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Tough Questions...

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“Mom, can I have a Mohawk?”

If only the answers to all of life’s questions were as obvious to me as this one…

In the short span of several hours, Beth and Grace each received difficult news.  Both dissolved into a puddle of tears before me, demanding to know why these things happened, their anger equal to their sorrow…

Of course, I had no quick answers at the ready; accumulating a certain number of years, a crown of gray hair or being a mom doesn’t necessarily mean I understand ‘why’ any better than they do.

A twenty-five year old bible study friend of Beth’s was recently diagnosed with stage IV spindle cell sarcoma.  She told Beth she decided to pursue non-traditional methods of treatment…the thought of which triggered Beth’s meltdown.  “Wouldn’t you make me do everything medically possible?” was the question that followed her “Why?”

How could I possibly consider, much less answer, such a thing?  No way was I going there… Instead, I decided to point out the possible reasons behind her friend’s choice.   “Apparently after examining her options, she’s decided this is best for her.  Perhaps her prognosis following conventional medical treatment is still not good.  It could be a financial issue.  Maybe she wants to live out the time she has left as fully as possible, without the burden of additional illness caused by surgery and chemotherapy.”

Beth’s angry not only because she feels her friend should fight harder and exhaust every option available to extend her life, she’s also mad at the prospect of losing someone else in her life prematurely.  I tried to gently remind her of how often she’s wished for the chance to say goodbye to Brian...  And while she doesn’t have to agree with the decision, she has the opportunity to comfort and support her friend in the coming days, and to say goodbye, as hard as it will be to do.

This was followed by Grace discovering a friend’s mother committed suicide; as if that wasn’t enough, her friend stumbled upon the scene…  “How could she do that to her kids?  She seemed fine the last time I was over there.  Why did this happen?”  Once again, I had no idea what to say…  “Gracie, there were probably a lot of things going on which you didn’t see or know about.  Maybe something happened with her job or finances, or a relationship fell apart…any number of things could have piled up until the weight of it all was more than her mom could bear to carry any longer.  It hurts me to think she lost all hope and felt despair so strong she thought this was the only way out.”

Grace listened intently to my words, but it did little to dispel her anger over what happened.  In her view, this mom abandoned her family in the worst possible way.  She took her own life deliberately, and brought this pain into all of their lives.  Grace threw out other questions, like “Where will my friend live now and who with?” and “How will she be able to finish school after this?”  I simply told her I didn’t know; I suggested she call and extend her sympathy and understanding, and to wait to see what happens next…

All I know to do is encourage them to keep walking on in faith, hoping someday the answers will be revealed…

As for the Mohawk question, the little boy wanting it appeared to be about four years old; I never heard his mom’s reply, but I know what mine would have been…

Thank you so much for your kind thoughts, words and prayers during this challenging time; it has been a great comfort to us as we navigated the many ‘events’ leading up to this year’s anniversary.  I appreciate it more than you could ever imagine…

Wishing you many blessings, sunshine and hope…tg

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator

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