What does it mean to have hope? Is it merely to wish that something will happen, or is it more than this? How do we define this seemingly simple idea in words? I say we can’t.
I was once a teenager who didn’t know what it truly meant to have hope. Sure I’d wished for plenty of things to happen in my life, but I have recently learned this is not what hope is. It is something that delves much deeper than the simplicity of our desires. It cannot be defined in words, and must be experienced before it may be understood.
It has been nearly one year since Mom has been diagnosed with kidney cancer and had the infectious kidney removed. Everyday is a constant struggle for her, and I constantly see her struggling through the once effortless tasks she put herself through to take care of her family. If it were up to me, I would work full time helping her around the house and taking care of her, but I’ve learned this is not what she wants. Dad once said to me, “The last thing your Mom wants to see is you change your life because of her. It would hurt her more than anything to see you stop doing what you do now for her.” I never could understand why this was the case. Why doesn’t Mom want my help? Why does she feel the need to be a hero? And therein lies the answer: Mom needs to be my hero. Now I knew why Mom put herself through so much struggle each day. It was for me, for Jonathan, Brianna and Dad. She will never give up her role as a mother and a wife. She does not know what it means to give in, or admit defeat, and she never will. She has always been “Super Mom” and nothing is going to stop her from fulfilling this role, not even cancer.
Though the doctors were able to remove the majority of the cancer via surgery to take out Mom’s kidney, the cancer has not given up. It is still fighting to kill her body, and I can easily say Mom is winning the battle. She is putting up the fight of her life, and refuses to give in. She won’t let the cancer make her weak, though her appearance may tell otherwise. It amazes me how such a small woman can put up such a big fight, and make such a difference in so many lives. She has brought our family out of the state of grief and sadness we once found ourselves in, and on to a new stage in this uphill better: a stage of hope. We no longer expect the worst, rather we hope for the best.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “If you lose hope, you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of all. And so today I still have a dream.” I too have a dream. One day my mother will defeat cancer: this I believe.