It was a week ago today that I got the call from my mother. I was sitting outside of a conference room in New Orleans, watching the rain come down outside. I was supposed to be listening to people talk about how they grew their business, sharing marketing strategies, sharing their stories. But I couldn’t concentrate. I was praying so hard that the text that she had sent me earlier in the morning would be true, “Good morning. I’m confident we’ll get good news. I love you. I will text you the good news.” But it had been too long since the start of her appointment and I already knew what she was going to tell me, I was just waiting for her to say it, “Dani, it’s cancer.” It was like my heart froze in my chest.
My mother, who had beaten just about everything life had thrown at her, had something else to fight. Weeks away from listing her house and moving to St. Augustine, we had to switch gears and figure out how we were going to work with her surgery date and the first few weeks of her recovery. Texts and phone calls flew around. I was still in New Orleans for another few days and it was so hard to concentrate but it was a much needed escape at the same time. While I was away I didn’t feel the weight of the world on me. I felt like I could check out of life for a bit, focus on something else. But then I’d remember that my mother had cancer and I would lose all focus. I felt like I couldn’t sit still. How was I supposed to sit and listen to something when all I could think about was how many days she had until her surgery, or how I’d have to miss parts of my pre-planning and worry if I’d be prepared for the school year, or the horrible timing of a work trip that Carl has, or who was going to watch Harper. And dear Lord what are we doing with Auggie?
Then I got home and things started to fall into place. I swear it was like Harper had grown up overnight and while I miss my sweet baby girl, the sweet young lady who I came home to is so willing to help. She’s so excited to stay with Pa for a few days and maybe even see Uncle Kiki and Aunt Amy when they aren’t working.
But as the surgery date creeps ever closer and I’m starting to look for things that mom is going to need post-mastectomy, I feel myself getting anxious all over again. So I do the things that I know I need to do. Laundry. Dishes. Press play. Drink a shake. Invite people to change their lives. And pray. Dear Lord, do I pray. Because I just can’t imagine my life without momma in it. I can’t imagine cancer taking another grandmother away from Harper. I just can’t.
And so here I sit, writing this out because once again I know I’m not the only one who has gone through this. I know that someone out there reading this will have tips or suggestions to help us through this time. I know that someone out there reading this will be looking for support and encouragement. And most importantly, I know that someone out there reading this will pray for my momma as she undergoes surgery and recovery.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11