We’ve all heard the saying, “When life gives you lemons…make lemonade”. Well lately I’ve been trying to do that the best way that I can, but I’m not gonna lie, I have some days where my lemonade is super bitter.
I try to look at the bright side of things and make life as sweet as possible, and for the most part I can usually always find the good in every situation. Everything life has been handing me lately, I’ve been trying my best to find the good in it. Usually I first deal with the situation in the “bitter” way, but then after thinking about it and having my pity party, I try to look at it in the best “sweet” way that I can to make me feel better. Most of the time I can’t change the things thrown at me so I might as well make things as enjoyable as I can.
I’ve said this before and will say it again. When my mom first got diagnosed with leptomeningeal metastasis I was so upset, and then after I picked myself up from crying so much, those feelings turned to bitterness. Bitterness mainly directed at God, if I’m being honest. Feelings of anger and even jealousy, like why can’t this person get this cancer, they deserve it more than my mom does. I mean, no one deserves cancer and I know that, but in that moment I wished for anyone else but her to have gotten that news. After I got over my anger, I finally had to just figure out what to do. How was I going to handle this? If I couldn’t fix it and the doctors couldn’t fix it, I had to find the best way to cope with this and be able to enjoy this time with my mom and change my feelings into something more positive. I couldn’t control the situation, but I could control my attitude so that’s what I have started to do.
Most people don’t know the timeline they have left on their life. If we did, we might start living it a little more differently. Since my mom has an idea (they say 4-6 months roughly), then we know about how much more time we have to say the things we want to and do the things we want to with her. It’s almost a blessing this way, even though it’s very hard to see it as one at times, but really it is. Here’s why I feel that it is.
Knowing my mom might not be here tomorrow has helped me have those difficult talks with my kids. It’s helped me prepare them for death that I might not have done if she wasn’t going through this and I would’ve had to randomly explain it to them after the fact of someone they know and love dying. We have been able to buy books to read to them to help them get a little bit better of an idea about death and that’s helped a lot. They understand that everyone will die one day, and that it will be okay when they do because if they love Jesus with all their heart they will go to Heaven. I’m hoping this will make it not be as hard on them when someone they love dies.
We have even gotten them the recordable books that my mom has recorded her voice reading for them to have. I am so so thankful for those because I’m sure a lot of people wish they could have a recording of their loved ones after they have passed, but didn’t have the chance to do something like this with them. We have a few that my Memaw recorded before she passed and I love when my kids pick them up to read. It’s so bittersweet heading her voice come through those pages and they always say “That’s Memaw”. I am so glad she did those for us.
We have gotten to go through pictures together and reminisce on her life and laugh about all kinds of memories.
She has gotten to plan her funeral to a T and has it exactly the way she wants it so she’s remembered the way she hopes to be remembered. As hard as it is to really do that and think about that day whenever it comes, it will be a huge relief off of her family’s back knowing she has gotten everything taken care of.
We have been able to spend a lot more time with her at home and have the grandkids around her more now that she’s not working, and that’s been a blessing getting to make more memories with her every time. My kids ask to go see her almost everyday to see if she’s feeling better and I always try to make it a point to go because one day I know I won’t be able to let them go see her.
When it comes to talking about feelings I’m a crier so I knew I couldn’t say everything I wanted to my mom and decided to write her a letter. I was able to write out everything I want my mom to know before she passes instead of reading it off at her funeral when she’s no longer here, so I truly know she knows the way I feel.
This past Wednesday was my birthday, and I’ve had birthday parties before but this birthday was probably the best one. Just a low key eat at the Mexican restaurant with family, and having my mom there and her be the one who made my cake made it the best birthday I think I will ever have. Maybe it’s because I know it may be the last one she’s here for to celebrate with me, but I’m so thankful she was here for this one. It made me cherish every minute of it knowing that.
I could lay in bed and cry all day (and I do some days), but most days I try to do these things that others don’t get the opportunity to do with their loved ones and try to remember to be grateful for each moment I still get to have with her and I don’t want to miss one opportunity or have one regret about how I handled this whole situation.
If you have a loved one going through something like this, I will be praying for you. I pray your loved one has a miracle happen, but if not I pray they and also you are able to enjoy every second you have left with them.
I hope that you will take some of these things we have been doing with my mom and do it with your loved one. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have any of your loved ones do a recording of their voice, especially if you have little kids that may not remember your loved one at the age they are now. You never know when your time might really be up, and I hope I’m taking every advantage of the time I have now with her.
Edited by: Morgan Marynissen