My Mama.

Cancer sucks. 

For someone that writes about feelings, sometimes I am not the greatest at processing my own. There are things I don’t often speak about. 

Number one the last year: my momma. 

I didn’t even realize how much I had tucked away my emotions. Don’t get me wrong—they emerged every once and a while (sometimes in an ugly cry that lasted whole days). But, in general, I haven’t spoken about my mom and her battle with cancer. 

Breast Cancer. 

I think most women fear breast cancer, but that fear can into reality. I’ll never forget when I found out about my mom. Christmas break—we were late to something, and she was in downer mood. I thought I had hurt her feelings. I asked what was wrong, hoping to smooth things over. She wouldn’t talk about it. 

Again and again I asked. Finally, in her front room, while my kids played upstairs, she told me that the doctor was concerned at her mammogram. My heart sunk, maybe quit beating altogether. Intuitively, I knew the truth that instant. Then it was a matter of waiting for the official call. 

“Cancer is cruel, but we live in a fallen world and I guess trials are a part of life.” That’s what I’ve been telling myself. “Trials affect everyone.” 

But then came the night she went into the ICU. I thought I might crumble to dust. I may be married and a mom of four kids, I may be “grown up”, but I still need her so desparately. There’s no one like my mom. I’ve never had a fiercer advocate, supporter, love, and teacher in my life. No matter how old I get, I go to her when life gets tough. Sometimes, I don’t even need to go to her because she calls me with her momma instinct. 

So, yeah. 

I believe she will pull out of this. She’s done with chemo now and onto radiation. And through all the fear of the unknown, I have stood in awe of her strength. She has handled this disease with such grace, such faith and trust and willingness to go through everything. She has surrendered—but not in a depressed sort of way. She has conquered. I am so overwhelmed with her quiet strength: her smiles, her jokes about hair loss and being eyelash free, her taking pictures with my dad in matching wigs, her determination to stay active and positive, the way she makes it about me and my family when she is around (she asks if she can rub myneck, watch my kids, feed us dinner, host us at her house…). She is such a beautiful soul. I adore her. 

So, tonight when I listened to Taylor Swift’s new album (I’m a loyal fan, and I’m not ashamed), a song came on, stealing my breath. Tears immediately poured out. I almost choked. And I knew I had to write this blog post. 

THIS. 

THIS SONG. 

This is everything I have felt that I haven’t known how to speak aloud. So, here’s my ode to my mama. The lyrics are everything:

The buttons of my coat were tangled in my hair
In doctor’s office lighting, I didn’t tell you I was scared
That was the first time we were there
Holy orange bottles, each night, I pray to you
Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too
And I say to you…

Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
You’ll get better soon
‘Cause you have to

I know delusion when I see it in the mirror
You like the nicer nurses, you make the best of a bad deal
I just pretend it isn’t real
I’ll paint the kitchen neon, I’ll brighten up the sky
I know I’ll never get it, there’s not a day that I won’t try
And I say to you…

Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
You’ll get better soon
‘Cause you have to

And I hate to make this all about me
But who am I supposed to talk to?
What am I supposed to do
If there’s no you?

This won’t go back to normal, if it ever was
It’s been years of hoping, and I keep saying it because
‘Cause I have to

Ooh-ah
You’ll get better
Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
You’ll get better soon
Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
Soon, you’ll get better
Ooh-ah
You’ll get better soon
‘Cause you have to


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