Today I am supposed to have those nervous butterflies as I ready my two packed suitcases full of my life. I am supposed to feel anxious but excited as I board the plane headed for Germany. But instead, I sit, writing this in my old room at my parent’s house, Millie occasionally licking my leg and my two suitcases still in the hallway.
Today we were supposed to leave for Germany. But instead we had the hard news that Michael’s Mom’s cancer is giving her only a few weeks to live.
Cancer has played a significant role in my life 4 times now. The first when my Grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. The second when my sister had a two and a half year battle with Leukemia. The third when my Dad faced a horrendous bout of Melanoma that stretched on for more than a year and reoccurred again. The fourth is my Mother-in-Law’s frightening diagnosis of a rare form of breast cancer.
We learned she had this cancer a few years ago. She was quite possibly the most positive cancer patient I’ve ever seen. She has a lot of faith in God and felt confident that her life was in his hands.
A few months ago we learned the cancer came back, this time creeping into her brain. She fell down a few times and then it was clear she needed help. Her most recent fall put her into a tailspin. Her family, including me, had a hard time understanding what was happening. Why is she behaving this way? Why won’t she eat? Why isn’t she getting better? But now it’s clear the cancer is here to stay, despite the multiple treatments she’s faced.
She graciously told us over the past few years that she wanted us to go to Germany, to live our lives. But right now, we plan to spend her last few weeks with her. We are delaying our trip at least a month, maybe more, so we can be close to her and help take care of her belongings.
While this is incredibly hard, for many reasons, we aren’t just going to Germany for a good reason, but for a very sad one. One person that continues to impress me is my husband Michael. He is task oriented and takes on so many tough decisions, all while being exceptionally gracious to those around him. It’s times like these that I’m so grateful to be married to such a selfless individual. If my Mom was slipping away, I’m not sure I’d be so brave. He continues to be a rock for his family while taking care of tasks for our move to Germany.
I’ve always had a hard time with change. Even though I’m choosing to uproot my life, I had comfort in the plan. Sometimes life throws a curve-ball and you have to reevaluate your plans. I feel good about our decision to stay. I wouldn’t want to be far away, especially at a time like this.
I know we will make the most out of this next month here in Dallas and have our family and friends to thank for that. I’m not sure that things happen for a reason but I do think sometimes the roadblocks we face are important lessons. Maybe I do need to stay in Dallas for another month. Germany will certainly be there.
Thanks to everyone that has reached out to me. I can’t even tell you how much it means to me.
Comments turned off today. Consider donating money to Red Cross to all those affected by the flooding in the South (my little sister, Aunt, and many friends are evacuating).