My mom was diagnosed with Leukemia on March 7th. While I knew the survival rate and my mom’s odds, I also knew what she had already endured with endometrial cancer over two years prior. I was prepared that she might now be able to win this fight.
Six days after her diagnosis, I wrote the following on my way home from my visit with her:
There will come a time when you can’t
Do it today
You don’t want to look back and not have the memories to cherish
Make the small moments count
Make the small moments into big memories
Hold back your anger
Only speak kind words
REALLY listen to those you love
Don’t waste time on those you don’t
When you are on your death bed, you don’t want regrets or wishes of things you had done
Do them, say them
Cherish your family
Your friends may fade, but family can strengthen in the worst of times
You don’t want to die alone
Watch your spouse die with no one to turn to
Don’t hide things from your children, they can learn from adults-especially your mistakes.
Honestly, I barely remember writing this. Life was a blur during the month of March.
Looking back, there are a few things that stick out to me. The first is the comment about family. My aunt, whom I had very rarely spoke with for many years, was there for me in ways that I will be eternally grateful for. Many other family members were there for not only my mom, but for my dad, brother, and I. There truly is no connection like family.
My dad and I had a very strained relationship for many years. There most likely will come a point where that stuff won’t matter and you need to be there for each other as family. Do what you can to forgive and move on with your life- for both of you.
Dream and then bring those dreams to life. It doesn’t need to be some big elaborate vacation to make a memory that will last forever. I would do just about anything for one more dinner or shopping trip with my mom. Make those memories while you can. Spend time with the people you love and cherish every moment. Ask your loved ones questions and appreciate their gifts. I wish I could ask my mom what stitch she used on my favorite dish cloth she made. Unfortunately, she probably never knew how much I cherished them.
Finally, while I may not have expressed it in my writing on March 13th, I believe the most important thing in life is your faith. I am eternally grateful for two pastor’s in my life. The pastor who was there for my mom and our family during her final days and my pastor who was there for me back home. I am blessed to have had parents that raised me in the Lutheran church and gave me a strong foundation. I take comfort in the belief that some day we will be reunited in heaven.