Three years ago today I was recovering in my bed from my first of 12 chemotherapy treatments. It was miserable. I had this tingling feeling in my mouth like hundreds of little knives were pricking at my tongue. It was awful. Justin made tomato basil soup. He got into making soup for a little bit. I couldn't eat because it hurt my mouth too much. So i ate saltines instead. That's all I really remember. I am not sure who took care of Ava. I am sure I could look back at the archives and find out but I wanted to recall what came to me naturally. I remember laying in bed and smelling Justin cook. Cancer slowed us down. Without throwing my sweet husband under the bus I am not sure he has cooked since. But I am fine with that because we all have gifts and preparing food is not my gift. We'd both rather eat out.
It's interesting what you remember about certain day or certain time in your life. 12 treatments felt like so many. I recall Justin's dad calling me and saying..."you did it. One down. 11 to go. You can do this!" I instantly thought...Is he serious? 11 feels like a lifetime. but i did do it. I completed all 12 treatments and we made it. We came out of it a little weary and broken. But we also came out of it feeling more loved and taken care of than at any other time in our life. I will take the pain and the sickness and the tingling knives any day...just to experience and live in the truth of the Lord's infinitely deep and wide love for me, Justin, our girls, and you. It's that deep. It's real and tangible and available for all of us.
As I reflected on where I was three years ago I thought back on today. A rainy day where a coupe girlfriends and I loaded our kids in my van and drove an hour to shop for home decor at hobby lobby. I love that place. It was full of Ava not listening, speaking rudely, crying, and annoying her little friend in the backseat. I wasn't patient with her today. I was frustrated because all I wanted was a nice little shopping trip with my friends to a store I really like. I did buy a few things and lyla barely made a sound the entire day. She's my laid back girl. Ava has not been listening that well this week and it's draining me. When I laid her down tonight we talked about it but she didn't express much remorse or regret for her choices. So we prayed and read books and I rubbed her face. That's her favorite. I told her if she got out of bed tonight I would take her stuffed animals and blanket away. She said she wouldn't get out. I kissed her and went to check on lyla and when I came out of her room she was standing in the hallway. So I walked into her room and removed all 8 animals and 3 blankets (she's a hoarder) and walked out. She cried. Don't worry she still has her sheet and comforter. came into the living room and sat down and for some reason opened blogger and here I am.
Even though today was hard. Because parenting is hard...like many things in life are hard. I know that I would take a thousand of these type of days than a day like 3 years ago. where I was nervous and scared and often wondered if I would be here to raise Ava. Because The Lord healed me I am helping Justin raise this strong willed little girl who wears me out. I would rather be worn out than missing a second of her life. The best part of it all is not only am I healthy for Ava but healthy enough to give her a little sister. Who she adores. Being a mother is exhausting and scary. Chemo was exhausting and scary. But thank you Jesus for giving me the health to walk alongside these precious girls as they grow into strong and caring women. I pray that they are bold and also tender hearted and have a heart that breaks for other people. I spend the most time with Ava and Lyla than anyone else. Sometimes the idea of that is overwhelming. I cave under the pressure. But today...as I remember where I once was to where I am now...I am grateful. I will choose joy. Starting now. Because I failed a lot today. But this moment as i sit when the house is quiet and my babies are asleep. I never want to forget how often I thought about what if i wasn't here for Ava? And the fear and deep grief that swept over me...that felt overwhelming. but the gift that it is to be here. Be my girls mom. Love them. Take them on adventures. Plan parties. Go on walks. Cuddle in bed and softly touch her little face. I could have missed all this. I don't want to miss out on her just because my patience is wearing thin. Is it okay that not everything about being a mom is fun? YES!! Duh. Of course it's not all fun and easy and picturesque. But I promise this. It's far better than walking through the reality that you might miss it all...so i will take a tough day like today...anytime.