For possibly the first time in my life, I’m at a loss for words.
More than two weeks ago, my parents called me with the worst news of my life.
My mom’s cancer is terminal. There’s nothing else the doctors can do for her.
How do I write about this?
How do I explain how much I love my mom? How great she is? How scared I am? How overwhelmed I feel by a future without my mom in it?
My mom is one of the most important people in my life, and I have no idea how much time I have left with her.
My mom taught me how to tie my shoes.
When I was sick, my mom wrote down every time I had a fever, or complained about my stomach pain, or threw up, or had diarrhea. Her log of my symptoms revealed the possibility that I had Crohn’s Disease.
With no pediatric gastroenterologist in Greenwood, I saw one in Augusta. My mom took me to most of my appointments.
My mom made sure I didn’t repeat her mistakes, but she gave me room to make my own.
My mom taught me the Lord’s Prayer. She indulged my love of Vacation Bible School and let me attend VBS at all my friends’ churches. My mom and my dad are why I’m a Christian feminist.
My mom did community theatre with me and with my brother Jeremy. She drove us to rehearsals, ran lines with us, and always picked out a special gift for us on Opening Night.
My mom taught me how to scrapbook.
My mom has the most beautiful green thumb, and she’s always been willing to share both her knowledge and the fruits of her labor. Many family gardens feature a cutting or a transplant from my mom’s garden.
My mom is not a perfect woman, and she has never pretended otherwise. My mom taught me how to accept responsibility for my mistakes, to apologize, and to ask for forgiveness.
I’ve been thinking about this post for weeks. I’ve spent hours trying to write it. But I still feel like I don’t know what to say.
My parents have always been my role models. My confidantes. My biggest cheerleaders. My moral compass. My source of wisdom.
And I’m losing half of that dynamic duo.
I don’t know how I will ever be the same.
People keep on asking me what they can do.
You can pray. You can think happy thoughts. You can send flowers, which my mom and I both love. If you’re local, talk to me or to my dad about providing a meal. We’ve been very blessed so far by both the floral deliveries and the home-cooked meals. I’ve even gained a few pounds!
You can also let me talk when I want to talk. At least a half dozen people ask me how I’m doing every single day. I am genuinely grateful that we are so surrounded by love. I really am.
But please, if I say that I’m fine, or I’m okay, don’t push me to say more. I cannot spend my entire day crying. I cry at least once a day, and it’s usually with my husband, or one of my best friends, or into my pillow at night. If I am the person who answers the phone or opens the door, just remember that I do that all day long, almost every day, for all the people who love my mom and my family. And I really just do not feel like baring my soul to everyone.
To everyone already praying, and calling, and visiting, and sending flowers, and feeding us, thank you. My family is incredibly fortunate to have so much love in our life.