On a cloudy day
When it's cold outside
I've got the month of May
-The Temptations, My Girl
Yes, the weather in NC is sunny, but it's a cloudy day for my family today. Many of you know that my mom, aka LaLa, has been battling a recurrence of breast cancer. You're certainly welcome to learn more about her story on her CaringBridge page. LaLa got some pretty cruddy news yesterday - the tumors are continuing to spread in spite of every kind of chemo that's been thrown her way. She's now going to have to start another round of the hair-losing, nausea-inducing, hard-core-fatigue kind of chemo.
I'll be honest - my first thought was, "You're f'ing kidding me! Haven't we been through enough?!" (Sorry to all my God-fearing, profanity-avoiding, polite friends. The F word really was the first thing that came to mind. At least I didn't say it out loud in front of my children.) I really just wanted to crawl in a hole until this whole nightmare is over. I'm getting just a wee bit tired of hearing crappy news every time someone I love goes to the doctor.
But, then we went over to my folks' house, and I saw the way that my mom is handling the news. Grace is really the only word I can use to describe it. Grace under pressure, strength when the going gets beyond tough. She gave the boys big hugs, tried to trick Luke into crawling, showed Jay their new camper, gushed over how delicious the dinner we brought was ... she went right on living. She started planning the camping trip we're going to take this fall.
I could almost hear her saying, "Chemo? Cancer? You're not going to interrupt my life. Slow me down? Maybe. But while I'm moving slow, that's just more time to smell the roses."
It's so obvious to me (okay, to the whole planet) that she absolutely adores the boys. They bring me untold joy, but apparently grandchildren bring a level of joy that I have not yet experienced. She chooses to find joy on even the most difficult of days. She actively seeks out things that make her happy, and often that involves my babes. She jokes about her inability to peel the rose-colored glasses off her face, but I gotta say ... something she's doing really works.
Mom, it is an inspiration to me to see the way you face challenges. You have shown me to face cloudy days with a smile, to create your own sunshine in the midst of the rain. For that, I am eternally grateful. Even if I'm not as good at it as you are. I love you!
Now - you wanna go wig shopping?