This is Samantha, Tommie’s daughter (otherwise known as DD on her blog posts). This is a post that I hoped would not have to be written for quite a while yet, but I’m sitting down today to share that my mom lost her battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis last night.
I know that this will be a shock to many of her readers, because she was an avid blogger and very active on Facebook right up until the middle of last week. Despite her exhaustion and Internet issues, she persisted at blogging because she wanted to make sure everyone, but mostly her family, were kept up to date, and because she wanted to keep a record of things so she’d remember what happened when. If someone ever asked her how something went or how she was doing, she’d say, “Well, have you read my blog?”
I think that this persistent desire to post gave many people the impression that things were not as bad as she tried to express, though. Online she was opinionated and quick-witted and verbose, but offline, her body was slowly and consistently declining. Earlier this year, I could read between the lines, and so I planned a trip and went to see her in late August. She looked frail and didn’t push herself very much, but she seemed to feel better temporarily after I shared that the doctor had said to me that she was strong-willed. My brothers and their families, other family members, and friends also realized that things were going downhill, so she had many visitors for the last couple of months of her life.
No one else did more for my mom, though, than the person she referred to as Cuz on here. She, her husband, and her family (and extended family) have bent over backwards for my mom for years, treating her as though she were her and their own mother instead of a distant cousin. I have never met anyone with as much motivation to help as Cuz, and I and my brothers (DS1 and DS2) and their families are forever grateful. She and her family treated our mom and her situation with respect and never did they once do anything without her consent. I sincerely believe that her life was extended because of their direct intervention and generosity.
At the moment, my family and I are still processing the news and trying to figure out next steps for the memorial. There are many other details to figure out, too, including this blog. She published nearly 2,800 blog posts since she started it in 2006, so I think that we’ll try to find a way to keep it online as a digital legacy. She enjoyed blogging no matter how she felt, so I know she’d be heartbroken if all of her writing were to disappear.
Thank you in advance for all your thoughts, prayers, and support during this difficult time.