When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Courage - A Tribute to my Mom

Today I am participating for over at Mama Kat's for the Writers Workshop.  The rules are easy.
Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list Here.

The Prompts:
1.) A memorable high school job.
2.) That time you ran away from home.
3.) A boy you had a crush on…where is he now?
4.) Ode to your mother…write about a special memory you have of your mom in honor of Mother’s Day.
5.) 10 reasons why you could not be a real housewife from any county

I chose to write about my Mother in honor of Mother's Day.  
My mother taught me more about courage than any other woman in my life.  When I was very young, my mother was divorced and taking care of three kids by herself.  This was during a time when most women were married and stay at home moms.  She worked nights to try and take care of our needs.  As a mother myself now, I know how difficult that must have been for her.  
When I was 19, she was diagnosed with a tumor in her brain and given less than two years to live.  She had brain surgery and radiation treatments and the cancer went into remission.  The radiation damaged the hair follicles and she was bald for the rest of her life.  
When I was 24, she was in an accident that crushed her skull down onto her brain and nearly amputated her leg.  Because the accident happened during the hot months, she also received 3rd degree burns on her arms and legs.  She spent over 12 hours in surgery trying to repair the damage.  She was in Intensive Care for six weeks and finally ended up losing the leg that they had worked so hard to save.  She spent nine months in the hospital for rehabilitation and surgeries to do skin grafts over the burned areas.  
When she finally got out of the hospital, she became fiercely independent and insisted on doing everything that she could for herself.  She bought a scooter chair that she used to get herself around town.  She moved to an apartment that was close to stores and she pretty much did everything for herself.  
It was not uncommon for her to take herself most places.  She either took her scooter or a taxi, and though she did not drive, she was never trapped in one place.  She would call on me to take her places her chair could not get her and we would take the car and drive to the mall or Mervyn's.  
She did not like to be around large crowds of people.  They had a habit of running into her when she was on crutches or in a wheel chair.  I learned to take her places when they weren't busy.  She would go shopping in the off seasons and not on the weekends.    
My older children remember going to her house and riding around the apartments on her chair with her and her dog.  My mother had many difficulties throughout the rest of her life.  Her brain was never quite the same and she had seizures from time to time (even with the medication) due to the injuries.   
She lived 20 years after her cancer was diagnosed and finally died of complications for her tumor.  My last baby was six weeks old when my mother passed away.  
I am grateful to her for the example of persevering that she taught me.  I think, if I have been strong or brave in my life, it is largely because I learned from her how to be that way.  I am not sure if I would  have the courage to keep going in the face of the kind of adversity that she had to face.  
She also taught me that you can't judge a person by what you see on the outside.  You have to get to know them, and even then, there are things that you will probably never find out.  We each have our own trials.  Some are obvious like my Mother's leg, but some are hidden deep inside our hearts.  We all hurt, we all cry, we all struggle with our own problems and adversities.  I have learned that we can't take any moment for granted.  No one knows what their time here will be.  All we can do is to do the best we can at any given moment.  Some of the most important work we ever do will be lifting one another's burdens and helping them on their way.  So today, I am taking a moment to pause, reflect and remember.  My mother made a difference.  

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'"
~Mary Anne Radmacher


  1. Thank you for stopping by my blog!

    Yours, too, is also an amazing tribute to your mom! What a strong woman!

    Your blog is really pretty!

  2. Your mom sounds like an amazing lady. It is so wonderful that she was able to meet all your children! It really reminds me that the Lord doesn't give us more than we can bare. I wouldn't be strong enough to live through half the things your mother did and with such grace! To be so independent at a time when no one would blame you if you needed constant care! What a great example you have to share with you children of the strength we can find within ourselves. Thanks for sharing!

  3. That was a inspiring post. What a great story of courage. Your mother was amazing and I am sure you are too.
    Have a Happy Mother's Day and blessings to you!

  4. Amazing. It's easy to see now why you are the amazing, compassionate, kind, uplifting, inspiring woman that you are. You had a great role model! Terrific post.