When my mom started her first chemo treatments for breast cancer this week, her strength brought out the absolute best in our family. I could not help but think of one of my favorite sayings – “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” My mom is the living embodiment of this truth.
As she stared down the long road of kicking cancer’s rear end, I know there were times of fear and doubt. Yet those moments were fleeting. The strength and positivity boomed from her, giving us permission to find the best within ourselves. Collectively, we have never been stronger.
I feel closer to my parents now than ever. The shock of mortality cancer forces us to confront is gone. Now, I am ready to use my mom’s cancer as fuel to do more in life – as a father, husband, son, friend. To do more in life – thrive, not just survive. To do more in life – to give more and take less. To do more in life – to love more and hate less. To do more in life – to LIVE more and complain less.
For each time I’ve failed in this mission already, I think about what else I want to more of in life – forgive more. Period. That includes forgiving myself.
My struggle with weight took on a whole new meaning because of my mom’s battle. You see, obesity means I have more of a risk for cancer. That simply cannot happen when I have the power to fix it. My continuous war with weight is but a drop of water versus the monsoon that is what my mom will endure. And my mom is facing this storm with head held high, leading our family through to shelter. That example can only inspire.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my dad here. He’s been incredible for my mom, and for us as he keeps us informed. The relationship between my parents has never been better. This adversity is merely letting the character they have always possessed take center stage as we are blessed to watch.
I would prefer that cancer never had a chance to impact my mom or anyone for that matter. But, since it did, I am so proud to be a part of such an inspirational response.
I am confident that my mom WILL BEAT cancer. The lasting impact of her strength and example will endure forever. Cancer, you suck. Mom, you rock. We will be there for you and we will all do better because of you. That’s your character. That’s your legacy.