Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Remember Her Strength

One year ago today, I wrote a post on The One Ache I've Feared to Feel. It was the day my family found out that my mom had incurable cancer. At the time, we were told she may have months to live, but not at all were we prepared for what was about to happen.

I remember I went in to work that morning. I sat at my desk. Numb to the world. What in the hell was I doing at a stupid office? An hour later, as soon as my boss arrived, I told him I was leaving and wasn't sure when I'd return. I drove the long I-66 corridor to the hospital and honestly, the next several hours are a blur.

I remember we had told the doctors we wanted to be in the room as a family when the results of my mom's biopsy were given. I think somewhere in there I tried to eat. I sat. I cried. I walked. I texted Katie, knowing I'd need her support. I read the overflow of love that poured in from this amazing blogging community as I sat and waited.

I remember how we took turns going up to visit my mom for short 10-minute visits. Suddenly, I turned around and saw my brother, who had been up visiting her, quickly walking toward me. "C'mon," he said, motioning for us to get up. "The doctor is up there. He blurted out the results before we could stop him." I'll never forget the look my brother gave me. I knew.

I remember the moment those words came out of the oncologist's lips. I was surrounded by my dad and two older brothers and looked ahead at my mom, exhausted and uncomfortable in her hospital bed. The room was rather dark and a heavy weight seemed to press down from above. Discussing the possible remaining length of your loved one's life... how are you supposed to listen to that?

I remember the way I felt in that moment. Devastated.

I remember the strength my mom had while receiving her diagnosis. As a 45-year cancer survivor of a completely different type of cancer, she had already come to terms with the fact that this horrible cancer would be what took her in the end. She barely even flinched. She nodded her head and that was it.

That was the day I knew my life was never going to be the same. I didn't know when. I didn't know what it was going to be like. I just knew life was going to change forever.

Now, every battle I face seems to be so much less compared to that one. And each time life throws something difficult my way, I think back to my mom's strength that day as she accepted what was to come next...


And in two days, on Friday, it will be a celebration in remembrance of her.

14 comments:

julia rose. said...

As always, so incredibly beautiful. You show your mother's same strength, sweet girl!

Whitney Tomlin said...

Oh my goodness I am in tears! I'm sure your mother would be so happy you're celebrating her life on Friday and not mourning her loss. Although, I know it will be a painful day. I will keep you in my prayers!

Nicole said...

In tears as well. And all that comes to my mind is "wow". Great post. Great writing.

Katie said...

Your story always breaks my heart. Not just because it's a horrible thing to have happen, but because of the grace and strength with which you tell it. I don't know how you do it. Bless you. Bless your mommma, and may you always remember her strength and love more than the unfortunate circumstances that took her from you. *hugs*

Bethany Scruggs said...

whew - you sure know how to bring a girl to her knees. i am so sorry that you had to go through this at such a young age and i am so grateful that you tell your story. it's a constant reminder that we are lucky to be here in the first place and that God's grace is enough. you are amazing.

The Pink Growl said...

TEARS! Gosh I just love you. I feel like I really need to met you in person. You definitely get your strength from your mama!

Aly said...

My Mom is having some testing done on a mass they found and I immediately thought of you. You're incredible! You are SO strong and your Mom would be so very proud of you.

Katie Did What said...

You are so beautiful, inside and out. My heart is with you, sweet girl.

Jenn @ West Sac Honey said...

You are your mothers daughter! Strong through and through! What an amazing mom you have!

Beauty by MissAsh said...

What a sweet post.. You have an amazing mom. xo

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tara said...

thinking about you, sweet girl! xox

Kristin said...

Girl, my heart hurts for both of us.

Brianna said...

your words are always so beautiful to read. you are such an inspiration of courage & strength, I know your mom is so proud of you!! thinking of you this week xo

Siri Natalia said...

This was very touching to read. I admire your strength and your love for your mother. :)