Why did you keep it so simple? Why didn’t you tell the story? Why didn’t you share your heart? I was asked.
Because it hurts too much. I thought.
Two weeks ago a mom and daughter came in to the photography studio that I work in. They came in to order the daughter’s senior high school pictures. The mom was wearing a turban. There was a wisp of hair sticking out the front. The turban bothered me. The wisp of hair bothered me just as much. I knew it was one of the few wisps of hair she had left after the chemo.
I remember when my mom would wear the caps. They looked so out of character. She never wore a hat before. Why isn’t she wearing her wig today? I would wonder. The wigs are HOT and make me sweat! She told me once.
I worked with the mother and daughter as they looked through the proofs. The mom was so happy that the pictures turned out so nice. The daughter was happy too. The mom and I were discussing how much time she needed to keep the proofs out to show them to all of the important people that she wanted to show them off to. She couldn’t wait to show them to her oncologist and the oncologist’s nurse. They were high on her list. I wondered how often her daughter went with her to her chemo appointments.
I went with my mom once. She had built a community there. I wish I had gone more often and sat by her side to keep her company. I can’t change that.
I looked at the mom. She told me the oncologist told her that the cancer would probably come back in a couple of years. I saw her look lovingly at the daughter’s pictures. It occurred to me that she probably wouldn’t be around to help select her daughter’s wedding pictures. The daughter was very sweet, but never condescending to the mom.
We often tell the story to my children of the day that my mom came to visit the house that we currently live in. She painstakingly sat in every room of the house. She even crawled hand over hand up the stairs to sit in each bed room. She needed to sit and rest because this was an exhausting ordeal for her.
It was the only time she was here. She said she wanted to come here because she wanted to know where we were once she got to heaven. We have lived in this house longer than either my husband or I have lived in any other house in our entire lifetime.
When the mom and daughter left, I sat at my desk. I wept.
I wept for that mom. I wept for my mom.
Now you know. That is why I am walking to raise money and awareness to end cancer.