A conversation with my Mom earlier this month had her saying something like this: “It’s looking like I have cancer.” That’s a big, scary, life taking, heart ache breeding word. Immediately the fear of losing her runs through me, that evil dread, bringing tears to my eyes. How am I supposed to take this? How is she dealing with it? Why am I concerned with my feelings? That swirl of fear sucks you down fast.

The doctor discovered a mass growing on her kidney. Today the reality is that it is in fact cancer. Another wave of panic hits. The good news is that nothing’s metastasized and the doc will be able to remove the kidney and the cancer in one fall swoop, making her cancer free again. This is good news for sure but it’s still a mess of emotions.

You gotta understand a few things here. This is the woman that raised me on her own and my two sisters. This is the woman that was patient with me when I stuttered so bad we exchanged handwritten notes as communication. This is the woman that stood by me through two divorces. This is the woman that has taken my girls to more health appointments then I have. This is an indestructible, caring, giving, loving, trusting, hoping saint of a woman walking the planet and I get to call her best friend and Mom. To death and your minions.. you can’t have her!

I realized lately that I don’t tell her that I love her like ever so I do now regularly. She used to pray unceasingly for years when I strayed away from God in my teens. I brought shame to her when I did drugs and drank with my friends in her daycare after hours. I brought shame to her the time I tried to rent adult flicks from a 24 Hour Video as a 15 year old and the genius clerk thought it best to call my Mom. I brought shame to her the time she left me in charge of the house at 16 and my friends and I drank so much that I passed out in a pool of vomit and woke up to my Moms bestie taking care of me. I broke your heart Mom so many times and I am so so sorry.

I wanted to pay her bills and buy her a house and a new car and send her on vacations. Instead I’ve at times lost focus and I am no where near being able to bless her financially. She’s in her early seventies and semi-retired, living with a minor teaching income and her pension. She deserves better, to be rewarded in life, not continually struggling ’til the end.

Call your Mom. Listen to her and let her know how loved she is. Don’t let weeks or months go by. Time is the fastest running thing and we cannot stop or slow it. And once again to death.. get your icy fingers the hell off. You can’t have her.

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