Grateful for the good.

As she opened her birthday presents at the kitchen table, my mom broke down and cried this morning. They were both tears of happiness and tears of… something more. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but seemed almost like tears of nostalgia or thankfulness.

My brother bought her plane tickets to Denmark for her birthday. He sent them to her email this morning with a note that said ‘Happy Birthday, I’ll see you in two weeks”. The significance of this is that her granddaughter was born in May and she’s been itching to get over there to meet her grand-baby ever since. So now, the woman who thought she would never ever get to travel is off to Europe for the second time in two years. It’s safe to say that made her morning, and likely day/week/year.

The other presents we gave her were much smaller in comparison. Just little things that sort of fit into her world each day. A fishing pole for her days at the lake, a new summer outfit for if it EVER gets sunny around here, a rice cooker because she always complained of never having one but was too stubborn to go buy one.

After she’d opened the presents, though, she was still crying. After she’d seen her cake, she was still in tears. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, so I’d asked her what was wrong.

She quite literally broke down at the kitchen table this morning, right in front of me.

‘I’m remembering my bithday last year’, she said.

‘No doubt,’ I responded, thinking she was just reflecting on what has been a difficult year for her.

‘I was so sick last year. So very sick. And I was afraid to tell anyone and I was afraid to get checked out. I really should have gotten checked out in August and not in November when I did.”

I wrapped my arms around her as she sat in the chair and said ‘It’s okay, it all worked out okay’.

She went on to say ‘When they finally did give me my diagnosis, when I finally learned what was wrong, you know you go through that moment, that… ‘Am I going to make it to my next birthday’ frame of mind. And now I’m here and it’s so incredible and I wish I could go back in time and tell myself how incredible it feels and to tell myself it’s all going to be okay.’

See, she had never told anyone in my family that she was feeling sick until November. So this morning was a bit of a revelation for us. We may not always get along (rarely, actually) and we definitely don’t ever see eye to eye, but I’ve got an immense amount of pride in my heart for the woman. My mother is the strongest woman that I know. She started down cancer and she won. Now she’s here to celebrate a birthday, but also conquering the past twelve months.

And honestly, this birthday, I’m reminded how grateful I am that she’s still here, too. Now I’ve got to teach her how to pack for two weeks in Europe in only a carry-on bag. Send help! lol

Happy Birthday, Mom. (I know she doesn’t know about this blog, so writing that on here is more for sentiment than anything else, but I wanted it to be said) Here’s to many more bithdays ahead.

38 thoughts on “Grateful for the good.

  1. Happy birthday to your Mom! I can relate to your feelings. It was similar to us when my older son became cancer-free. Although none of us ever thought that we could not win this battle. I wish you and your Mom, and the rest of your family to enjoy the happiness of the moment, and never take it for granted :).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s really crazy how cancer affects everyone. Genuinely, having a family member go through it – you know how it feels. Your son is a warrior and I’m so grateful to hear of another story in which someone defeated cancer. You must understand the grateful feeling of still having him around that I’ve been feeling today. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Aww, this brought tears to my eyes. When we get faced with things that make us know we won’t be here forever, and then you have kids like your mom has— I’d be bawling, too! Such a precious post. ♥️

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I hope that your mother had a wonderful Birthday not just for the day, My parents have passed both at 82 almost on the same day. Wising her Congratulations, and a long healthy life & many grandchildren.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can’t even imagine what you’ve been through. I am so sorry! Cancer is horrible and hearing that it affected your family so many times over is heartbreaking. Sending you some love today, from my mom and I.


    1. Well I would like to send a lot of love your direction, because honestly, you’re incredible. As a survivor, you’re a true warrior. Thank you for sharing ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh, another Virgo Mom. 🙂 You already know that I have one of those also, so I know all too well how strong-willed and determined those Mamas are! She’s blessed and so are you and your family to have her with you in spite of last year’s news. I see no reason why she shouldn’t be able to pack for Europe in a carry-on, as I am a compulsive over- packer and did just that— back in December. Pinterest has great packing tips for Europe travel and those packing cubes work MIRACLES (check Amazon). Wish her a very Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I remember recently reading one of your posts about your momma’s birthday! Mom’s are wonderful, aren’t they?

      Thanks for the tips! I will go look at packing cubes.

      My momma had a wonderful birthday, so much so that she cried as she hugged me before she went to bed, saying thank you. It was sweet. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And now you will prob remember it for a while 😉 Ur ma’s gonna have a blast. My mom just told me she wants to go to D.C.!! I’m like go mom, go!! I can’t so go march with em. I love moms.


  5. Awwwww, V, that’s awesome! You are a fantastic daughter because, even though you may rarely get along, you’re there for her. That’s seriously beautiful ❤ I’m so glad she beat cancer and she can finally meet her grandbaby, that’s a miracle!


  6. Blessings to your mother. Thank you for sharing. I’m sure your mom would have loved your beautiful heartfelt words.


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