I met a wonderful lady today who reminded me of myself.
I was sitting in the oncology waiting area, and she was nearby sitting by herself, reading a book. She was probably in her 70s, thin, small, and wearing a Red Sox baseball cap. She commented on my blue and white Sperrys, and we instantly bonded over shoes (how typical, right?). She said “I only wear Docksiders. Once you have cancer, who cares how you look. I want to be comfortable.” A woman after my own heart!
She was incredibly friendly and before I knew it, we were chatting about all kinds of things….shoes, the Red Sox, weight loss and nutritionists, her grandkids, surgery and cancer. She talked about her Wipple procedure, which means she probably has pancreatic cancer, which is one of the most deadly cancers. And yet she was so matter-of-fact, so calm talking about everything. It was almost as though she had already been there, done that, made it through, and still had a smile on her face.
We started talking about Mother’s Day, and she began to tear up a bit. She had called her son in Wisconsin the week before, telling him she didn’t want to be alone this Sunday. She asked him to visit over the weekend. All the appointments, all the surgeries and treatments for her cancer she’s undergone without her family nearby, but she drew the line at Mother’s Day. She didn’t want to be alone.
He didn’t make it.
We all have to be tough as nails to endure this beast. We all have to make sacrifices and endure physical and emotional pain. But we absolutely CANNOT do this without our loved ones. My husband has propped me up more times than I could ever imagine. My family is my rock to lean on, my safety net. I don’t tell them everything I go through because I don’t want to worry them. But they know and they care.
Please, go hug your family right now. No…not tonight, not tomorrow…now. We couldn’t get through this without them. So give them a little extra love every now and then.
Happy Mother’s Day.