Today’s Guest Blogger is from the great state of Idaho. A fabulous lady I met though Snapchat, this effervescent, funny and smart lady is a fav for many of us. As entertaining and upbeat as Christy is, unless you know her story, you might not imagine her having a bad day. But when you read this beautifully written LOVE story you’ll see what’s the secret to that spark of joy in her stunning eyes!
Being a mom is by far the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever or will ever do. I know, gross…cliche! But, it is the honest truth. I am a married mom of two amazing kids. My son Connor is 21 and my daughter Jolie is 20. But that is now, this story took place when they were 10 and 11. My love story is about them, and it starts here.
The summer was like any other summer in rural Idaho, lots of sun, time working on the farm, and going on adventures with the kids. All that came to a screeching halt in late July when my mom asked me to go with her to her 6 year breast cancer screening. She had made it 5 years cancer free after a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation, but she was uneasy and needed some support. She had gone in for some preliminary tests and we would be getting all of the results at the appointment. We sat there in the doctor’s office, my mom, dad, sister, and me, listening as the oncologist told mom that her cancer had returned, and as with all metastasized cancers, it was not curable this time. I feverishly took notes and wrote down every treatment plan, medicine, and suggestion the doctor mentioned. It was treatable after all, just not curable. I should mention that I hold the self appointed roll of Bossypants McResponsible in stressful situations. I keep everyone on track, make sure everything is organized, keep notes, make charts, schedule appointments and never, I repeat, never allow myself to breakdown into a sobbing, soggy mess, like I would like to.
Somewhere in the conversation, the doctor said that the likelihood of a successful treatment highly depended on the patient. Her time could be as little as a few months, making it to Thanksgiving or, slim chance, a couple years. He left the room and gave us some time to digest the news, and settle on a game plan. We decided to move forward with the next round of chemo. There was no surgical option this time. It was time to go home, and tell the family.
We took mom home and she asked me to go get my kids so that she could see them. We only lived a couple miles apart so it was easy. It was just a quick trip down the road and back.
The kids knew where I had been, so when I walked in the door, they could tell that something was very wrong. I told them that grandma’s cancer had come back and that she wanted to see them. We got back in the car and headed down to her house. As I pulled out onto the road I was completely overwhelmed and started crying hysterically. I pulled over and attempted to get my act together but I couldn’t. All I could imagine was how hard this was going to be and how I didn’t know if I had the strength to go through this again. Not to mention my mom! How was she going to fight this? And what about my kids? They were going to have to watch this all over again. I couldn’t protect them from it. I sat there and just cried. Jolie reached up and held my hand. I felt utterly helpless. I turned into that sobbing soggy mess that I had fought so hard not to.
I don’t know how long we sat there on the side of the road while I cried. It felt like ages. With my head on the steering wheel, I heard Connor ask for my phone. He said he knew what I needed. I watched him in the rear view mirror concentrating so hard on finding whatever it was that he was looking for. With a tiny smile, he asked if I was ready. I nodded yes and he turned on a song.
Steel drums and trumpets filled the cab of the car while Bob Marley, Connor, and Jolie sang, ” Don’t worry about a thing, Cause every little thing is gonna be all right.” They sang every word, the entire song, and let me just cry. Those three little birds, Connor, Jolie and Bob Marley, gave me strength to pull myself together and face the fight that was ahead for all of us.
That tiny act of compassion was life changing. I know it was just a song, but in that moment, it was exactly what I needed. In that moment when I was so worried about how to take care of my mom, my kids knew exactly how to take care of me. They were my rock. Their love came pouring through.
Mom’s optimistic and indomitable spirit kept her with us for four more years. Through it all, I leaned on the memory of that day and the knowledge that I had two little rock-stars in my corner holding me together when I needed it most.
This is the summer of the story. Our favorite picture.
Christy’s LOVE story is so touching and at the same time inspirational. As a mother myself, I know the juxtaposition of being the one to offer comfort to my children while at the same time having them offer comfort too when there have been tough times. That is the blessing of loved ones!
I just adore you Christy! Your humor, kindness and honesty are admirable traits. Your family is very lucky! Thank you for participating in the Month of LOVE and sharing all these fabulous photos. Keep the LOVE alive and keep jamming to Bob Marley!