Saturday, December 8, 2007

Do You Trust Me? Part 5

I began to feel proud as I watched my mom. She was very fortunate not to have to have any chemotherapy or radiation. In fact, most people who were around us at the grocery store or at the mall would not have any way to know that my mom was fighting a deadly illness.
Still, I knew some days were harder on her than others. Together, she and my dad had decided that she would go ahead and have a mastectomy, just to make sure that they got rid of all of the cancerous tissue. She was not too prideful to admit that this was a hard decision since women are always a little self-conscious of our bodies anyway. And she did get tired more often. She used to go like the Energizer Bunny, but now, she had to limit her activity.
One of my mom’s doctors called cancer “the disease of nice people.” He said that while they were some obvious exceptions, most cancer patients he dealt with were all previously sick with the “yes disease.” They’re the room mom for both of their kid’s classrooms. They cook dinner every night and keep the house tidy. They stay up late helping one child finish their homework and get up early the next morning to make cupcakes for their husband’s office. They volunteer to hand out water bottles at the charity 5K races…and the list continues. That description completely fit my mom.
That doctor told my mom that if she allowed herself to be over-committed while she had cancer that she didn’t value her live or her family’s lives. That got her attention, and my mom definitely slowed her pace down.
Every once in a while, it was nice to come home and see my mom sitting on the couch with my dad. Even though I knew it was because of doctor’s orders, I had never really paid attention to how much my mom did for everyone else and how she always did without. She never complained about it once.
The doctors were thrilled with her progress, and they all looked forward to her visits. They talked about how much fun she was to treat because she was always so appreciative and so inquisitive. My mom wanted to learn everything she could about the illness, the healing process, and anything else she could absorb from their knowledge.
I hadn’t allowed one negative thought to cross my mind since that day in my dad’s office at church. I didn’t avoid people at church. In fact, following the example of my mom, I looked for times when I could encourage someone who was hurting.
In April, they scheduled my mom’s surgery. The only convenient time for everyone was the same week that our whole family was supposed to be on a choir mission trip with the church in New York City. I had dreamed of going to New York my whole life, so I was immediately crushed at my dream trip being canceled. I didn’t want to be selfish though, so I refused to act upset.
Later that day, as I was helping my mom cook dinner, she asked, “What musical do you think your dad will get you all tickets to see?”
I looked up. “Huh?” I asked. “When?”
“In New York,” my mom said. “On Broadway.”
I tried not to show my disappointment. “Oh, I don’t know what they’ll go see. I’m sure whatever he picks will be great.”
My mom looked confused. “What they’ll go see? You’re going to be there, sweetie.”
I shook my head. “No way. You’re getting surgery that week. There’s no way I’m going. I mean, I know dad has to go because he’s leading the trip. And Melody’s in the choir, so she needs to be there too. But I’m staying with you.”
My mom stopped what she was doing and grabbed both of my hands. “Michelle, I’m going to be fine. I want you to go to New York. You’ve been talking about this trip for months.”
“New York’s always going to be there, Mom,” I argued. “I can go another time. I want to be here with you.”
My mom leaned back and folded her arms across her chest. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to pull the Mom card,” she said, casually.
I rolled my eyes, playfully. I always accuse my mom of playing the “Mom” card to get what she wants sometimes. It basically means she’s the mom, and I’m the child. What she says goes, and I can just deal with it. “This is no time for the Mom card,” I said. “You know how stubborn I am, and I refuse to leave you at home by yourself that week.”
“Well, you had to get all of that stubbornness from someone, didn’t you?” my mom grinned. “And you’re going on that trip, Michelle. End of story.”
“We’ll see,” I said, and I returned back to stirring the vegetables on the stove. “I’ll ask Dad what he thinks when he gets home.”

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Esther 4:14b

"And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"