This post is going to be quick and not funny at all. You have been warned.
Lisa Bonchek Adams is a mother and a writer who blogs about her life at www.lisabadams.com. I’m not sure how I found her blog but I feel a little bit connected to this woman (in a completely non-creepy way, I swear) as she graduated from F&M only a few years before I did; has three young children (a girl and two boys) and lives in a town about 15 minutes away from mine.
We have so much in common… except she is currently battling Stage IV breast cancer and is, quite literally, fighting for her life.
Every time I see a new post on her blog, I immediately feel both a little happy and a little sad. Her writing is exquisite; the material is devastating.
Every time I finish reading a post, I SWEAR I’m not only going to hug my kids tighter and stop complaining about them, but I’m also going to make more green juice and stop eating sugar. I’m going to register for the breast cancer walk, sign up for tomorrow morning’s spin class and throw away all the artificial sweeteners in the house.
Sometimes I do these things. Sometimes I don’t.
Today’s post, The story I cannot edit, has me in tears. I strongly recommend you read the whole thing, but maybe wait until you’re home with some quiet time. And tissues. And chocolate kale.
Here’s an excerpt, about raising her children:
You see, my job now is to prepare them for life without me. My goal is to show them how to accept the help of others but not be reliant on it. I choose to show them every day that there is determination and nobility in facing what life throws you. You may not be able to change the final outcome, but you can change what you do to be ready for it. The strongest way of teaching this right now is by living my life deliberately, making choices and showing them the best I can be.
This doesn’t mean denial. Nor does it mean I don’t lose my temper or raise my voice or fall apart sometimes. To be emotionally numb or invariable in my response to what is happening is not healthy. I try to show them that expressing what they feel is a better option. Emotions of anger and sadness and grief and fear are fine to have. It’s beneficial to talk about them, but dwelling on them won’t make things better. Acknowledging their reality, their truth, their basis is what’s needed.
I’ve been thinking about that first line all day. You see, my job now is to prepare them for life without me.
In a way, that’s kind of what we’re all supposed to be doing, right? Raising our kids to stand on their own two feet. To make healthy choices and smart decisions. To deal with problems and conflicts on their own. To be productive. To communicate. To love.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t believe – desperately hope – that we will always be in the background to cheer them on. Or to catch them when they fall.
Lisa’s reality is different. And 100% unfair.
I have never met or spoken to Lisa Bonchek Adams, but I think the way she is living her life is beyond courageous.
So today, once again, I vow to love my children harder, care for myself better and find inspiration from this woman who has been dealt a very shitty hand and is still parenting and living in a way that I find so very inspiring.