Happy Mother’s Day to Moms Facing Cancer

Julie Ryan Evans

Photo by maisah
Mother's Day
is about flowers and brunch, homemade cards and art projects with poems that make us cry. It's supposed to be, anyway.

As I sit down to write this post about how wonderful my mom is (she is!) or how much I adore being a mother (I do!), all I can think about are two moms I know for whom Mother's Day is about so much more.

The first is a dear friend of mine who I've known since college. Just over a year ago her beautiful 5-year-old boy, Joey, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. He's survived longer than they thought he would, but the things he and his family have had to go through this year make my heart ache for them.

I tear up when someone hurts my son's feelings; I can only imagine what it's like to sit by and watch someone stick him with needles, cut him open and send poison through his body trying to kill the cancer that's trying to kill him. To always wonder how many more days you have with this wonderful, amazing person and not knowing how you'll go on once he's gone.

The other mother I don't know well, but I've gotten to know her daughter who goes to my son's school. She's an adorable little kindergartner with a spunky personality who I was instantly drawn to and chat with regularly on the playground or in the lunchroom.

It was just Easter when I met her mother for the first time. I introduced myself, telling her how much I loved her daughter. That was before I knew that she's fighting cancer -- bad cancer. The doctors are preparing her for the worst.

I can't stop thinking about all the darkness to come in this sunny little girl's life if she loses her mother, and how her mother can even fathom the possibility of leaving her, of not being there to see how she grows and takes on the world.

I don't know how these two mothers -- and so many others out there in similar situations -- do it. But they do; and they do it with grace and dignity and strength, inspiring those of us who feel helpless. Reminding us that spilled milk and whining and sleepless nights are such small prices to pay for the gift of children.  

I know they have their dark times, but still they keep moving ahead, doing what needs to be done and taking care of their families, because they're moms first and foremost. And that's what moms do.

Happy Mother's Day; may we never take a single moment with our children for granted.  

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