“I have had this horrible chest congestion I can’t get rid of. It seems to have gone to my ear now. I’m gonna go back to the doctor today”, Mom said.
“Well I have taken the day off work to run errands so why don’t we do lunch and I can take you to your appointment ?”, I replied.
“OK, that’d be good”, she wimpered.
I knew when she called me in the middle of the week that something was wrong. Mom was never sick and she rarely asked for help. And even though she didnt ask for help this time, it was her eager acceptance of my offer that had me concerned. I drove two hours to her cozy little home at the lake. She didn’t look well but it seemed to be more from stress than illness.
That was the beginning of her long journey home. Scans would later show that her chest congestion was stage four lung cancer. Chemotherapy started that very same day and continued weekly thereafter. Her life, our life, would never be same after that. During her treatment we had the time to talk about those things you never want to talk about. But the conversations were quite pleasant as Mom had no fear of dying. The cancer later moved to her brain and it was at that time I could tell her will to live was not for herself but for her children. We all gathered around her and assured her it was okay to rest. With a sigh of relief she did just that and joined Our Heavenly Father ten days later.
Mom was diagnosed in 2009 and passed away in 2011. Following her death I found a journal she had started about six months before her diagnosis. She knew something was wrong but didn’t want to worry the kids. Her struggle was unbearable at times. I wonder what would have happened has she worried us earlier. After all of this, to this day none of my brothers have stopped smoking. But even though Dad died from cirrhosis of the liver I continue to drink, so who am I to judge?
This post was inspired by this weeks writing challenge from the Daily Post: DIALOGUE