May 10, 2016

On my mom's journey...

I've been wanting to write this for a while.  Even now as I sit here I don't know where to start.  Yet my heart feels like it's beating a million miles an hour and is going to pop through my chest at any moment.  What I have to say is probably one of the hardest things I've ever written. 

When my mom was diagnosed almost a month ago, my world was rocked.  I distinctly remember the phone call from my dad that brought me instantly to my knees in a cold sweat as the tears flooded my eyes and drenched my face.  There's nothing like answering the phone to your dad as he tries to tell you through his own tears that "they found a mass in mom's brain."  I can never shake that off.  Since that call, I have experienced emotions I never knew before.  For one, fear on a whole new level.  Confusion, frustration, questions, FEAR again, sadness, anxiety, the list goes on.  My mom is a very healthy woman.  She eats well, does crossfit 3-5 days a week, doesn't have high stress levels, and she is involved in so many things.  I'm still processing how this could possibly happen to her.  My mom.  My best friend.

This is truly my worst nightmare.  Hell on earth.

I often pray and ask God for his complete healing.  I know a lot of people are praying that prayer.  I do believe that God is hearing our prayers, regardless of what the answer may be.  We have seen massive miracles that even the doctors are surprised by.  We were told that mom may never speak to us again, but definitely wouldn't be speaking for at least 8 hours after surgery.  Within 6 she already had told us she loved us! I tell ya, when I heard that I knew I never needed to hear anything again from her.  I'm thankful to hear her voice and laugh everyday.  We also were told that she could be paralyzed or never move her right side again.  Today she is a walking, talking miracle.  She still struggles sometimes, but never have I seen fire or determination in someone as they move forward to conquer something in the way that she is doing.

My questions remain though.  How can I encourage her best?  What am I going to do if I lose her?  I'm not ready, I need her.  What if I have a question (like so many times before) about how to best care for my baby girl in a specific situation?  Will I make it through this?  Am I strong enough?  How do I take care of my mom, my dad, my husband and my baby without melting down every 5 seconds?  I hope she can watch my babies grow up.  God, will you please save my mom?

I honestly don't know the answer to most of those questions.  Hence the phrase we've adopted (we've adopted many!)- "ONE DAY AT A TIME."  I wake up every morning in the hopes that this is over, that it was a terrible nightmare, and life is good again.


I'm coming to the realization that this is actually a gift.  Yes.  There I said it.  I am actually seeing how this terrible, awful brain cancer is a gift.  Every morning I get to do my mom's hair.  When we are doing her hair, sometimes we will talk and other times we will listen to worship music.  One morning last week, we were talking and it struck me again how much life has changed.  Not just physically and in ways you may think, but like spiritually too.  My perspective on life will NEVER, EVER be the same again.  Each day truly is a gift and whether we choose to see it that way is up to us.  We aren't guaranteed a single moment.  I've realized that when I wake up in the morning, the things I look forward to most that day are so drastically different than what I used to look forward to even 5 weeks ago.  Priorities have really changed.  I'm thankful for that.  We are enjoying simple moments with lots of laughter, some tears, still some fear, and an abundance of prayer.  

I want to remember the simple moments.  Reading Scripture together in the mornings, drinking tea in the evenings, stretching and going for walks, watching the birds on the bird feeder, watching my mom worship the Lord, playing cards together, laughing at memories, looking at old photos, talking about dreams, picking out plants, planting the garden, getting her water, covering her with a blanket, watching her watch Addy, seeing her tell my dad "you're my favorite," watching him care for her, praying with her before every pill.  I don't want to forget any of it.  

Every day mom reminds us to trust God.  To pray and not cease on knowing his goodness.  Praying without ceasing.  Whew, I tell ya.  If I thought I knew what that meant before any of this, then I was wrong!  It takes on a whole new meaning when you realize it's all you've got that can truly save someone's life.  I'm not sure how we would make it through this without Jesus.  He is our hope and our strength.  I ask him every morning for strength and peace just for today.  For wisdom in what avenues to pursue for treatment.  For healing over my mom.  For more miracles.  For good doctors.  For simple treasures in the day.  For grace as I mother my 8 month old little girl.  For Him to be my everything.  I'm beyond thankful to know that eternally my mom and I will be together.  Regardless of what happens, I'm thankful.  And I'm thankful for today, because truly you guys-


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