Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Right now, today

Christopher has been baptized. Sunday, his Nana stood in front of the congregation with us and baptized her youngest grandson.

I honestly didn't think that we would get to see this day. I didn't think my mom would be here for this day.

My momma and I had good conversations last week. There is something about a daughter becoming a mother that makes the grandmother/mother and mother/daughter bond even stronger. I feel closer to my mother than I ever have before.

While we were talking last week, I realized that I've spent an awful lot of time and energy on being sad for my parents' health. Granted, they rarely get good news when they go to the doctor, but so far, neither of them have been told that they were going to die that same day.

Susan's post, A moment spent moping, really hit home. It's not just the patients who are angry at cancer or spend their time wishing for the "what could have been's" of a different diagnosis. As the daughter of an ovarian cancer patient and a Parkinson's patient, I do the exact same thing.

What this means is that I have spent the past six years mourning the loss of my parents over and over and over again. Every time there is a new diagnosis, I mourn.

That seems like a complete waste of time now.

Each day that I still have them is a gift.

In all honesty, it doesn't always feel that way. Each day that I still have my mother is a gift, but some of the days with Daddy are down right hard. I have so much anger for what has been taken from him and from us. It is harder to apply the "each day is a gift" to a disease which erodes my father's mind and body in waves of dust and huge chunks of his life.

But Momma.

Her scans are not clean. Her ca125 is rising again. She will start chemo again, maybe this fall.

And I can type that without crying. Finally.

Momma is still here. She is still fighting. She is still winning. Right now.

Every minute I spend thinking ahead at what she will miss is a minute I've spent not enjoying her while she's here.

She was here to meet my child. She was here to hold my child. She was here to baptize my child. All things that I had mourned the loss of in 2002 when she was diagnosed with stage 3B ovarian cancer.

Sure. My momma is going to die much sooner than I would like for her to, and we all know it. The knowing makes it hard. But would there be a time in my life when I wouldn't be devastated to lose her? She could be 97 years old and I would still be heartbroken when she passed.

So today I vow to stop mourning my parents before they are gone. It's not fair to them, and it's not good for me.

That also means, Momma, that you have to stop labeling all your stuff all the time too. I may love your pewter goblets, but I don't want them anytime soon.