I want to preface this story, the fifth entry of “Loretta’s Journal,” by explaining that this is not a typical story that I post on SuperMommyNot.com. We lost my mother, Loretta, to Parkinson’s disease. I appreciate all of you who read this and I hope this helps anyone living with a difficult disease or going through a challenging time in their life.

Mom, you are everything to me. You are the mother every child deserves. David, Philip, Scott, Nicole and I got lucky, blessed by God to have you as our mother. You are our protector, supporter, friend, leader and hero.

Mom, you are a gift. Throughout our lives you have given us gifts upon gifts; teaching us, cooking for us, traveling with us, making our clothes when we were little, giving us thoughtful, spectacular birthday parties, celebrations for graduations and first communions, giving us tradition during the holidays, staying up late at night typing our reports during our school years, driving us to every sporting event and music class, spending time with us, talking to us, showing us, by example, how to live Christian lives, giving us the gift of faith, laying the foundation for opportunity, cheering us on, believing in us even when we didn’t believe in ourselves. There is nothing you didn’t do for us. You personify selflessness.

Mom, Parkinson’s does not define you. You lived your life to the fullest. It was only these last few years that the disease took you further from us. Your fight against the disease was no ordinary fight. You heroically went through two relatively new procedures to help with PD symptoms, paving the way for others. Your courage is evident. You raised tens of thousands of dollars through our family golf tournaments, to benefit researchers at UCLA and USC, in hopes of helping others. In your own pain, you chose to help others. Again, proving your strength, determination and selflessness.

Mom, our bond is undeniable. When I think back on all of our years together, it is clear what we have is unique, special and sacred. We are secure in our love. There is no uncertainty in the depth of our love and our commitment to one another. Every time I need you, you are there. No matter the circumstances, your smile lights me up. Your love is unconditional. Your love is true. Your love is everlasting.

Mom, you are the mother I strive to be. As I think about how difficult it will be in these coming days, weeks and years to be without you, I know, in my mind, I have to move forward. But, mom, I miss you. My heart is broken. Still once again, I will follow your lead. You lost your sweet mother a month before I was born, when David was just a baby. But you took care of us, going on to have Philip, Scott and Nicole- creating a beautiful life with dad. For that, we are united in our love for you.

Mom, I will continue to talk to you every day. I know, in the depth of my being, your spirit is with me. Guide me, mom. Watch over us all, my sweet angel. And know, we will take care of dad. We will stand by him as he begins his journey without you. Have peace and know we are grateful for you, my beautiful mother. I love you always and forever.

Below are past entries from Loretta’s Journal: