I also have an amazing extended family. I love knowing that I can count on my aunts and my grandma to take care of my mom. To raise money, to care for her during her treatment, and to talk to her when she needs an ear. We have had so many offers from others who are not necessarily "family", but with us the word has a very loose meaning. Know that I will call on all of you who have offered for help. Be careful what you offer because I will take you up on it.
Some friends took Travis and I to the Voice Male concert last night. During the concert, they paid tribute to one of their members who lost his fight with cancer this past February. He left behind a wife and a two year old son. In that moment, the utter sadness of all this hit me. That dads don't always get to watch their kids grow up. That grandparents miss out on their grandkids lives because of cancer. That sometimes little kids don't even get to grow up. I don't understand the "why" of all these things. I struggle with it regularly. Why, when my mom is going to be sick for a year, did she pick up the flu the weekend before her surgery? Shouldn't she feel good as much as possible? Why, just a few months after she lost her health insurance, was she diagnosed with such a severe illness? Why, after all that she has endured, did this even have to happen?
I think Heavenly Father is desperate to have my mom back. I think He will test her, and humble her until she is absolutely dependent on Him. I think He doesn't want to take any chances of her getting to a point where she would make choices that would lead her away from Him. I also think He needs her for purposes on this earth. To provide help and compassion for others. To provide a stable force for her children. And to provide an example of love and caring for all people.
It's funny how my prayers have changed. I, of course, immediately start to cry and just lay my list of needs out. But last night as I prayed, I realized something. That the more trials I have and the more I am tested, the closer I feel to my Savior. The more I become like him. Simply to have someone who completely understands me and has felt what I feel. It's the same reason we are drawn to people who have similar lives as us. We need to know that we can do it, and that what we're feeling is normal. And how can I be sad that I am becoming more like someone so loving, and so perfect?
I thought it was going to be bad that mom was diagnosed so close to Christmas. But now I'm thankful. This time of year when the Savior feels so close. And we get to celebrate his birth and the fact that he saved all mankind. We get to hear the music that makes him feel close, and we get to show our love for everyone around us. We get to celebrate the one person who knows everything that we feel. The person who gave his life so my mom could get through this. I'm so thankful to him.
We took family pictures tonight, because as you know, my mom's appearance will be changing drastically within the next few months. I personally think that she is beautiful no matter what. So pretty outside but even prettier inside.
Had to toss in this one of Mitch and Amy. Because they're creepy AND cute.