is Struble? So is mine. We must be cousins.”
    and on and on and on like this, with everyone

    I remember an open door
    never locked
    no one knocked
    our house was open to anyone, a refuge from the trouble in their life
    our mom was the cool mom because she let you be you
    always accepting and never judging
    you could be fully yourself
    I remember how special she made us all feel

    I remember her adventurous spirit
    taking us to Mexico to ride horses on the beach
    Hawaii to explore volcanoes
    Chile to try native fish head soup
    and just one year ago, St. John to snorkel
    and mom probably had cancer but we didn’t know it yet
    and we handled the hurricane with grace
    fully embracing our time together

    I remember talking to mom almost every day for the last 40 years
    talking about plans for the day, nothing special
    and how I almost called her today, forgetting for a moment that she won’t ever answer
    that we can’t talk about nothing special anymore

    I remember my mom’s spunk, her feistiness
    her boundless energy that inevitably inspired awe
    she never sat still –
    not until the very end

    I remember her warm smile
    her dry, biting, smart ass sense of humor that she inherited from my barber grandfather
    and how every summer, we went to Bois Blanc where mom and I sat with our feet dangling out the back of the rusted red truck, driving down the one dirt road, singing-
    Down by the old (not the new but the old)
    Mill stream (not the river but the stream)
    Where I first (not the second but the first)
    Met you (not me but you)

    I remember being so proud of my mom
    she was an incredible phys. ed. teacher
    she bought sneakers in all sizes for the kids who didn’t have any
    she walked around the cafeteria using reverse psychology, just daring kids to try their broccoli and not love it
    she had a library in her gym of women, physically challenged and minority athletes and when students read a book, she gave them a U of M cup

    I remember my mom on the ground, in the dirt, in the garden
    humming silly songs in the kitchen as she made homemade spatzen to go with the sauerkraut
    deadheading flowers as she walked down Main Street
    teaching me, my friends, my children,
    anyone near her was a beneficiary of her endless love of teaching
    and I remember the expanse of her love of her grandchildren
    and their love of her as they bound to her excitedly exclaiming “Nana! Nana! Guess what?” as they jump into her lap, snuggle in and feel the loving warmth enveloping their little bodies

    My mom was giving, loving, caring
    compassionate, laughing, sharing

    I remember loving her deeply
    caressing her forehead
    telling her to relax, that it’d be ok
    and now it is, for her
    she is free from pain and fear and for that I am grateful

    but right now
    it doesn’t feel ok for me
    I miss her
    I’m sad I have to remember
    wanting the past to be present
    wishing for a future tense with my mom


    Dear Melissa,

    I am so sorry for your loss. Keep your mom forever in your heart and memories. Try to take some comfort in knowing that now she is no longer suffering and is at peace. The obituary is a wonderful tribute to your mom. Thinking of you and your family at this sad time.

    Love & Hugs,


    So sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family.


    What a beautiful obituary and tribute to a wonderful woman. I am so sorry for your loss.


    Melissa…. Your Mom has touched so many people’s life in a caring and inspiring way; I love just knowing of her.
    Thank you for sharing.
    My heart is with you,


    Here is my mother’s obituary, if you would like to see it.

    Thank you for the kind words,



    Dear Melissa,

    I am so very sorry indeed to hear of the passing of your dear mum. Please accept my sincere condolences. I know that you did everything that you could for your mum and you were with her there until she passed. As you say, she wasn’t alone ever. I know that this is such a tough time for you, I went through this after my dad passed but please know that we are all here for you. My thoughts are with you and your family right now.




    Dear Melissa,

    Words cannot really express how sorry I am. You did everything you could for your dear Mother and take comfort in that. I’m sure your children will remember her fondly and carry her in their hearts as will you. Please accept my condolences.

    Love and hugs, -Pam


    Melissa, I am so very sorry about your precious Mom. I am so sure that she was very proud of the unwanted journey you made with her, and she will always be all around you, as I believe Mom’s never really leave their children.

    Those we love must someday pass beyond our present sight…
    They leave us and the world we know without their radiant light.
    But we know that like a candle their lovely light will shine
    To brighten up another place more perfect…more divine.
    And in the realm of Heaven where they shine so warm and bright,
    Our loved ones live forevermore in God’s eternal light.


    I am very sad to share that my mother passed last night at 10:45pm. She was only diagnosed 5 months ago with cholangiocarcinoma or liver cancer (they never really knew). She did not respond to the chemo and she had multiple blood clots throughout the months and on Monday morning, she had a massive stroke. I sat with her and spoke with her and held her hand and caressed her forehead for almost 50 of the 60 hours she was at the hospital and I know she could feel our love enveloping her. She wasn’t alone for a moment.

    I wanted more time with her and wanted my kids to grow up surrounded by her love and support but the next few months or even longer would have been filled with so much suffering due to her cancer so I believe this was the most compassionate and humane way she could have passed away. I will miss her so much.

    Thank you for all of your wisdom and words of encouragement over the last 5 months. You are an amazing group of people who brought me comfort when I was scared and confused.


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