Tuesday is the one year anniversary of my Mom's breast cancer diagnosis. I am so proud of the year she's had. We had lost nearly all hope in September and October, only to see her bounce back so fast we were left breathless with awe. I am grateful for all the compassionate doctors and nurses, and my dearest friend, a talented physiotherapist, who helped Mom steal back her mobility and energy.
All our carefully carved out schedules were thrown out the window and instead became (by choice) consumed in the journey of this year. Which meds? How much metastases? Is the oxygen tube pinched? Every visit is precious even when kids are wild. The kids remain partially oblivious to the darkness that was gnawing at her bones, which, oddly, showed up as blinding brightness on scans. As the light fades to pinpoints on scans, the darkness retreats from her bones. Hope for more months. Hope for more years. Hope that the baby who was a newborn this time last year will get to visit and laugh and remember his Grammie too.
So here we are. Twelve months so far of snatching moments with her, struggling to create memories for the smallest ones, and working always to push down the burning, aching feeling that threatens to steal the joy we are squeezing out of each day. We have shared birthdays (some of which she was too sick to remember), witnessed my parents renew with poignant truth their vows of nearly 40 years (in sickness and in health...), and even watched her walk down the aisle with my oldest brother at his wedding in PEI. We have attended plays at the local theatre (whose closing anthem still carries us out the door with smiles on sun filled days), shared stories about bees, attended Mass for Christmas morning (after they said she'd never see another Christmas), saw my eldest daughter read at Mass twice, relaxed on a bench while the kids played in the yard and kept watch on a blooming blueberry bush.
I don't know where we will find ourselves this time next year. That's for God to take care of. What I do know is that He and my Mom will keep surprising all of us. I know that this journey is one worth walking because the company is great. I know that in the years to come when things get harder again, we will look back and see the incredible miracle that every moment has been since August 19, 2013. We will be grateful that God is gentle with our hearts and plans the manner and means of all things. Most of all, we will cry out that He is good, He is our one defense and righteousness, and bless His Holy Name.