I lay on my couch, curled up in the fetal position, feeling a pain and a weakness like never before. The life has been sucked out of me. I can barely speak, let alone get up to walk to the kitchen for a glass of water. And as I weep, the words escape my mouth, “I want my Mommy.”
Please don’t judge. Yes, I’m 52 years old. Yes, I’m a mother to my own two boys. But two chemo treatments so far and each time I have reached that point where I just want my Mom.
I am blessed. My Mom is still around.
Witnessing her experience my cancer has been so hard. Mom and I have always been very close. Pre-cancer, we spoke daily. Since diagnosis, it’s usually a couple times a day.
Don’t get me wrong, my Mom can drive me crazy. She is a force of nature. I liken her energy to that of the Tasmanian Devil in the cartoons. She comes in and starts doing her thing, whether it be cleaning or cooking or knit-picking about one thing or another, and does not stop until she deems the project done. OK, I hear you all responding in your heads. Yes, I’m very much the same way.
I spent most of my twenties sorting through the intricacies of our relationship. It was very contentious at times. I chose her as my Mom to fulfill very specific items in my Spiritual Curriculum and it wasn’t always pretty. I was well into my thirties when I began to process and understand. And thank goodness, we were given the time and the opportunities to heal our relationship.
But this cancer.
Early on, a friend shared that my cancer is everyone’s cancer; that the people in my life will experience my cancer in their own way. And I realized that as I work through my stuff, everyone who I share my life with is working through their own stuff about my cancer. This realization has been tremendously helpful, especially as it relates to Mom.
I can’t imagine what is must be like to witness your child going through this type of challenge. Shoot, I have a hard time watching my boys get a cold! So there are times that my Mom’s worrying and desire to DO something has been a challenge for me. Luckily, she is open to feedback and compassionate when I’m unable to share it in a gentle way. (Read “Mom, STOP IT! You’re driving me crazy!”)
And lucky for me that when I find myself in those moments that I really need her, she can come. She doesn’t like leaving the beautiful home they’ve built in the dessert and driving down into LA. She doesn’t like leaving my Dad or her dogs for long these days. But she faces her own fears and when I tell her I need her, she comes.
I try to explain that I don’t need food, my laundry done or my house cleaned. I just want her to sit with me. So she does….until I fall asleep and then I hear her whirling begin as she starts to fold laundry, clean and cook! And I smile as I rest, because she just can’t help herself. I understand.
So thank you, Mom. We are cut of the same cloth. I carry on the traditions. And the story goes on. All of that. But thank you for creating such a safe space in the crook of your arms. One that helps me through the very hardest moments and offers me such comfort. I hope you feel it return to you as I love you right back. As we age together, I appreciate all that you continue to offer me through your heart. You’re the very best Mom(my)!