Who Knew?

Who knew?  I mean you know that your kids are watching you.  You just do not fully understand what they see and how they see things.  This week Hannah had to write a paper about someone who inspired you other than a parent or a grandparent.  She go special permission to do me because of my cancer.  I was touched that she would do this.  Then to read her final paper I was completely amazed at all she wrote…she was watching and it is interesting to see her perspective of our year in writing.  I asked her permission to include her paper here…so here it is.  I am a blessed woman.

Fighting for Life


 “We need you to come home. It is important.”  My dad sounded serious, and I knew that something was terribly wrong.  As I drove home, a knot rose in my stomach.  I arrived to a somber scene; the anxious faces of my younger brothers were like statues frozen around my parents.  I had never seen my normally rambunctious siblings so placid. 


As my mom wept quietly, my dad’s strained voice choked out, “Your mom has ovarian and uterine cancer.”  This news hit me like a heavy weight boxer, right in the gut.  Suddenly thrown into the fight not knowing the rules, or how to throw a punch, it was as if my opponent backed me into a corner. I felt stunned, as if punched for the first time.  I could have never imagined that this could happen to my family.


A week later, the anxiety of my mom’s looming hysterectomy stole her positive outlook on life. She was afraid.  Chemotherapy came later, and for me, the hardest part of that was seeing my mom without her thick, coarse, black hair.  Baldness revealed how vulnerable she really was.  I realized she might not always be alive to help me.  It finally dawned on me in that moment, that my mom really was sick and that reality was a nightmare.  Chemotherapy sucked the life from her, she could no longer take care of our family by herself or teach students, two things she prided herself in doing.  Going up and down the stairs became a chore, and she would pull herself up by the handrail stopping every few steps to rest. She began to lose the color in her cheeks, and as her eyebrows fell out, her eyes were as piercing as two candles lit in a dark room.   Even though her eyes had lost their vividness and become dull, they still had determination of a warrior.  The physical changes in my mom were hard to watch, I had always looked up to her.  However, her courage to make it through gave the rest of the family hope that we would survive.


Through the rollercoaster ride, we call cancer; my mom still managed to keep our household up and running by delegating her responsibilities.  She encouraged many people by writing a blog each day about the trials she endured.  There were many tears even though she tried to be strong.  In those breakdown moments, I would see strain along with agonizing pain and I hurt with her.  


It was a relief the day my mom finished chemotherapy.   Joyful tears flowed as our family celebrated life.  Her hair began to grow back, but this time it was as soft and fine as a newborn baby’s.  Vivid hazel eyes emerged with a newfound sparkle and the rosy color in her face surfaced again.  Sometimes I still cannot believe that just last year she could barely get out of bed. 


Her new motto is “Live Fully.”  That is just what she does…live everyday with a purpose.  I see my mom through new eyes now, not just as my mom, but also as a strong woman of character.  The way she looked to God through everything, and almost always had a smile on her face, makes me proud that she is my mom.  I hope that one day I will have the same strength, character, and hunger for the Lord that she does.




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