When my Mom got sick it was due to a series of events that had preceded that fateful diagnosis. Getting TB when she worked in the hospital, and then having a miscarriage were the main factors... the miscarriage was more of a sign then a factor but it still played a small part. After the miscarriage her health just went downhill and she kept finding it harder and harder to breath and do things. A lot of people that spring and summer had lung and breathing problems so the doctors kept telling her that that was what she had. But it was not, and when finally they did a CT scan they rushed her away for a biopsy of "spots in the lungs". When us girls were told it wasn't a surprise. the word cancer didn't really faze us. The faith of a child is what we had and we knew that God would take care of us.
Our aunts didn't like the fact that we weren't crying about the diagnosis. Stage Four Lung Cancer was a very serious thing. Everyone around us kept telling us how special our mom was to them and how they were praying for us. We'd get stopped in town a lot by relatives and friends and they would be so sad all the time saying they really loved mom. My sisters and I were almost driven nuts by it all. We felt like saying "She's still alive! She's our mom still! SHE'S STILL HERE GUYS!"
After someone is diagnosed with a cancer or a bad illness they are almost always given sympathy and it can be very hard for the person to keep up good spirits because everyone around them is depressing and treating them like its their final hours. And yes we are reminded how fleeting live can be when some is sick or hurt but in our case we didn't want to live like mom was dying, we wanted to live life to the fullest because she was still here. People had a hard time with that surprisingly.
A year after my mom's diagnosis we went to a discipleship centre (Ellerslie) for a three month training period as a family. The whole time we were there we were strengthened as a family and also in our individual walks with God. There was one catch though... only the head staff knew that mom had cancer. None of the 150 some classmates knew till we were almost done the semester. The reason for doing that... because mom didn't want to be treated like she was dying. No one knew and no one suspected. As far as anyone knew we were a healthy "normal" family and we liked to keep it that way. After people found out about the cancer we were treated differently, we were used to it though so it didn't really faze us. (When mom died the Ellerslie community was one of our biggest supports and encouragements, aside from our local church body.)
When we got back from Ellerslie in 2013, just before Christmas, mom started going down hill. When her birthday rolled around in February she was on oxygen. Exactly one month later on March 23rd, 2014 she died. Without getting into to much detail, because I mentioned it in the previous post, our family was supportive in their own ways. Some where really appreciated and some were not (extended and immediate), but it goes without saying that that happens in most situations of life. Our family took the 2 Samuel 12:15-23 approach to my moms death.
15 After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth[b] on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”
19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.
“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”
20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”
22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
People didn't really understand. They thought we were in denial or shock, but we weren't. Us girls refused to wear black at the memorial because mom was a bright and cheerful person. We asked family and friends to do that too. Some did others didn't.
When I went back to visit the grave recently it took a incredible amount of courage. I didn't like going there because I didn't like being a "grave watcher". My one aunt would ask if I'd been there recently and I'd say no. I just didn't like it. I told my boyfriend that I'd have to be forced to go if I ever did. So he told me to drive there one warm fall Saturday afternoon. We sat beside the grave and talked about angles and demons and he told me what he remembered about my mom (he barely knew her but still had some memories) and basically just sat with me as emotions raged in my heart. I wanted to be happy and cry all at the same time.When we finally had to go it was good, I was feeling that I was okay with the place now. I might go as far as calling it beautiful.
God has been good and faithful and He continues to be and He always will be.