This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Grains of Gratitude

Grains of GratitudeMy Grains of Gratitude is a little different today.

I’ve spent the last week with my parents, my sister and her children. We were supposed to be home yesterday. But we are not. We are stalled here at least through today.

Back near Father’s Day Annie asked us to talk about our dad’s. After I wrote that post I got to thinking I’ve not written much about my mother. There are a few reasons for this. My mother is a very private person. I don’t think she would like that I have a blog—I don’t share it with everyone in my life and for the most part, if I don’t share it with them I don’t blog about them. But for Father’s Day I broke my rule a little and I am going to again today. I’m going to share my mom with you a little bit.

This is a photo of my mother in October of 2006. This photo was taken while she was receiving radiation. At the time of this picture my mom had been more than two years battling metastatic colon cancer. She was still working—full-time. She had to be at work in a costume and true to her favorite costume she wore her clown suit. She wore the make-up and wig to radiation. She was trying to figure out how she would get to radiation, drive the hour home and get her make-up on and get to work. There wasn’t enough time. So she went to radiation like that. I was moved at her account of her day as a clown. She told me people stopped, pointed, laughed, wanted to shake her hand or get a hug. She waved back, laughed, clowned a little and hugged. The folks in radiation were quite surprised, I am sure.

Right now we are hovering at the three year mark since her diagnosis and surgery. Mom doesn’t look like that today. I’ve lost count how many chemo cocktails she’s been subject to. They just aren’t doing what we want them to. Today mom is in the hospital, without many details, it is a secondary issue that has got her down. I spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon with her and will be back there later today. My father and sister and I are taking shifts.

There are facts out there about colon cancer. If someone knew my mother’s case and they read the black and white words they would read that with her diagnosis three years ago she had a 5% chance of 5 years. Mom never read that (her choice) and I guess no one bothered to tell her—I sure wasn’t going to be the one to do that.

I guess what I want you to know about my mom is that she is one of the most stubborn people I’ve ever know. She worked, full-time, up until three months ago. Through all the chemo, radiation, with just some recovery time for surgeries she has gone full steam ahead. She’s stated that she is “fine” when her “fine” would bring someone else down flat. She has a determined faith and a will to fight like none other.

She and my father were ahead of their time for choices they made raising my sister and me. They followed new ideas but threw the book out when it went against their gut. She’s fair to a fault. She never asked more of someone than she was willing to do herself in her supervisor position at work. We’ve not always seen eye to eye. We’ve seen eye to eye a few times when we were butting heads hard. She has been one of the most influential people in my life for good or bad. God put her in my life and He has a plan and that plan is perfect. I don’t always understand His plan—but I am grateful He holds us in His hand. I am grateful for that memory of my mom.

Grains of Gratitude is a Sunday meme started by Christine at Brady’s Bunch. I keep finding more and more people starting out their weeks grateful—what are you grateful for?


Wendy said...

I have been so blessed by your blog ever since I happened upon it a few months ago. I just wanted you to know that I will be praying for your mom and the rest of your family.

Leah in Iowa said...

Hopefully some of that stubbornness will help her continue to fight the cancer. She sounds like a very determined person. Thanks for writing about her! Hope you have a better week this week!

Renee's Ramblings said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'll keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

JennaG said...

That was a wonderful post. It is obvious that you love your mom very much. My mom had colon cancer as well. I will pray for yours.

annie said...

Hope your week is blessed Julie.

Anonymous said...

hi julie: i love it, i love how you wrote, "God put her in my life and He has a plan and that plan is perfect. I don’t always understand His plan—but I am grateful He holds us in His hand." thanks for stopping by today. i am glad to be home again and when i wrote the tail end of my post this morning, i was thinking of your grateful grains posts. ~blessings to you this day, kathleen :)

kim said...

What a beautiful post and tribute to your mom. I must say that see my mom through different eyes the longer I am a mom! Your blog is a blessing and has caused me to take a minute and thank God for the mom he gave to me.
*smiles and hugs*

Coach J said...

Good job honoring your mom today. I am so proud of you!! You did great! {{HUGS}} to you; I feel your heart!!

Liza's Eyeview said...

"She has been one of the most influential people in my life for good or bad"

I feel the same way about my mom.
Your mom is a wonderful mom - ans she raised a wonderful daughter.

(And I'm sure your Dad too, like my Dad)