Sunday, June 1, 2008


My mom has her mastectomy scheduled for this coming Tuesday. I remember clearly the phone call I received from her only a week before the twins were born. "I found a lump. . .biopsy. .. cancer." The proverbial shoe fell. 

My mom is an extraordinary woman. Yes, like all other daughters out there, I get unduly annoyed with stupid little things about her. How is it that when she comes to visit, I revert to my bratty, adolescent ways? But truth be told, my mom handles life with such optimism and hope. And what life has dealt her hasn't been easy. She lost both parents and her husband before the age of fifty. She grieved the suicide of her firstborn, my brother, who took his life at the age of 25. Most people don't survive that kind of loss. And I know she'd credit her faith in Christ as her only sustaining force.

Now she's fighting breast cancer and doing it with such grace. Despite her chemotherapy treatments scheduled bi-weekly, she's still managed to visit us every month since the twins were born. At her strongest during those visits, she's making breakfast, doing my laundry, and mending and ironing clothes. And even at her weakest, she's managed to hold a baby. Per the usual, she sees the best in all situations. Chemo took her hair but with it, a few extra pounds, too. She's almost gleeful for her new trim figure. Weeks ago, she called. "Jen, I bought a pair of pants this weekend - SIZE 6!" . .

This last visit, her goodbye was tearful. "I enjoyed every minute of the week," she said. "Mom, I was so crabby!" I admitted. It had been an exhausting week - but no excuses. At times, I'd been just plain mean. "You try to do too much," she responds. There it was again, the love of 1 Corinthians 13: "Love believes the best. . ."

I know my mom and I are different in so many ways. But what's really true is that I admire many things about her: her unshakeable faith, her selflessness, her pledge to look ahead rather than back. 

Thanks, Mom, for these gifts you've given. And God's grace to you in the week ahead.


Wheaton mom said...

Jen, I will be praying for your mom (and you) this week. I didn't realize this was what she had ahead of her after the chemo. She is such a beautiful woman of God, and I'm glad I got to know her a little bit last year. I feel like my relationship with my mom is very similar when she visits (me behaving at my worst and her blessing us over and over by giving of herself). Wonder if perhaps that's the norm for people rather than the exception, even though it ought not be. I'm sorry about your brother; I did not know that. I can't imagine such a loss. You and your mom will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers this week.

Jeni said...

Tears.... Beautiful... Blogging IS good... I have been converted. I hope your mom gets to read this too.