I remember growing up thinking that I didn't think that I could withstand all of those very difficult times. She was such a meek, quiet, kind hearted, loving woman. She never really got too rattled. She never really threw a fit. I am sure you are wondering how I could possibly be her daughter. Growing up I heard over and over the story of how she received the news that my brother had been wounded in Vietnam. Apparently, she thought that an official only came in person to deliver news if there had been a death, so when a sheriff and a military figure drove down our driveway she ran outside took off her shoes and started throwing them at the officers yelling at them to get off of her property!!! If you knew just how quiet my mother was, you would really appreciate that story. She calmed down and profusely apologized when she realized that my brother was wounded, on his way to the states, and would be okay.
I have a cousin that is my age. She and I spent a lot of time together growing up. We used to take our scarves off and she would hold one end and I would hold the other across my driveway at Thanksgiving and we would charge admission to all of the relatives so that we could buy penny candy at the Kwik Pik across from our grandmother's house. We got into all sorts of
Today, we share a lot more than that. She has two children that fight a lifelong disease. She and I worry about the scariest thing possible....the health of our children. We have faced the one thing that no mom ever wants to face. We have looked the devil in the eye. We both know what it is like to be frightened to the core. We both know what it is like to carry the burden of worry day in and day out. We both want to hope and still struggle to do so from time to time. We both get caught up in worry so much so that we loose track of the big picture.
That being said, we are BOTH fighters. We are learning new ways of hanging on. We are learning new ways to cope. God is so generous when we really need Him. When I started blogging, she was one of my most avid readers and still is. She has understood all of the fears I have. She has commented on how different and how much the same our situations are. She has listened and checked on me and been there. God in His goodness has brought us out of our busy lives back to help support each other.
The really marvelous thing is that not only do we share our fears, but we really can laugh and have a good time. We both have said that we have seen the scariest thing. Nothing else compares to the fear of your child being sick. We're really not so scared of other things that typically would have scared us before. We've both mentioned (however foolish) that if someone tried to car jack us or break into our houses we'd say "bring it on, buddy, just try it....see where it takes you." We're two mad moms who are just looking for a good reason to start swinging!!! But, we honestly mean it!!
So here we are. We're becoming our mothers. But, for us that's a very good thing. Our mothers were sisters. They were so close. They were sweet and funny and I loved watching them together. I miss them both so much. We are facing the hardships that they did that we never thought we could face. Life can be so hard. She asked today why God thought we were strong enough to take this. I have to wonder myself.
I don't want to be in this situation. I know she doesn't either. But, at the same time, it is here in this scary place, that all of the "crap" is irrelevant. It is here that what's important becomes crystal clear. It is here that I really am trying day in and day out to listen for and follow God's will. That is a gift.
Today I have many prayers of thanksgiving for the gift of family. I am thankful for the examples of our mom's who fought hard and loved unconditionally and taught us to laugh. I am thankful that this hardship has given us proper vision to see what is really important and learn to eliminate " the crap"...I am thankful for a loving God who provides support when we need it most. I pray for my son to be healed, for good health for my cousins children, for those all around us who are living with the disease of addiction. I pray for all of the souls including Henry who never got the help that they needed. I ask all of these things in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen