Strength comes from many outside sources. When I was ten, my mother found out she had malignant melanoma. They found it in her right big toe and had to have surgery to amputate and remove the lymph nodes from the top of the leg. The doctors told her she would never walk the same again. I saw the strength in my mother throughout this procedure. It wasn’t until years later I knew it was what made me the strong woman I am today.
I was kept in the dark
Because I was so young my parents and older sister kept me in the dark why my mother went to Texas. My father was military, so the surgery was in San Antonio at Wilford Hall Medical Center. It’s hard to believe medical science has progressed so far, but we can’t seem to stop this horrific disease. I didn’t find out what was happening to my mother when my parents were gone. I figured out after they got home and I was MAD! I was so frustrated as they were treating me like a child and not telling me ahead of time. This thought is quite funny now since I was only 10……………..I was a child!
I was so happy when my mother came home even though she slept a lot in the beginning. I knew she was alive and back home with us and that’s all that mattered. Shortly after coming home she demanded (yes, demanded) they bring her work to her. As an accountant and assistant director of the Red Cross and she didn’t want anyone else messing with her work. My father argued with her, which was a moot point as she was going to get her wish. Her bedroom was her new office, and she worked until she was able to learn to walk and drive again with her new handicap.
We should all be so strong
After finally returning to her job the coworkers brought in a cot for her to take naps and rest during the day. Again, she wasn’t going to accept that she was anything but capable of doing her job. My mother kept up her work and home life without letting anyone know she was hurting or suffering. I remember watching this as a child and years later knew this helped me develop my strength. As a military spouse, whose husband deploys or gone for months and years at a time, we endure a lot. Strength is what gets us through these challenges.
The strength we develop comes from many internal and outside sources. Our spiritual beliefs, situations, and strength from our upbringing. I can’t think of a better time to thank my mother as her upcoming birthday in heaven approaching! I pray she is watching me with proudness and gratitude for being such a strong woman and mentor in my life.