Saturday, July 9, 2011

Are You a Chosen Mother?

Something that I've been pondering for the last year (and even longer because a good friend of mine had a child with leukemia long before Hunter's diagnosis) is whether or not God chooses mothers for children with cancer. I have thought about my own mom and how she would not have made it through if I'd ended up sick as a child. I have thought about other mothers that I know who cannot seem to handle regular day-to-day ordeals... how could they handle it if something like cancer happened to their child? But I am still not certain that I was handpicked to be Hunter's mom. I like to think that God saw something in me... or PUT something in me that made me the right person for the job. After all, just the other day I was telling a friend that I'd not been doing very well for about say... um... 4 years prior to his diagnosis. I remember when the pediatrician came in, sat down, handed me a box of tissues and said, "I think he has something serious." I didn't cry. I wanted to. But I didn't let myself for two reasons... shock and I didn't want to scare my son. And that was the routine I worked super hard to keep up for the next six months. I didn't let myself cry. Unless we got good news. Then I would boo hoo all over him. I'd be sobbing all of the way to the hospital door but as soon as it was time for me to come in and see him, I'd dry it up. I amazed myself. I had no idea that I was so strong. That I could keep it together for him under such difficult circumstances. But God showed me that I was. So yes, I'd been a mess for four years and when I got that news in the doctor's office that day, I remember thinking, "This is it. This is the big one. This is the thing that is going to push me right over the edge."

But it didn't. And it hasn't. And it won't. All three of my kids could get cancer and I'd just keep moving right along and I'd handle it. It's like the trauma has whipped the fear right out of me. Instead of this being the thing that broke me... it's become the thing that has fixed me. I'm less broken as a result of this experience. And I'm thankful for that.

So, read what Erma Bombeck has to say, and tell me what you think? Did God choose you specifically for your child? For your child with cancer? With food allergies? With emotional troubles? With low self-esteem? Or is it all just a coincidence? I'd like to think that I was a special kind of crazy that made me the perfect candidate to deal with what we have dealt with. Regardless, I'm honored to be Hunter, Ronin, and Drayken's mother. They are each special in very different ways. In ways that help make me a better person.

THE CHOSEN MOTHER

By Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit.

Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with life threatening illnesses are chosen?

Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation.

As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint Cecilia. Rutledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint Gerard."

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and says, "Give her a child with cancer."

The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy."

"Exactly" smiles God, "Could I give a child with cancer a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But, does she have patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she will handle it.

"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has it's own world. She has to make it live in her world and that's not going to be easy."

"But, Lord, I don't think she believes in you."

"No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness."

The angel gasps -"Selfishness? is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take anything her child does for granted. She will never consider a single step ordinary. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice...and allow her to rise above them." She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side."

"And what about her patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in mid-air.

God smiles, "A mirror will suffice."

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