In 2006, my mother suddenly lost her husband of 49 years, my dad. In April of that year, her sister, who was also her closest friend, had a massive stroke that left her (my aunt) incapable of doing much more than smiling. In 2007, Mom was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, in 2011 her sister died, and in 2012, she popped up with breast cancer. Her reality has really, really gone off the internal script.
And here’s the thing: Mom has never once been angry, whiny, or entitled. Not once. She picked up her life after Dad and made new friends. She took fantastic care of her sister. When the first cancer diagnosis came, she said, “If I die tomorrow, it’s been a good life,” and she’s a walking miracle almost five years later. She didn’t even blink at the breast cancer thing, although she did eye the radiation therapy with some skepticism. She has been funny, gracious, and faithful.
Mom has never held too tightly to that whole “How It’s Supposed To Go” thing. She’s always had the ability to accept what happens to her and move on, which may be why she’s such a survivor; she doesn’t waste energy on things she can’t change. She’s fiercely loyal to my sis and me, and doesn’t try to change us, either, although she will drop the Word on us when she thinks we need it.
Mom’s my hero. And my role model, too. The other day, she told me to stop fretting about the surgery, because Jesus had been in attendance at all of hers, and she knew He’d be at mine, too. Mom’s the bomb. I think I’ll call and tell her.