I have a few things to say to you, and I know that you may not ever read this, but I'm throwing this out into the universe all the same.
The thing is, you're probably gonna have a bad year. To position it any other way would belittle what you are going to go through, and I won't do that. Physically, mentally, emotionally, you've been here before, you know. So I'm gonna make this about me for just one minute, and then we're gonna talk about you.
Since you told me, I have had some time to reflect on this, and think about how I'm feeling compared to four years ago. And the thing is, the more I reflect on what happened, the more I feel shamefully guilty about how much more I made it about my feelings than yours. I was frightened, sure, but more so I was in denial about what you would be going through. Plus, never having been through all those new feelings about watching someone you love struggle with their health, the more I emotionally hid from the whole thing. The more I pushed it back in my mind, the more I physically backed away from your pain, your fatigue, your physical changes, your shame.
I made it more about me. I know that now. It took watching your bravery to understand how little I was being, how selfish.
How unbelievably selfish.
And how understandable that you want to now spend all your energy worried about how your kids are going to cope with it this time. That's the flip side to raising kids who care so intensely about their family...at some point those kids are going to point that emotion at you. But that is who you are, and that is the family you have created. The proof of the amazing woman that you are is in the eyes of your grandchildren...they are here because of you. We watch their faces absolutely light up when you are around. You are bringing into their lives the same love and caring you tried to instill in us, and they will be remarkable human beings because of it.
So it's time for you to focus on yourself. We will be fine, because we know you will be. And this time, it won't be about me. This time, my only hope is that you don't worry about anything but yourself. I know you will be fine. You were a survivor of the first bout, and you still are. There will be new emotions, new challenges, new pain, I know. But in the end, you will continue to beat this thing, of that I am sure.
Please try not to be scared, and please try not to think about us. Instead, lean on your husband, lean on me, lean on us all. You always hold us up, Mom, this time it's our turn.
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.
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