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  • Writer's pictureSandy

Grateful for Family

The more you are grateful for what you have the more you will have to be grateful for.

– Zig Ziglar

I have the greatest kids! I know, everyone who has children feels the same, but seriously I do! Raising each of them has been an absolute joy. Being able to share their life and have them live so close to me as adults is an added bonus, I never imagined I would have. I am so grateful!

Even before I was officially diagnosed I have always strived to be open and honest with my kids. I would expect transparency from them, so in return that is what they receive from me. I didn’t pull any punches, I was immediately on the phone with them, letting them know the doctor feels I have a mass and to prepare for news that may not be “okay." For me, being upfront and honest with my kids laid the stepping stones of communication through this journey. I wanted them to have a faith in something even if it was only communication. Sometimes knowing someone will be shooting straight from the hip makes it easier to deal with the information coming at them.

No, it isn’t great news to have them hear Mom has cancer, but knowing they will be kept in the loop on everything that is happening might help lessen the blow.

I do have to reflect on how I was raised, which was, “now that we know, let’s figure it out and move forward.” I think that is how I’ve continued to choose to deal with things. Yes, there are always things that happens and will continue to happen as your children grow, but that is life. We are here to support our kids anyway we can and help figure out what the next step is. Or, be supportive as they figure out what their next step is. This was how we chose to deal with Mom’s cancer as a family. “What is our next step” became our focus.

All three of my children have played such a huge supporting role in my cancer journey. They have attended numerous doctor appointments, attended one or more of my chemo sessions (which included the best lunch dates!). Drove and attended events with me when I wasn’t feeling “confident” in my driving ability. Helped with little and big task around the house and more. They have always shown much care, concern and love, and continued to make me laugh and smile. I am grateful they seemed (at least to me) to adjust to this being the new normal rather effortlessly. I’m sure there are sides of them I didn’t see, but whenever I asked or whenever they stopped by everything felt just like it always did…. even with an occasional eye roll!

I tried to raise my kids with the “do the right thing” attitude and also that we are fortunate with what we have so it is important to “give back.” To be able to be on the receiving end of this, seeing your kids graciously do what is necessary during these trying times was a gift I never imagined.

There are more supporting roles then just my children, for Mallory has Andrew, James has Anna, and Brian has Sidney. The have formed such a strong team. I am so proud with how they support one another and my husband and myself. Michael J. Fox said “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” Those words can’t ring any truer to me.

My son got married in August. What a gift the whole experience was. It’s the greatest feeling to see your family grow. When I think back to raising my children, my one wish, is they would be happy. Being able to be a part of such a special day and see the happiness not only in my son and daughter-in-law, but to see my children, family and friends join in the happiness was over the top.

My wish prior to this wedding was to please let me have hair. Looking back, hair or no hair it wouldn’t have really mattered. Seeing the love and joy on everyone’s face is worth more than anything. I thank God that I was able to enjoy all aspects of the wedding from start to finish. Being able to support my children 100% is the greatest feeling. My other son and future daughter-in-law will be getting married next July, bring it on, I can’t wait!

No, it can’t be easy for them to have a mother go through and live with a cancer diagnosis, but they made it look easy to me, and I am so proud of them. Love you all forever!

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