This morning I woke up to having my 7 year old son’s face 4 inches from mine, I opened my eyes and stared at him just looking and trying to adjust to the morning. I hear him say “Mom” twice and I don’t answer because I think he might let me go back to sleep as it can’t be a minute past 6 am on a Sunday. The third time I hear him say “Mom” it is with a panicked cry and I answer what is wrong? He says “ I thought you were dead”.
At that moment I feel that desperation in his voice like OMG what if my Mom is dead “I will lose it”!
I am not sure that all 7 year old children jump to the conclusion that their Mother is Dead if they can’t rouse them from sleep. My kids have been through a lot, they watched me go through a year of treatment for breast cancer and although I am ok now I know they have that mark on them that took them to the brink of “what if”?
Three years ago next month I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was 42 with children 4, 7, and 10. I thought I was the only young one that got breast cancer and I was scared to death. I felt alone and bewildered that this was happening to me at such a young age.
Two months later my best friend from my youth called me and her closest friend, locally Margie, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer stage 4. (she was 38 with young children as well) My friend was calling me to ask me to reach out to her which I did. Two months after that my close friend Cathy who lives here and our children went to preschool together, we worked together, and spent a lot of time together with our young children. She was calling to tell me she had just been diagnosed with a grade 4 Glioblastoma. (malignant brain tumor). Within 6 months three of us young Catholic women with young children had been dealt a blow that we never thought would happen to us. We were in shock as were our families and friends. We spoke of deep faith and we shared books and Novenas that would help us.
Margie died within 6 months of the diagnoses and this morning I found out that Cathy has been admitted into hospice. As I sit here this morning I am trying to make sense of why I am still here laying next to my 7 year old son feeling good and trying to get my life back. I am finally at the point where I make plans more than 2 months in advance. Just booked a trip to celebrate my 3 year anniversary with my gals. I went to dinner last night with close family friends and had a wonderful time without thinking about cancer for once. Why me and not them?
All I can say today is that those two beautiful faithful women inspired me with their strength in faith, love and the ability to be strong in the face of loitering death. They did not waiver from their faith at all and just kept praying and believing in God’s love.
About a year ago my childhood friend called me as she knew I was struggling with a lot of anxiety about all that happened and she told me her Husband had had a dream the previous night and Margie had come to him to tell him she was in Heaven and all was good. She had to leave him in the dream and she told him she had to go visit “Michelle”
(me). When she was relaying this dream to me I panicked thinking this was a sign she was coming for me. But now I think she probably visits me as an angel to keep me calm and remind me of God’s Grace. She probably was with me this morning to remind me that I was blessed to wake with my 7 year old in my face and I could spread that love
and faith to him today. I hugged my son and told him I loved him and I silently prayed to be able to extend a Mother’s Grace to all that are without the support of their Mother’s . I don’t think my faith journey is over and I am exploring it each day!
Don’t just seize the day seize the moment!