When I was young, 13 to be exact, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember my father telling my brother and me in the car while my mother sat there looking back at us with tears. I was too young to grasp everything going on and everything that cancer brings. But I do remember the fear. I remember not knowing what the future would hold, and I wasn’t sure how much longer I would have my mother.
I was more frightened getting this news than I had ever been. A significant part of my life was turned upside down. I wasn’t sure about my relationship with God at that age, yet I needed to pray. Every day, multiple times a day, I would pray. I did not know if God was tuning in to me; however, I kept at it. The dread overflowed every last bit of my brain, but praying and talking with God showed me that I could have a sense of strength. My terror turned into a driven hopefulness, and I asked for any result that had my mother making it through. The fear caused me to analyze my life and look at things with an attitude that everyone won’t be around forever.
What calmed my fear and anxiety was the support I saw and felt from other people. All my friends told me they were there for me and continually checked in on me. Even people I did not know told me they had my back and supported me. But the support that I saw other people give to my mom was what caused my heart to feel less scared. All the aspects of her life that she once had to take care of were for her. Her friends helped her with her job, they helped cook for my family, and they were constantly checking in on my brother and me. The support I saw people give her made me love and cherish her more than I ever had.
My dread blossomed into appreciation. Life is precious. Many things in life go the opposite way you intended for them. My story was more fortunate when compared to a lot of disease stories; my mom made it. Love however much you can; not every person has recuperation stories. I learned that life isn’t about things turning out well for you. Living a fulfilling life comes from how you bounce back from dread and agony, having the option to be thankful for everything in your life regardless of the result. Fear can transform into trust. Keeping confidence and remaining mindful of what you have in life is one of the best things you can accomplish for yourself.
Benjamin White writes from the Pacific Northwest.
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