It’s 6 a.m., finally an appropriate time to get out of bed. Other than the much needed coffee brewing, the house is quiet. My boys are sleeping and the dog is curled up next to me on the couch. I know I’m not alone. I could call four other people in my family who would also be awake right now.
Have you ever experienced something that has turned your world around? I hope we all have. A new house, marriage, a new baby, graduation, a new job. For the most part my life has been filled with these moments. Moments I can’t wait to tell my parents about. Moments I want to keep re-living. I, naively, thought I had experienced enough of the not-so-great turn your world around moments. You know, the things we always think won’t happen to us.
Now, rewind back two weeks. My mom walks into my dad’s house, all smiles. My roommates in college told me once how strange/awesome it was that my parents got along so well for being divorced. Typically this occurrence wouldn’t throw me off but rewind back 6 more weeks and we were at the hospital with my dad being told they were treating him for a stroke. So, as any daughter would do, when my mom walked into my dad’s house I automatically went into freak out mode. Right when we thought Dad was on the mend, the stroke was a false alarm, something had happened and they wanted to tell us all together.
Minutes later we heard the words mass on my brain, biopsy to figure out what it is, I don’t know much else. The words came from my mom. World stopped. This can’t be real. The rest of the night and next day are a blur. I saw and talked to my mom several times that week. Several times we parted ways by giving each other a pep-talk. I called her again the night before surgery to give one more you got this! chat. I called twice, no answer both times. Weird.
She didn’t answer because she was on the phone with her neurosurgeon. 12 hours before surgery was to start he called to tell her change of plans. They were taking out the entire tumor. The tumor had grown three times in size in 20 days. World stopped, again. As we finished up our last pre-surgery pep talk my mom told me she had only packed two pairs of pajamas. She didn’t have enough cute pajamas for the length of this new hospital stay. Here she was trying to make me laugh when she had just received news that we couldn’t quite comprehend.
This past week was nothing we could have ever mentally prepared for. Especially when the game plan was changed 12 hours before go time. That was probably a blessing. Thinking about step 2 before ever finishing step 1, making ourselves crazy. There have been words in the last week we will never be able to un-hear. Craniotomy to remove a brain tumor, radiation, chemotherapy. Those words will always be in the back of our minds. They are allowed to drop by but they aren’t allowed to set up camp. We are going to have the thoughts that bring tears to our eyes. They aren’t allowed to stay.
What is allowed to stay: How impressed her doctors and therapists are with her improvement. Everyday she is making great strides to being herself again. The jokes she is able to make. The love she is being showered with from all over. A wise woman once told me: “Every day may not be good but there is good in every day.” Every day we are finding the good.
Day by day we are making this journey together. We have an amazing village of people to help us, encourage us, and love us. Today, I have a dad who has recovered like a champ and a mom who will do the same. Today, I have a mom who yells at me when I tell her to put the iPad away at 4 a.m. Today, I have a mom who continues to impress us all with her bravery. We will meet tomorrow when tomorrow comes.
Tell your people how much you care about them. Don’t apologize for being a sap. If you get emotional in the process, don’t apologize for that either. You’re human. Throw away the to-do list. Play with your kids all day. Do something you want to do. Tell the Starbucks barista she made your day. Spend way too much in the dollar section at Target. Smile at a stranger. Whatever you do, always find the good.❤