Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Woman’s Work.

“I am sorry for your loss.” Although I am certain I have used these words before, it is only now that I understand the Truth in them. That’s exactly what it feels like. One enormous loss.
My beloved Mama Pearl passed away from cancer one week ago today. It continues to set in my heart. My mother was without a doubt, the single most inspiring woman in my world. Breaking hearts around me echo the same. There were times I would just stop and look at her in awe as we spent quality time together. She had this way of shining. Her smile and personality were infectious. I would watch in amazement as her brilliant energy brought out the best in others. She smiled. Those around her would buckle at her positivity. They smiled back. I would radiate in Love as I looked at her and would quietly think to myself, that is my Mom.
Her faith was unshakeable. In our final days together we reflected on spirituality and faith. She tells me her and God are “like this” as she wraps her pointer and middle finger together in unison. I can’t help but think on times she would tell me she would become overwhelmed in the beauty of the world during her many travels with my father. I can see her in my mind now. Her face pensive. Deep in thought. She would think about heaven. She told me that if this kind of beauty could be found here on Earth, she would be ready when God called her name.
God called. I have never run so fast in my life to get to her. I have never pushed so hard in my effort to manage this enormous tragedy. A true emotional and physical marathon. I realize now that I have been subconsciously training for this moment since her diagnosis. The endless dates with my mother. The abundance of long, deep conversations. The never leaving her side throughout treatment. I made her that vow and I kept it. My father and I hold on to one another. He is so brave. He looks at me in his arms and asks if I remember my yoga. We embrace and breathe in unison.
Family and friends gather from all over the world in what feels like a matter of seconds. My parents-in-law are our saviors in their support. My Chicago and New York family are immediately by our sides. The Pearl women fly in from California, Peru, and Italy. A Pearl cousin reaches out in empathy. We sit together. I see pieces of my mother in their faces. We recall warm memories of her. She embodied that near impossible balance of elegance and simplicity. My mother was true class. She never spoke ill of others. Her sophistication was made evident in the manner in which she carried herself, the wisdom she shared, the clothing that she wore, the culture in her decor. I look at the testament of her strength: her home. She is everywhere. My mother made it a point to renovate and decorate for my father. It became her therapy. She built during times of greatest challenge. Her work is magnificent.
Things are different now. We lost our matriarch. The new family takes a quiet walk. We take a moment to reflect on a stadium bench. I feel warmth and Love in my heart as I look at my men. My brothers, my father. We are learning to fall back on the gifts she left us with. Her teachings. Her wisdom. Her strength. Her courage. We are united. I feel hopeful that we will make it through.
My mother. My best friend. My teacher. She now remains with me in a different form. I mourn. We mourn. I have cried sounds I did not know I could make from places I did not know existed within me. And then I think about the kind of woman Mama Pearl was. And I find strength in her. I find strength in my faith as she did. Sam remains solid by my side through this all. We are even more united than ever. I did not think that was possible. My hanging, tearful head finds strength. Pride swells in my chest as I find greater power in my step. I used to just be me. But I now realize that I am the daughter of the most extraordinary woman I have ever known. I am the daughter of Mama Pearl. And I will wear this on my chest as a badge of honor for the rest of my life.

This journey will surely be a long one. I think of my little blog. Although I have never outright mentioned this family struggle before, I know it has done wonders for both myself and my mother. I read back on Bold and Beautiful as I come to terms with my mother’s diagnosis. I look to A gift from Anne from when heading into surgery. I am inspired by my mother’s unfailing positive attitude in a Sweet Saturday, Soulful Sunday post. I see messages of hope and encouragement sprinkled throughout these past two years. She always believed in me and this blog was something of great importance to her. Although I do not know exactly what is in store for me in the days to come, I find it only right to celebrate her life and continue to make her proud with my written word. I am looking forward to taking the wisdom and style she has instilled in me and sharing it with the world just as she did. I glow in pride as I think of her. Smiling her beautiful smile to the very end. Conquering the darkness of the world with her light.
My sweet Mama Pearl,
We did not lose. We won.

Your Princess,


  1. your mother sounds like such an amazing woman. i really am sorry for your loss but be comforted that she is in a better place and without any pain. i pray all is well for your family.

  2. Such a beautiful post and a wonderful tribute to your mother.

  3. Oh B. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. She is surely dancing in the streets of Heaven. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  4. What an amazing tribute to your mom. My heart is broken for you. I am rejoicing with you in her life and the things she gave to you, making you who you are today. Find strength in her memory and legacy. Hugs.

  5. this is a wonderful way to remember your mom and all of the amazing times you had together.

  6. B- Sending my deepest sympathies, you will be in my thoughts during this time. Your strength is so admirable. Such a beautiful relationship you share with your mother.

  7. It hurts me to see you in so much pain. And I know it will take a long time, if ever, to get over that pain. But I know you. And I know you are exactly like your mom. You are strong, beautiful, positive, and you see the world for the beauty instead of the ugly that goes on. You are an amazing woman, and I know someday your children will think of you the way you think of her. Love you girl.

  8. "We did not lose. We won." Inspiring words. Wishing you and your family peace and the courage to be well.


  9. Thank you all so much for your kindness. We have been in such awe of people and their graciousness. It's truly touching and has made us full so connected during a time when it's easiest to feel alone.

    Love,Love,LOVE (because life is too short for any less than that),

  10. B - you are in my prayers. One of my favourite quotes is that 'one lives in hope of becoming a memory' - your words show that your mother will always live on in your heart and memory, and that is something to be truly proud of. Stay strong.

    With love from England,

    S xxx

  11. Bea,
    I have been non stop thinking about you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss but your strength astounds me. You are your mother's daughter. My mom has been telling me so many stories lately of how they both thrived on telling each other stories about their kids. Your mom was so proud of who you have become. It was honor to have even known such a wonderful woman. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


    1. Thank you, Cindy. We have been so thankful for support during a time when we have needed it most. You and your family certainly come to the forefront of my mind when it comes to people being there for us. You, your mom, and your family are so incredible. I genuinely mean it when I say I have never met a more caring family in my life. You guys break all the rules in the most beautiful way.


  12. My heart and prayers are with you during this grieving process that can be filled with extreme sadness and extreme peace.

  13. I am so beyond sorry for your loss! I'm sitting here in tears as I read your amazing tribute to your mom. I know words cant take away the pain you are feeling, but know that I am thinking of you and your family at this time :) Hugs!

  14. Hi Bea,

    I met you once; I'm a 4th year in the CPSY program. I follow your blog and read about your loss. You know, I lost my mother while in college and it hurts real bad. Just know you have another reader out there that hears you and understands. Because faith is important to me, I leave you with words that comfort me:

    I well remember them,
    and my soul is downcast within me.

    Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:

    Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.

    They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness."
    Lamentations 3:19-23

    Celebrating your mother's life in the midst of hurt, suffering and loss.

    Much love and care,
    Courtney Francis

    1. Courtney,

      Yes, I certainly remember you! Thank you so much for sharing your words. My faith has always been strong and I truly wonder what I would do without it, especially now. I had no idea you lost your mother so young. I'm so sorry to hear that and share in that pain. Although I sometimes wonder how I will get through some of those crucial moments in life when you need a mother's guidance (motherhood on my mind), I trust that there is nothing He would give me that I can't handle with His support. As cliche as it is, I find there's some peace to that in its Truth.

      Much Love to you as well. I truly believe that we have to look out for one another in this world! I have certainly needed and appreciated the support, kindness, and Love that has been given to me in this hard time. Thanks again and best of luck to you as you continue through the program!


  15. Love is full of ups and downs. We all hate the downs but we have to experience life for what it is. Make the best of what you have because you only have one life.