At times, the spectre of cancer seems overwhelming… but I do believe there is a way to find peace within it.
For too long I have been losing my own battle with cancer… not in the physical sense but in an emotional one. Cancer is eating away at my peace of mind just as it is eating away at the healthy cells in my friends and relatives.
As I read more and more writings from cancer survivors, I realize simple gratitude is an important place to start. Perhaps I started this cancer journey with my new year’s resolutions than just on the first day of Lent. Much of the journey to acceptance relates to my resolution about gratitude.
As the day ends and the Dudes and I lay down to do our Gratitudes (where we each take turns talking about what we are grateful for), I am reminded of all the wonderful things in my life and I give thanks. I may not be where I thought I would be when I was 16 but, as far as I am concerned, this is way better. I have three beautiful kids, I have a husband who loves me unconditionally, I live close to my extended family and I have a supportive group of friends I know I can call on in times of need. I even give thanks for the things I take for granted.
I give thanks for my van. Despite the dent some stranger decided to leave behind and the dirt continually ground into the back seat (and the fact that I swore I would never own a mini-van), it takes my family everywhere we need to go. I provides reliable access to food and education and makes possible trips home to see my mom.
I give thanks for my home. It has a bigger mortgage than I’d like and it costs too much to heat but it provides warmth and shelter and no matter how many toys and crumbs are on the floor it is always good to be home.
I give thanks for my broom. I may have to take it out more times than I like (try 14 times a day) but it cleans out the debris of the past and leaves us ready to find new ways to make a mess (we’re good at that).
I give thanks for the dirty dishes. It means good meals are being eaten. It means muffins and coffee are being made from scratch and shared with friends. It even means that sometimes I might win an argument about why Dudes have to eat their dinner even if it is not pizza.
I give thanks for the toys strewn across the floor. It might hurt when you step on a dinky car in the dark but it means healthy, imaginative play is happening.
I am even thankful for the clutter (sometimes… I admit I struggle with this one). It means the Big Dude is still making countless pictures for Mommy each day. It means birthday party invitations and field trip notices and books to return to the library. It is the mark of a busy and healthy family.
I may have my Dark Mommy days but I am a lucky woman… and every day I give thanks.