Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CHAPTER 4: TELLING MOM

When you can't wait any longer
But there's no end in sight
when you need to find the strength
It's your faith that makes you stronger
The only way you get there
Is one step at a time
“one step at a time” by Jordan Sparks

Arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport the next day was one of the greatest moments of relief I had experienced in a while. I was HOME! I was with the people who will take care of me selflessly and unconditionally-my family. I caught a glimpse of my sister who was anxiously awaiting my arrival. I hurried over towards her, and when we hugged it was as if this was the first time I had breathed since learning of the terrible news. Still, I could not forget that the hardest task remained ahead-telling MOM!


On the drive home, my sister and I discussed how to approach the subject so that I can deliver the news to mom as gently as possible. Dad was working overseas and we would have to tell him over the phone (which was exactly what I wanted to avoid doing), but we will tackle the dad issue later. We decided that we would ease mom into this by telling her that the mass could be something simple and benign and possibly easily treatable. Since we really did not know what it was yet, there was no point of mentioning the frightening word “cancer” in that conversation.


However, I realized that I had underestimated mom. Sometimes in situations of extreme difficulties, certain people who may otherwise be fragile and vulnerable may surprise us. I was mom’s child, and I think she realized how much I needed her to be strong for me during this time…and she was! She accepted what I was telling her so much better than I had imagined, and we quickly started discussing what the next steps were that we had to take. Of course she was my sweet emotional mom too, so the tears still flowed, but she remained strong and rational even though I know inside she was full of fear and uncertainty. So was I, so was my sister, and so were my brothers. We were all just putting on a fa├žade of being strong, because sometimes when life hits you with unimaginable blows that is the only way to survive! Breaking down and crumbling into a human ball may seem like the more attractive alternative in such circumstances, but it is not the way that will win the battles of life. To win a struggle, one must face it with determination, strength, hope, and sometimes even belief in what may seem like the impossible…Kind of like what Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book Eat, Pray, Love:
“…my Guru once said---that you should never give yourself a chance to fall apart because, when you do, it becomes a tendency and it happens over and over again. You must practice staying strong, instead”...

For in hope we have been saved,
but hope that is seen is not hope;
for who hopes for what he already sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see,
with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Romans 8:24-25

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