Written by Erin Santos, Isabella’s Mom

For me, these are two of the pictures that most accurately describe what being a Mother to Isabella was like. My friend Angelo Merendino was in town and was taking pictures of us when we were unaware of it. Very rarely are Mom moments captured that aren’t posed. These were real moments. I knew in these pictures that we were at the end and every moment with her was heartbreaking. She didn’t know she was dying but I knew. She would crawl up on my lap and I would hold her, feeling her ribs and every bone in her body. But my expression would not change, my lip would not quiver and she would not know that I was slowly dying inside. I would just hold her and be her Mom until I couldn’t anymore. The thoughts that were running through my head were deafening but the words that came out of my mouth to her were differently entirely. I held it all in from her and just loved her and made sure she wasn’t scared.

That’s what moms do. They sacrifice themselves for you and would do anything to make you feel safe and loved – no matter what.

I can do Christmas now, I can do the day she died. But her birthday and Mother’s Day always get me because those are days about the two of us. She was never too busy on Mother’s Day. She would help organize flowers and gifts and be the first thing I saw when I would open my eyes in the morning.

I miss her like crazy and I’m so thankful I have Grant and Sophia to cuddle up with this morning. Being a Mom is the best job in the world.

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