Motherlode, a parenting blog, featured a touching essay last week, written by a woman whose best friend was dying. Her friend Lisa had just found out she had inoperable Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and would die soon, leaving behind her young son and daughter. She wrote an email to her friend saying, "We will tell the children tomorrow and a bomb will go off in our family...."
The essay was heartbreaking--can you imagine?--but one beautiful insight from the essay stayed with me.
"If you are the mom, you have to keep raising your children, whatever that means. Your job is to prepare them for the road ahead, and suddenly, that road had changed. There are lunches, homework, chores--the usual--against the new backdrop of the surreal: soon I’ll be dead. If you are the mom, and you are dying, there is just no handbook...
One thing I learned: the relationship remains, and no matter what happens next, the mother is always the Mom. Mom, Always. That was something Lisa really wanted to hear...Also, to me, Mom, Always sounds like Love, Always. Which is all any of us can hope to leave behind."
I thought that was so beautiful.
(Photo by Elliott Erwitt)