In May 2017 I began finding daisies sprinkled throughout our property, daisies we did not plant. They were my mom’s favorite flower. I think she left them for me to remind me of the journey we took together, especially the lessons learned through her cancer and death. I’m sharing them now in the posts labeled “Daisy Chronicles.”
My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010. The cancer had been caught blessedly early because of a shoulder operation. Her cancer was a speck on her scans. It was easy to believe in its beat-ability despite the fact that her form of cancer was an illusionist.
Her cancer was known to just reappear in parts of the body without having the connecting dot trail cancer typically leaves when it affects organs, muscle or bone.
By the end of 2010, chemotherapy treatments behind us, her scans were clear. They
remained clear until December of 2011 when a mass appeared in the lower part of her body.
I share that fact so that you understand that we had many, many months of believing my mother was cancer free before we were faced with the knowledge that the cancer didn’t actually ever leave. It was simply hiding.
That kind of knowledge can put a dent in someone’s faith but not my mother’s and not mine. We soldiered on believing in the power of her body to heal, in the power of God to help.
In February of 2012 when the oncologist looked at my mom and told her he was discontinuing chemotherapy and recommending hospice she looked at him, she listened but she said nothing. This was our normal routine. The doctor delivered the news, I asked the questions.
I think that moment would have been a fork in the road for most people of faith. Do you accept the doctor’s opinion that you are on the path to death or do you retain your belief in miracles?
That fork never appeared for me. It was simple. It was obvious. God had simply shown us that in order for my mother to be cancer-free she must come off chemotherapy.
I understand that you are probably thinking I was in denial of what was happening. I promise you I wasn’t. I understood 100% that my mom might die because of the cancer, I just knew the doctor didn’t have the knowledge to make that decision.
The choice for my mom to leave this planet was between her and God and when I looked in my mom’s eyes I knew she had not yet made that choice.
What I never took into consideration in that moment was that my mom may have needed some space to experience fear or grief or even disappointment. In fact it isn’t until this moment right now as I write this that I can see that room differently.
I was so busy protecting my mother from that doctor’s absolutism about her death that I didn’t make space for what she might truly need .. a moment of wavering faith. A moment to reveal to me that she was scared.
As I sit here typing this she is whispering in my ear “That’s not true. You gave me exactly what I needed.” I hope so. What I do know is that I replaced the doctors absolute belief that my mother would die with my absolute faith that God could heal her (and more accurately that God would.)
If I could go back in time to that moment and help my 5-year-younger self I’d tell her to Pause. I’d tell her t0 be in the moment between the moments. I’d tell her that her faith is accurate and true but the conclusions of her healing may not be. I’d tell her that her human self needs a few minutes or a few days to catch her breath.
My 5-year-younger self was always in fix-it mode. If I could talk to her I’d tell her there is another mode that is just as faith-filled but gentler. It is surrender mode.
Back when the doctor told my mother he would no longer be playing a part in healing her what I saw was him place the responsibility of her healing down on the floor. It was just sitting there with no one caring for it, so I picked it up, and that responsibility was heavy.
If I could travel back in time I’d stop my 5-year-younger self and say That is not yours to pick up. That belongs to God. Surrender it. Surrender it now.
If I could have surrendered to God what was God’s in that moment I don’t think it would have changed the end result of my mom’s passing months later, but it would have changed the journey to that destination, not just for me but for both of us.
Whatever challenge you are facing, minor or catastrophic, hand it over to God. God does not need to be the name you use but you know who I’m talking about. Surrender your burden to the Divine, the One, the Source. You will always be Her child and the journey will be so much easier if you let Her help.