There I was, kneeled down saying night prayers with one of my sons, and I knew God was listening. I knew He was in the room. I felt as if my knees would melt into the atmosphere.
I was there and I wasnít.
ďOur Father, which art in Heaven/Hallowed be thy name...Ē
I have said prayers with my sons many times. Years ago, Iíd taught them the Lordís Prayer. Isnít that what so many mothers have done ó so thereís nothing special about me, I surmised.
But, even as I uttered the words, there was a lump in my throat because I wanted to be special. I wanted to be the special mother who gets to stick around and raise her children. Over the years, Iíve seen mothers die unexpected deaths and leave young children behind. In 1994, I lost my Aunt Linda who, when she died at age 27, left behind three young children.
I know the pain. I didnít want to be that mother.
Recent test results had indicated that I might have cancer. My husband is a cancer survivor.
For his sake, for my sake, for the sake of our sons, I didnít want to face that battle. He and I often watch a show called ďThe Big C.Ē When we started watching it, my husband had not yet been diagnosed. He tells me itís different watching it once you know youíve got cancer.
I didnít want to find out.
But, the mind plays tricks. Iím envisioning nausea, wigs, thinking about the long drive to the UNC Cancer Center. Thinking of needles and medication.
I didnít want to let my mind wander.
I had to find a way to carry on with my normal routine as I awaited biopsy results. A couple of doctorís visits had not been positive and hadnít left me much hope.
But, I summoned my faith. All I needed was the faith of a mustard seed. All I needed was to believe that I didnít have cancer.
A cancer scare puts everything in perspective.
Spending time with my Family is top priority ... not writing the next story or worrying about what upgrades or repairs need to be done to the house. A home is sort of like a bank and weíre always making deposits ó new paint here, new furniture there. Itís always something. The cost of living rises and repairs are expensive, so it can be stressful.
But, finding out that I donít have cancer, makes the to-do list at home seem minor. Being able to pray with my sons and know that we wonít have to pray that I beat cancer or that mom feels better is powerful.
I love and miss all the people my Family has lost to cancer ó from Aunt Mandy and my cousin, Cindy in the past year to my great-aunt Flossie who died 25 years ago. I know so many people have fought the battle and lost.
Do I take for granted saying prayers with my sons? No.
Do I cherish conversations with my husband? Yes.
Will I pay better attention to my health? Definitely.
I will always be grateful to the Family and friends who helped me brave this crisis.
And Iíll always believe in the power of prayer and the importance of a little faith.