Letters Will Keep Dying Mom & Daughter Together Always


For any parent, there is only one nightmare that ranks even close to losing one of our children and that is the fear of dying before they're ready to part with us. Obviously no one is ever "ready" to lose their parent, but as moms, the idea of leaving my 30-year-old well-established daughter is much more soothing than the thought of leaving a 3-year-old.

But for one young UK mom with terminal cancer, that is exactly what she is facing. Katrina Hobbs was pregnant with her second child when she discovered she had Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in September of 2008. She was forced to deliver the boy early to begin treatment and she lost him.

This loss has made her even more determined to be there for her daughter. And so she has built a legacy for her.

By writing cards and buying gifts and talking 3-year-old Ella through everything from boyfriends to babies and weddings, she will be there in spirit even if not in body. Presumably she is leaving this collection of cards, poems, letters, and video messages with family members who can share them with her daughter when it makes sense.

It's the kind of thing that those of us who lost moms young (like me) wish our mothers had done.

As parents, we all want the best for our children and anyone with cancer, regardless of the prognosis, thinks about mortality. They think of what happens if they lose their fight and they leave their children motherless. It's a nightmare that is probably harder on the kids than the parents in the long run.

So why not ease it a bit? You don't even have to have a cancer diagnosis to know that life is fragile. We should all be thinking about our legacies. I keep a book of letters to my children, and when I leave on a trip, I leave them little sealed envelopes with letters inside.

Morbid? Maybe. But I want them to know how much I love them even if I can't be there to hold them in my arms.

Do you ever think about these things?


Image via cynthiacloskey/Flickr

cancer, a mom's life


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ajk808 ajk808

I heard a story about something similar to this on This American Life. The girl whose mom wrote her letters before she died that were to be given to her at certain milestones in her life said she kind of wished that her mom hadn't done so. She was faced with her mother's death every birthday and major event in here life -- getting engaged or getting married -- and it was almost like she wasn't able to fully get over her mother's death until the letters stopped coming. Plus, it lead to a huge gap between her father and herself, because she was never sure if she should share the contents with her father. And the letters were very religious and the daughter had lost her faith, so it made her feel very guilty to read the letters because she felt like she would have been a disappointment to her mother. I think that it's a nice thought, but it can be detrimental to those needing to grieve in ways the person wanting to leave a so-called legacy doesn't think through completely.

jpark... jparker289

Made me cry. But I doubt I could deal with getting letters from my dead mom at every major event in my life. Would make me sad over and over again! Like ajk808's friend I think it would be just too hard for me. But if this womans daughter likes it then I guess its sweet in a way.

Stacy Collier Forgy

I see both sides. My mother & I both have had cancer. I would have loved to have gotten letters from my mother, just not at special times.I was given all her stuff at 1 time so I could enjoy the memories we shared together WHENEVER I wanted to. I've done the same for my daughter.There are times when we need to sit in a corner & cry, trust me I know. But the others don't need to let it haunt them. I cherished the times spent with my mother & I'm trying to make more memories with my daughter before leaving her behind. Don't judge until you've been there.

nonmember avatar katrina hobbs

I have only now a year later realised that ky story was printed here. I am still fighting my battle, and still building great memories with my daughter. I have made a trunk which will have all the pictures iv taken, videos iv made, postcards iv write on from our holidays together, letters ect. I am stood in my tracks at the thought that maybe Ella wouldn't want to have anything from me on occasions in her adult life. I suppose my aim was to ensure that she knew I had thought of her future before it was even relevant, and that although I'm not there, she will know that I desperately wished I was there to share it. Me and Ella have an amazing relationship, people around us say it's a bond they've never witnessed. So, I just thought as an adult, if she chose to throw all the cards for occasions in the bin, that's up to her. I wouldn't do it, if as a parent I didn't feel she'd want it. Ultimately it's her choice, but a trunk full of mother/daughter memorabilia is my life with her in a box, I'm sure she'd want to keep that treasure.

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