I feel so much detachment from that time in my life. Did that really happen? Was that actually me? It feels so long ago.
As I thought back to that time, I felt extreme sadness for that young woman who had to face the thought of death at age 25. And I was even more sad for her because what she feared more than surgeries, chemo, the thought of not having any more children, or even death itself... was that of losing what she held most precious to her... her husband and her two year old little boy. Her worst fear was that that little boy would feel lost and abandoned by his mother... not being able to understand at that tender age that she did not desert him. Just the memory of the thought is almost too much for me to bare.
And then, I felt oddly STRONG! Yes, that woman did have to have a couple of surgeries and spent some time in the hospital. But she recovered quickly, did not have to have chemo, has been able to have two more children, and she is still here with her loving husband and now THREE little boys. That woman didn't just stare down any cancer in the face...but OVARIAN cancer... which is known as the "SILENT cancer" because almost no one knows they have it until it is too late. She stared it down and WON! The thought of it made me feel powerful. The thought of anything else felt trivial and small. I felt like I could up and run a marathon if I needed to... like I could move mountains... and that there was nothing I could not conquer.
And then I felt humility. Because as quickly as I had felt strong... I felt weak. I was quick to remember that it could easily come back. I realized that I didn't actually personally beat anything. If it had not been the Lord's will for me to live... then I would clearly not be here today. I certainly wasn't in charge and most honestly had nothing to do with my outcome whatsoever. Let's be honest... I couldn't actually run a marathon... or even move a small boulder if I tried with all my might!
And then the guilt set in. Guilt for not being quicker to remember the Lord.
But then I was suddenly flooded with gratitude. I am grateful for life! I am so grateful to be here today! I am grateful I only had to have one ovary removed. I am forever grateful for the lives of those two other beautiful boys I have been able to bare! I am grateful for this second chance I have been given (for whatever reason...) to raise my children and to learn what it truly means to be a wife and mother. I am grateful to my Savior for not abandoning me during one of my darkest hours. That young woman prayed a lot during that time. One night as she knelt in prayer alone until the early hours of morning... she received her answer. It was an overwhelming feeling of peace. She didn't know what it meant... if she would live, or if she would die. But that woman knew that whatever it was that was in store for her and her family... it would somehow be okay.
Our little family at the time-- December 2004