It amazes me how many detours and sudden turns life takes along the way. I always knew I would be a mother even when the doctors told me no, wanted me to have a hysterectomy at age twenty- one. I was stubborn and I said no. I was going to carry and deliver the boys God had already told me I would bare. Their names were engraved upon my heart even as I was just a child myself. I did not know when nor had I seen their faces in any dreams , but I knew deep within my heart who they were and who they would be.
I struggled as a child , as a teen and continued to battle medical issues as an adult. I was in and out of the hospital more times than I can count. I dealt with type 1 diabetes at the age of eight, blood clots at sixteen, cervical (pre) cancer at twenty-one, bells palsy, a stroke at twenty- five, and of course breast cancer and lymphadema at thirty- two years old but God was good. He never abandoned me. Did I ever want to scream at Him? Of course and believe me I did. I have stomped around, screamed, yelled and cried, but I always grow quiet and listen. Because I have learned to stop and allow my spirit to be still and my soul to be quiet. Because of this I have found a peace like none else. As my fear has given way to peace and grace I have grown as a both a woman and as a mother. As the days have gone by and the nights fallen I have found a strength I did not know I possessed.
Even as all the detours came and went I knew my one call in life was to be a mother. I know to some this must sound crazy, but I knew from the time I was little I would have these two precious boys. Even as life seemed to go off down crazy, untraveled paths I trusted God. In time I began to see His plan unfold even as I worried I could not survive myself. My pregnancies were struggles from day one. I was in and out of the hospital with pre term labor, near death came and went a time or two and many times I was advised my pregnancies were not good ideas .I know Johnny gained at least 50 new gray hairs with each one of our boys births but the end result was worth all the pain... the gift of motherhood was spectacular.
Now as I look back I can see clearly I have been in trusted with the care of these two precious souls. Beyond the life I have been given, my children, our boys, Joshua and Micah, are God's greatest gifts in our lives. Have their lives been easy? No, absolutely not! Life has been harsh and the ground has been shaky but God has still provided beauty and joy along the way.
My boys have become strong fighters ready for battle. They carry their swords prepared for battle everyday. I see the fear and yet I see the resolve in their eyes daily. They worry and they fret asking if my cancer will come back. They see my weekly iv infusions and they hold their breathe as I enter one doctors office after another. I watch as they snuggle close enough to squeeze the air right out of me and I listen as they pray each night..."Please God keep Mommy here with us, keep her well and don't take her from us."
At times the pain and the worry can be all but overwhelming and our resolve battered and bruised. As a mother, with breast cancer, living within reach of the beasts den, I can attest to this truth. But hope is not lost because I see life in bloom everyday as I watch my boys laugh, play and sleep. Even when the storm clouds hover above them Joshua and Micah see the beauty life has to offer. Each day I see them take life as a gift even as they pray for the next. My breast cancer has been hard on them, I know this but I also see the positive it has played in their precious lives. I see how the struggles have made them strong boys who will grow into strong men one day. I see compassion, hope and faith as they come to my aide and to my side. In time this cancer too shall pass, but these attributes will not. Come what may, we can not change the course God has placed us on, but we can find ourselves in each and every turn.
So on this Mother's Day I celebrate the life and love I have with my boys. The sands of time slip away faster than we can comprehend. Before we know it life has moved on and our tiny babies have become adults themselves. Joshua and Micah are growing into men so quickly. I still have nights I long for the days when they were still little enough to crawl into my lap. They may not be so little anymore but I still sing to them and hold their hands when no one is looking. No matter how far away they go or how tall grow they will always be my babies.
Still the truth remains time stands still for no one and so I encourage each of you today to hold your children close for they are precious. Our lives are woven and spun into beautiful tapestries each and everyday leaving our imprint and our mark for the generations who follow. So my question is this: What would you have them see ? Yes our time here is short, but our legacies are far reaching. Strength is not in standing tall indeed it is found in the fall. I have always taught my boys that failure is not in the loss. True strength and success is found as you pick yourself up off the ground, dust yourself off and put just one more step in front of the other. The many paths life leads us down are narrow and winding as we are led from one path to the next. I know the windows life offers each of us may be small, but they are still opportunities. Life lessons and life triumphs are wrapped together tightly so do not waste what time you have been given on the shortcoming life brings. Instead hold true, keep the faith and dust yourself off!
These are the lessons I offer my boys with love, grace and compassion. I pray as I sit here watching my babies sleep, life will offer them opportunity, love and grace even as I know it will offer pain and sorrow along the way. So right here and right now I offer them hope, strength and faith. God has given these precious boys to me, I have given them life, and tomorrow will give them uncertainty. But they will always have this beautiful, worn and in places tattered, woven tapestry to guide them through both the good and the bad times.
May this Mother's day weekend be one of joy and love, memories both filled with tears of loss and triumph. May joy fill your hearts and hope rekindle the flames of true inspiration. May you be blessed and honored as mothers and thankful as fathers. May your children, both young and old, sit beside you threading the needle together as you weave your love, knowledge and history into their lives.