It seems my mother has led a charmed life. Naturally blessed with beauty and brains, she grew up the only child of a prominent physician in a small town. For 55 years, she has been married to my father, a dentist who lived to pamper and provide for his family.
Mom has many wonderful qualities my sisters and I would be fortunate to inherit ~ talent, creativity, and style. Courage and strength were something we would get from our dad. He was the rock, the one we counted on to be physically and emotionally strong, no matter what any of us faced.
His strength empowered me this past year, as we waged war against his cancer. At the risk of excluding my mom, we protected her from long days of chemotherapy and blood transfusions. Two weeks ago, when the doctor stoically told us there was nothing more he could do for my dad, it was my mother’s strength I doubted and prayed for.
A few nights later, when a cruel combination of cancer, toxins, and morphine racked my father’s body and brain, I was prepared to go it alone while my mom slept. The man I saw lying in the shadow-filled room was suddenly a stranger. The thin body, incomprehensible rambling, and anxious spasms belonged to someone I didn’t recognize. For the first time, I was too weak to help my dad, and he was too weak to help himself.
I shut my eyes summoning my father’s courage. When I opened them, I saw my mother sitting next to him. She was gently holding his hand and confidently saying all the words I was unable to find. I stood in the dark like a frightened child watching a woman of immeasurable strength and composure comfort her dying husband. I sat on the bed and followed my mother’s lead until my dad drifted back to sleep.
My mom gave me an unexpected gift this Mothers’ Day. She gave me strength when I needed it most. Her gift will encourage me in the difficult days ahead and remind me that deep within us all lies a surprising reserve of hidden power.
~Think On These Things~