I believe that the mind is the most powerful tool. It can determine anything that you allow it to do. When I was 5 months pregnant with my son, my husband and I took a trip up north to visit my family. My moms cancer had returned but I had no idea just how far it had spread. When we saw her, she had a slight yellow color, jaundice was setting in. It was at that time we needed to evaluate the situation. The whole family pulled together and brought her to an intervention. We all knew the small town doctor wasn’t helping and thought this would be a job for MD Anderson. During the time we were up north we encouraged her and all stuck with her. She was very optimistic even though her health was quickly deterioating. She always had the positive attitude, even though 4 months prior her husband had passed away suddenly. She knew that she could make it through this, I saw it in her eyes, and she would do this with the help of her family.
The next two weeks in Houston were not easy. My husband was a huge help with researching natural cancer “remedies”. She drank every tea and every food and took every vitamin we gave her. She was bound and determined to get through this and see her new grandbaby when he was born. Unfortunatly, her jaundice worsened and MD Anderson could do nothing until it was under control. She was so weak, but still managed to go outside in the sun and soak up some rays around the pool. Her attitude flourished. Then came the morning when she woke up and looked at me with the most tired eyes and said she wanted to go home. When I asked her how would she like to get there, by plane or drive, she said “not that home”. I looked at my husband and we moved like lightening to gather her belongings and hi-tail it back up north.
22 hours of driving straight north, exceeding the speed limits in every state, was a grueling trip. Add and being pregnant and exhausted was no help either. She PROMISED she would not die before we got to her home. She kept her promise, we made it. The family was there waiting for us to arrive. All of her children, step children, grand children and sisters were there. The house was filled with high emotion as the men of the family lifted her out of the SUV and into the hospice bed that was brought in. As she lay in bed she wanted a one on one with each memebr who was there. Everyone got to speak with her and tell her how much her stength had influenced us. She was cohenerent and conversed with each one of us. Then it was my turn. I held her hand and stroked her hair as I bravely watched her in her state. I told her how much I loved her, and how incredibly grateful and lucky I was to have such a wonderful mother. My last words to her were, “I hope that I am as good of a mother to my child and you were to me.” She replied, “you will be.” That was the last time I spoke with her. When the last sibling arrived to the house and he walked out of her room she slowly slipped into a peace which non of us can describe. 23 hours after we arrived home, she passed with all of her family at her side.
I believe that if she had given up her will and told herself that there was no hope, she would not have made it as long as she had. I believe her fiesty spirit and her will to be the strong mother, granmother and sister we all knew her to be was the reason she was able to give everone one last word. Those personal deep words are forever within each of us. She makes me a stonger person. My mind is my engine. My mind is my future. I look into my sons eyes and I see that strong mind he posseses just like I saw in her. Thank you mom.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.