Mar 1, 2013 1:36am
When I had just completed my final year of high school my mother had a stroke, or so it at first appeared. We eventually found out that this seizure was related to a terminal brain cancer which took her life 11 months later, when she was just 39 years old. The entire process was very harrowing and has left a mark on my clan to this day. Certainly it has left a mark on ME to this day; it fills me with sadness to even think about it. That a woman so young should die, leaving behind a husband and 6 kids, including an 11 month old baby, seemed so unfair that I was angry about it for some quite some time.
But one of the incredible qualities that my mother possessed was that she herself never ever got bitter about what had befallen her. Despite the overwhelming number of afflictions that beset her last days, and they mounted one by one as time wore on, she never gave in to anger, or to “why me” bitterness. I do not remember her ever getting angry at god or fate or anyone else either. This attitude made a huge impression on me at the time, though I was incapable of adopting it for myself.
Now that I’ve had a stroke of my own, I am even more amazed at the grace that my mother managed to bring to her plight. Her situation was infinitely worse than mine, with many complications; epileptic seizures and severe burns down one side, and of course the brain cancer, which thankfully I don’t have, (they checked). I am left wondering more than ever how she bore her burdens so well.
I think the answer is that she tried to make the most of the time that was left to her, to spend as much time as she could with her family. Time much too precious to be wasted on bitterness. All these many years later her attitude is even more of an inspiration to me.
When I consider my situation, sometimes it is tempting to give in to self pity, frustration or depression, or to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task before me. But I must remind myself that such feelings would be a waste of time and make a difficult situation even harder to bear, both for me and the people close to me.
I have a lot of rehabilitation to do before I am even close to getting back to normal but I hope that I manage to push through it all with a portion of the wisdom, courage and good grace that my dear mother once showed me.