Closing until July…our apologies.
So after many tests, Mom was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer on February 26th…She had actually not been feeling well the end of November when she was here for her 50th High School reunion, but doctors thought it was some form of pneumonia or bronchitis… She returned to Brazil for about four months before needing a ‘medical trip’ home. Pancreatic cancer is super aggressive with a very small (7%) chance of survival…we’ve learned heaps since then. I am honestly still processing the last eleven weeks from diagnosis to passing…all I can reflect on in the midst of waves of grief, tears and helping my sisters plan all that follows a mom’s death,- is that I am glad I had the gift of knowing…it allowed me to drive weekly to see my mom these last few months,.. I was privileged, -as one of five daughters to help care for her a small bit. It was actually my sister Marisol and her husband Abel that took the major load and responsibility of mom’s care. She had three hospital stays in this eleven week season. I’m thankful for the time we had, the ‘meals’ we shared, the silly and fun TV we watched and for the cleaning and laundry I helped with,- that gave my hands something to do in the knowledge of what was to come… I’m most thankful for the reality that in the end, all five of her daughters were there…speaking words of love and peace as her dear body was able to stop running that oh-so-difficult marathon of what we know as normal breathing…her body is at peace, as is her spirit. She is free to walk and run the beaches of heaven…
While I have loved EVERY single message, text, email and FB comment or message,- this text showed up on my phone by a sweet friend, Allison Duckworth, the day after my mom passed…her words and honestly the words of several friends who have lost a mother, have had a distinctive impact… To know the loss of a mother IS ‘unique’, as are the men and women who have experienced that loss. It has shown me the immense power a mom has, even we imperfect ones. There is a teether as Allison spoke, that began with an umbilical cord…the imprinting of childhood, relationship, love and experiences that only a mother has, both perfect and imperfect (thank the Lord)…so as one witnesses or has knowledge of that last breath (as she witnessed your first),- the world literally stops on it’s axis, or so it feels. There is an orphaned feeling, an ‘aloneness’ that is far from true and yet there… What’s the point of this emotional share? Honestly, to encourage you to do what you’ve probably already done as Mother’s Day just passed…hug that mom of yours, tell her you love her, forgive her and love her ‘as is’…then, turn around and hug those kids of yours,- because one day they might experience your loss and they will need to remember your hugs (and this comes from a woman who wasn’t really a hugger until later in high school…). Life is a GIFT,- Not a PROMISE friends…enjoy your loved ones today! And it’s not the big trips or material things that matter,- but the very silly, small and simple things…honestly!
‘And let someone else make the cupcakes for a while’… profound and true… It was difficult to get to this truth but thankfully I’m there. Our family has been financially challenged the last year and 2019 a bit more,- as I have had to turn away orders in driving out of town so frequently. But I do feel complete peace in trusting the Lord for our finances always but especially the past and next few months… We have a celebration of life, spreading of ashes and a gathering of mom’s things that take place all the way until June’s end. Please forgive us for closing temporarily, but we know you’ll understand. Thank you so much for your extreme kindness in this, truly. A few friends have asked if there’s anything they can do in honor of mom… Mom was passionate about education, travel and dance…a lover of life through travel, good food and drink…. Two of her passions are below. Thank you again for allowing us to honor Maria Alicia Dominguez Bentzinger in our temporary closing! ❤ Melissa (her firstborn out of five daughters)
From a shared Facebook Post…
All of your texts, emails, phone messages and FB messages and comments have been a true blessing, comforting and encouraging to us all…Thank you dearly! In the midst of it all, we have planned a ‘Celebration of Life’ for our mom next Friday in the Austin area as requested by her….If you are a high school/college friend or former student and have not received a FB invitation,- please let myself or one of my sister’s know and we’ll get you invited. Also, we know that several of you have expressed interest in sending flowers, etc.
In Lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in her name to one of her many passions…she loved being a 30 Year Texas Retired Teacher and was a beautiful lover of dance…three of her daughters danced at the below studio! Much Love, Maria Alicia Dominguez Bentzinger‘s Daughters and their families.❤
Teaching: Texas Retired Teachers Foundation
Dancing: Roy Lozano’s Ballet Folklorico de Texas