Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Mother

A challenging day it is, Mother's Day. With my mother's recent diagnosis of thyroid cancer, my relationship with her has come to the forefront of my mind.

She made it through the surgery well, and had some of her lymph nodes removed also, which they will send off for evaluation.

She will have radioactive iodine at some point as well, and begin a thyroid hormone supplement. Hopefully, she will completely recover and be cancer-free.

But it's amazing how the c-word can change your perspective.

My mom and I have been close at some times, at other times, not. Since my father was a very angry man and largely incapable of maintaining a healthy relationship with me during my growing-up years, she was the one I was closest to. But I came to realize over time that the codependent relationship she had with my dad was what met her needs also. And it determined how she related to everyone - including me.

Sadly, I became angry with her some over the years. Mostly later, after I'd been married awhile. She was all I had when I lived at home, other than my younger brother. And he depended on me.

Only recently have I been learning how to be a different person - I have found myself learning to be a better friend, learning how to accept myself and enjoy the company of others, how to reach out to someone when I am sad or need help. Unfortunately, my mom is just learning these lessons now. I am very glad that she is, but it has been difficult learning them for myself.

However, I am very grateful that she is my mother. I told her this weekend, you mean more to me now than ever, after all my experiences with infertility.

I wept when my dad left for awhile, and I was left in her room alone. The scar on her neck where her thyroid was removed was so painful for her, and to look at her hurting, to want to take her pain upon myself - oh, to be able to. There is nothing as painful as watching one you love suffer.

I stayed overnight at the hospital with her, and I am so glad that I could. My coworkers worked for me so my DH could drive me the 4 hours to be with her that day. The nurses were kind to her, and I helped her whenever I could. I filled her ice pack that was wrapped around her neck to soothe the incision.

God is able to work through any life experience, from the most serious to the most mundane. His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). He spoke to me many times over this last week, revealing how he wants me to see Him. And how he wants me to see my mother.

I may not have done it the same way, but she always tried to do the best she could.

And for that, I am grateful she is my mother.