Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Healthy Dose of Humility: A Real Live Supermom

This happens often. I don't plan on writing anything. In fact, I plan on NOT writing anything because I have so much stuff that I have to get to. But, as is often the case, something comes up that affects me to the point that I feel the need to share it. Tonight, such a thing has happened.

When I was in college, I started out studying journalism. I love to write and wanted to do it professionally. I wont lie, I'd still love to. It's actually a dream of mine. However, I had another dream too. So I changed my major to Women's Studies. I wanted to be able to council women somehow. In all honesty, while this is something that I still have a passion for, I am glad that certain things fell through and I never completed this course of study. I don't think I was ready for it and I'm not sure that even now that it would be the best thing. I still have a lot to learn about life. Like tonight. Tonight, I was humbled by one woman's incredible and touching story.

Heather Von St James is a Mesothelioma survivor. I read her story tonight at http://www.mesothelioma.com/. I can't get over her attitude about all of it. While reading her articles, I was moved to tears more than once. Years ago, as a brand new mother, she was diagnosed with cancer. At the young age of 36, her whole world, and the world of her loved ones really, was turned upside down. However, she had an incredibly positive attitude about it. I almost never have a positive attitude. She gets cancer months after giving birth to her first child and later has a lung removed and she's upbeat and optimistic. She is sharing her intimate story.

Talk about being put in my place. How often I take life for granted. I grumble at the fact that my husband has to work on a project far from home. He doesn't have cancer though. I get annoyed at the small medical bills we have to pay. I don't have to pay for CT scans and plane trips to special hospitals and surgeries and whatever else health insurance doesn't cover. I get to spend all day every day with my beautiful children. This poor woman missed crucial months of her daughter's life due to her own illness. We're so quick to forget that there are people out there with real problems. People who are sick or who's entire universes are shattering with small sentences like "You have cancer."

God tells us that He wont allow us to be tempted with more than we can handle resisting. God must see women like Heather or my grandmother as real Superwomen. Heather didn't let any of what she went through hold her back. My grandmother, who still had to go through radiation and chemo regardless of the fact that surgery removed her cancer since she had an aggressive protein in her body, still works and takes care of her herd of dogs and her horse and a ridiculous amount of other things. I know another young woman, not much older than me, who has cancer... again... and is going to school and working and taking care of her son and volunteering. These women blow my mind. And humble me. I can't say that I would be able to handle what they've been through and are going through. Which may be the reason why I'm not in their shoes. God knows how strong they are and that they can handle this trial with His help. I think He knows that I am not as strong or as courageous. I think He knows that I would have a hard time sharing my story, unlike Heather who is using her experience to help and encourage others.

Whether or not these women will read this, I wanted to thank them for being a great example. For putting me in my place. For being strong. Women like them make a difference. Women like Heather, who's optimism and cheerful attitude in spite of what she went through, will help other women find their potential. Help them find their inner Superwoman.

Tonight, I stand in awe of a true Supermom: Heather Von St James.


On a really random side note, I had two articles published on http://www.wikimommy.com/. They are featured on the front page (scroll down, under "Motherhood"): Keys for Becoming a Successful Supermom and Ways for a Mother to Maintain a Positive Attitude. Actually, now they seem a little silly considering I am standing in the shadow of a truly positive Supermom but there they are. The site is fun and informative for all mothers. Check it out!

1 comment:

  1. Abby, thank you for sharing this...I too now feel completely humbled and very much like a spoiled brat. I can't imagine the horror many people go through with life threatening medical conditions. Yet, those people seem to have unlocked the secret to living truly joyful.

    Yes, we know that pure joy comes only through a deep relationship with Christ, but when faced with the possibility of death, I think there is a whole new perspective on life and those around us. An appreciation! And, I think people who are faced with health problems such as cancer are strengthened and renewed in Christ.

    Not to lessen what others are going through, but we need to remember that we all have our trials. How do we know that our seemingly minor troubles wouldn't be a major ordeal for someone else? Everyone handles life differently. God just knows how to grow us and maximize our faith according to our unique make-up.

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