Carrie Jo Bancroft, 1952 – 2016

This has been a pretty tough week.  Mom went into hospital on Saturday morning with a massive hemmorage on her brain, which resulted in so much dammage that despite surgery, she could not be saved.  Early Sunday morning she was taken off life support.  Today is Wednesday.  I was born on a Wednesday.  Mommy died early this morning.  I am in a million billion pieces. 

I knew somewhere inside that the day would come.  She had some form of cancer beginning to form in her, for which she had begun chemo and they were looking for a bone marrow doner for her, but none of that could have stopped what eventually took her from us.  I never expected it to come so soon.  She was only 63 years old.  Her own mother was at her side when she died. 

This week took me by surprise.  I have cursed and I have cried.  I have reviewed memories throughout my life, such as when she slept on a sofa at her dad’s house, or had a little apartment on Redwood Road in Salt Lake City, working in an envelope company, but still made sure my Christmas Morning was enough to convice me that there really was a Santa Clause, and that he was generous.  There was the house on Flint Way in Broomfield, and so many wonderful memories there.  I remembered being so upset and shy that I could not speak to my high school crush, and mom sang the Everly Brothers, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” to me.  My heart exploded the other day when it played in the kitchen, by chance.  Mom said last time she was here that she knew my wife and I would do a great job as we began to modernize the house.  I cried today as I wished so badly she cold see it when it is finished.  I decided that her memorial feture in the garden will be a Pitcher Pump well, which will bring the waters from the ground, to give life to the world around it, just as she did. 

My mother, Carrie Jo, was truely one of the most wonderful people anyone could hope to know.  That’s not just my biases talking.  She was a peacemaker to a fault, to the point she could alow others to walk over her.  She suffered more than just the onset of cancer too.  She suffered in her later years from paranoia, and possibly a bit of scizophrenia.  But she learned how to hide it from those who thought she was crazy, and only talked about it to those she thought believed her.  Religion was also one of her greatest downfalls.  She was brought up to believe in Mormonism, but was promised by a Stake Patriarch that she would go to hell if she continued to follow her current path, which at that time was delving into Ouiga boards and the occult.  Till the end, she believed that stones had powers and magnets could help heal her.  Ironically, that sort of thing is frowned upon by Mormons, who don’t believe in the powers of stones, except when translating ancient scriptures, so she was always at odds. 

I am happy that she no longer needs to suffer from the mental or spiritual anguishes she suffered.  I am not surprised that she slipped out before the Chemo Therapy and further Cancer treatment became a huge burden on anyone else.  She and my baby sister lived together, and I know for a fact that she loved that.  If it were up to her, she would of had all her kids living close by.  I had hoped so much she could visit us again, see what we have built, come to the farm and enjoy all of the animals, and the wonderful summer days.  But instead, she spent a beautiful spring day on earth, and then left us. 

I have come to he conclusion that it is ironic that people fear death.  It is only the living who carry the burdens of guilt, shame, fear, or anything else that weighs us down.  That being said, I know for certain the kinds of things my mother, lover of life and people, and most of all family, would say if she were stood by my shoulder now.  “Oh honey, I love you so much.  Don’t cry, don’t be afraid to carry on.  Just take good care of my grandbabies for me.  I love you, my sweet little boy!  Tell my grandbabies I love them, every day.  Remember I love you too!” 

So, to my children, all of them, and my nieces and nephews.  Nanna Carrie wanted me to tell you that she loves you.  She loves you to the moon and back.  To the stars, and to the sky.  Her love for you is like the waters in the ocean, the sun up above, the earth down below, and everything in between.  And she’d do anything she could to give them all to you.  I know this, because she told me so.  I know this because it is how she was from my first memory of her, to the very last. 

So, now I sit here between her death and the funeral.  I have gasped deeply every last breath I could in a world with her in it.  Her body lies in wait to go into the ground.  She is yet to have a funeral that I cannot go to because of cost, and because I really don’t want to.  Funerals are for the living, not for the dead.  Since it is not for her, I cannot really do it.  It is not how I want her to be in me.  I want her ever alive in me.  So I won’t close that door, even though I expect to find myself at some future date, long from now, crying, and whispering, “I miss you Mommy.  I love you Mommy.  And I know you love me too.” 

For My Mommy, Carrie Jo Bancroft.  I will always be who I am because of you.  I will always try to give as much love to my children as you did to each of yours.  Thank you for being my first Best Friend.  Thank you for the times you gave up so much for me.  Thank you for the times we spent together.  You shaped me in so many ways.  You gave me so many gifts, so much of your time, so much of your love.  Now I am a grown man, and you were so right, even when I hated as a yong man to hear you say it, but I will always be your little baby.  I am sure crying like one over you now.  I love you!

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