Cancer Mom...I See You.
The first very thought I had when I found out that I had cancer..the VERY FIRST....wasn't why me or how could this be happening. The first tears, the first sobs, the first of many blows to my heart and soul were because I was afraid of a life where my children didn't have their mother and where I didn't have them.
Cue the ugly cry here.
I know all moms can relate to that, but we cancer moms, we feel it a little differently. We have prayed and made about a thousand wishes to make it all go away, just to spare them. Yet we still have found ourselves in the middle of one hell of a storm. We are afraid to be afraid because we want them to feel safe. We hide the millions of tears we cry because we don't want them to worry. Our minds have gone to the depths of trying to picture our babies walking through life without our hands to hold and words to cling to. We have lost ourselves in the grief that the thought of not seeing them graduate, get married or in my case even start kindergarten brings to our conscious minds. These realizations hurt. They break pieces of our souls that we didn't even know existed. We live the life we have now in this big, crazy, uninhibited way that makes us not blend in with the other moms. We worry that we've screwed our kids up for life. Not just in the "they might need therapy" one day way, but in the "I broke them" way. We struggle with what to tell them and what to keep to ourselves. How much is too much to disclose, yet how little is not enough for them to comprehend the battle that lies before us. It's a lot to figure out. Even at Stage 3, in the ICU with organ failure, my message to my babies was "I'm fine. I will survive!" Even when I really wasn't sure if I would. I still don't know if that was the right or wrong thing to do. Life is hard. Cancer is a monster and parenthood is a wild road trip without a map. Combine all three and you quickly realize there is no right or wrong way. There is just your way. Your truth and your reality. I'm going to dispense some advice here, you can take it or leave it. It's as much for me as it is for you, to be honest.But it's this: the "right" way is whatever way you see fit. You can buy all the books, see all the professionals and watch all of the "Mommy has Cancer" videos or not. You can tell them everything or not much at all. You navigate your storm in whatever way makes sense to you and your family. You know them. You gave them life and you know the beautiful nature of their little beings. Believe in yourself and your ability to weather this storm together. Trust your intuition and have faith in your ability to love them more than anyone else on this planet. Love them hard and embrace the good and bad moments....that is, after all, what we are all fighting for, right? Kids are so resilient, but so are you Mama. It's ok to cry, it's ok to not be ok. It's also ok to live loud and teach them how to live each day and each moment for that matter, with tremendous gratitude and zest for life. That is a gift that many have not figured out and you can teach them now so when they reach milestones or hug a loved one or even receive a compliment they acknowledge it and feel it in a way that is so much more profound! You are teaching them that because you are a full on full of grace warrior of a human and you are raising your children by gifting them the very greatest pieces of you.
So today, on this Mother's Day (and every single day for that matter), to my Cancer Moms...I see you. You make me smile, you fill up my heart and you make me proud to be navigating this storm, running this marathon along side you. You are the definition of strength beauty, courage and grace. I know your tears at preschool graduation fall differently. They are precious. I know your opinions are stronger and voices louder because they were almost taken from you. Keep speaking out. I know you laugh louder, smile bigger and embrace others tighter. Our children will grow up to be the most amazing humans. We love them something fierce and they will rise to meet challenges because you have taught them how to fight, how to love and how to see light even in darkness. Continue to love them, continue to guide them and continue to let your spirit guide you. You know the way, my friend. Happy Mother's Day.
To My Mom...A true fighter. I will never forget how your love has helped me fight, to believe in myself and to forge ahead even when I am afraid to do so. You lift me up, you make me stronger. I will remember for the both of us all of the laughs, the tears, the stories and the triumphs. I am who I am because of you. Thank you for my life. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your grace. I love you, Mom.