This past September marked three years since my mom lost her battle with breast cancer.
Before losing her I had experienced grief…the grief of losing beloved grandparents…the grief of a friend gone much too soon in a terrible accident…the grief of losing a loved one to suicide. But none of those terrible losses quite prepared me for the loss of my mother. My mother who brought me into the world. My mother who taught me to love Jesus. My mother who wouldn’t see me walk down the aisle to be married. My mother who would never know her grandchildren. My mother who was only 57.
Nothing prepared me to see her suffer so, through two years of treatments. To hear her tell me “Shannon, I’m scared.” To look into her eyes as she breathed her last breaths, holding her hand.
Because of my family history, I’m considered high-risk for developing breast cancer. And since I’m not yet 40, the best course of action is confusing and depressing. Doctors tell you one thing. Those that don’t trust the medical profession tell you another. If only you had enough of the right information you’d make the best decision. But all that information can be paralyzing.
Chances are I’ll never face the battle that claimed my mom. But compared to the rest of the population, my risk is higher. When I hear the tragic stories of young women who’ve developed this disease, my heart aches for them and their loved ones. I don’t understand why some have to face these trials while others live healthy, long lives. It is one of the great mysteries.
I need my mom’s reassurance. I need her voice telling me it’ll be okay. Even though ultimately, in this world, I know it will not. I’m thankful for the faith she instilled in me of a hope beyond this world. I’m thankful that in taking my mom away, God placed someone else in my life who loves me in very similar a manner that she did. Last night he comforted me as I cried for my momma.