Sometimes we think that our greatest influence on others will come in the way we live our lives. But for me, the greatest influence I have ever had on my life was in the way that someone died. That someone was my mom.
In August of this past year, my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV gastric cancer. It was the most difficult situation I had ever faced in my life. I wanted to be angry with God. How could He do this to my mom and my family?
Mom told me that she didn’t understand why God was allowing this cancer into her life, but she trusted Him. She said that despite our circumstances, we needed to be looking for the blessings God had in store for us.
So that’s what we did. For the seven short weeks that Mom lived after her diagnosis, we counted our blessings every day.
I remember a time when Mom was lying in her bed. Her legs were swollen 3 times their normal size. She was unable to sit up or stand on her own. She had lost over 20 pounds and could barely eat. The cancer was winning the battle. She looked at me and said, “I feel so blessed.” I said, “Mom, you are lying there with cancer throughout your whole body, how can you say that?” Her response? “Well, I could be writhing in pain, and I’m not. Some people with cancer are in a lot more pain. So I am thankful that I’m not.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. Mom continually found blessings through the most difficult days of her life.
Mom’s example in dying changed my life.
Now I try to live each day to the fullest by counting the simple blessings that God has given me. When I am standing in a long line at the grocery store, I thank God for the legs on which I have to stand. When I am overwhelmed by loads of laundry, I thank God for a house full of loved ones who wear those clothes. When I am frustrated when I don’t get what I want, I thank God that I have all that I need. And when the overwhelming pain of missing my mother wells up inside of me, I thank God for the promise that I will see her again.
What a blessing!
Written by Traci from Beneath My Heart. Traci is the only girl in a house full of boys! She loves spending time with her husband of 12 years and their four amazing sons. She started her blog, Beneath My Heart, because her mom encouraged her to. It has become a huge blessing in her life! She shares about remodeling projects, furniture makeovers, crafty ideas, some adventures of being the mom of four boys, and the legacy her mother has left behind. You can contact her at beneathmyheart4 (at) gmail.com.