Memorial--Kelly Rose Fischetti

In Remembrance:

My mom, Kelly was 43 years old and fought a long battle with Ocular Melanoma. She was diagnosed and had a prosthetic put in her right eye when I was about 6 years old. I remember I went to the doctor's appointment with her and screamed when she looked at me without her right eye. She felt terrible. I look back and wish I understood then, but I was only 6. As years went by, she still fought but never showed it. The cancer came back a few different times but In March 2010, she started getting pain in her thigh and my mom informed me it had spread. For my mom’s 40th birthday, she had a treatment at Moffit Cancer Center. She didn’t let anything get in the way. She “done up” her hair, created a shirt that said, “This is what 40 looks like,” and wore it to the Cancer Center, and overall she just looked awesome. Her friend, Diana, brought in gourmet cupcakes and surprised her there and I showed up a little after with a balloon. Days like these, she always inspired me. I know I gained my strength from her. Whenever I had an essay to write about ‘My Hero’, it was about my mom.  My mom loves hanging out with friends, re-painting rooms in the house, shopping, and our favorite thing to do together was painting pottery. Luckily, this past summer we were able to go make our own pottery, which was awesome.

While I was in my last year of high school and going through my first two years of college, my mom stopped letting people come over. She knew what was happening and she only wanted her loved ones to see her on her ‘awesome’ days. And even if they weren’t completely awesome, she felt good enough to get dressed up and smile for a few hours. Those days made me believe this evil cancer could never take her away from me or our family. Then, there were the nights when we were hanging out at the hospital for hours. I never minded--although Mom always apologized numerous times. She never liked asking for help or asking for any favors.

In March, 2013, everything became worse. My grandma and my great aunt helped my mom hold a garage sale in Tampa so that she could move to New York with them and get more help. We have so much family up north, that I felt completely confident mom would be okay. But, months before Christmas, Moffit told my Mom there was nothing they could do anymore. That year, my mom got me very ‘touching’ gifts that I cried. I had a feeling it was happening, but I didn’t want to believe it. When my mom moved to New York, I was so confident she was going to get better. I visited as often as I could and her family was there for her every step of the way. My mom lived with her my, my grandma the whole time. In early July, Roswell Cancer Institute told us they couldn’t do anything that it would only cause more pain and discomfort for her. That was an emotional day. Everything seemed to move so fast after that.

In mid-late July, my mom moved to hospice. They comforted her, they kept her pain level down and a family member stayed the night there with mom every night. Although it was sad, seeing her slow down day by day, we got her to laugh and that made us feel so good that we started crying. Mom had many visitors. So many loved her so much--friends, family, mom’s dog, siblings, mom and more. A few days before the 18th of October, mom stopped talking. My Grandma stayed with mom every night and would replay my voicemails in mom’s ear or I would just talk to her even if she didn’t respond. Family would play “I Hope You Dance” By LeAnn Womack which has been labeled as me and my mom’s song because of a Christmas present she got me one year. Mom’s hospice room was filled with pictures and I had even painted a canvas for her to hang in her room. She bought the canvas and markers and always wanted to paint something with me but we never got around to actually doing so. Eventually, I painted it for the both of us at Hospice late one night and it hung in her room along with a rosary next to her bed.

October 18th, Saturday, came and I contacted my grandma at 10am to see how mom was doing. Her breathing was still short and fast and her eyes were closed which is how it had been for the past few days. It was weird to know I had just had a conversation with her maybe the week or two before. 2 hours later, right after the pastor came in and prayed with mom, she went to heaven.

Me and my mom lived in the Tampa area together. I was in college and I went home every chance I got. Whether it be to see my mom, hang out and have a good time or take her to appointments and help clean up the house. Whatever it was we did, I appreciated our time. I loved our time. My mom is my best friend. I miss being able to text her randomly throughout the day and her not texting back until later that night when she couldn’t sleep. I miss her calling me “Freckle” or “Strawberry”. I love my mom.

--Victoria Hackbarth

Kelly Rose Fischetti

May 25, 1970 - October 18, 2013

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