And you’re back? Hooray for another Face Your Fear Friday!
All of us fear it in one way or another. Death. Don’t leave! My hope is that this lights a fire under you to mend fences. Have no regrets. This life boils down to one thing in my mind. It’s not about building the biggest business. It’s not about how many things you can fit into your castle of a house. What it starts and ends with is love.
In all seriousness, I don’t fear my own death one bit. That might sound morbid, but I’ve just come to accept the circle of life. Here’s my biggest fear, truth be told: My leaving this planet or someone I love leaving this planet not knowing how much I love them. I was sitting with my two cousins at [Stacked Pickle] a little over a month ago. We were talking about getting our cousins together to do a camping trip this summer so we could all be in one place and just enjoy each other’s company outside of the hustle and bustle of every day life. I think Joe thanked me for organizing it – and that was all it took. Tears started flowing down my cheeks and I said, “You know, my biggest fear is that I won’t see you guys or people that I love again – and you won’t know how much I love you.” And the tears kept coming. The truth is that the tears finally stopped the day after, but even now, writing this out – my eyes are starting to fill up.
I lost my mom nearly 6 years ago to a horrid disease – pancreatic cancer. I’d be lying if I told you that a part of me didn’t die that day as well. Before that day came though – my GOD, we had a rocky relationship. I took her for granted more times than I care to remember. I was selfish. She was demanding and controlling. It felt like one head butt session after another. I even remember when she was feeling so badly before her diagnosis – I felt like she was exaggerating – because that’s what she did. Everything was bigger than life (which is probably why I love the movie Big Fish). As I sat in that tiny little consultation room with about 10 other family members, the doctor told me news that flipped my whole world upside down. As much as this woman annoyed me. As much as I’d thought her purpose in life was to destroy mine – the reality of the woman who loved me enough to give me life – flashed right in front of me. In that moment, I realized just how self-centered we can be as humans. Before this moment, I’d lived my life for me. On October 11th, 2007 – my life was no longer just about what I wanted and what I needed. At around 10:30 am that very day, my life’s purpose became saving my mother’s life. No doctor was going to tell me I couldn’t either.
I tried – and I failed. One thing I didn’t fail at though: I rebuilt an incredible, loving, connected relationship with my momma. I apologized for the little things and the big things. I bathed her, massaged her, and at the end, flushed her IV lines, fed her – and ultimately…. let her go. As I was sitting next to her as she was in her hospital bed a couple of weeks before she passed, her best friend, Patty was there. I got a little emotional and started to apologize again. She looked at me and said, “honey, it’s ok. Let it go.” Then she looked at Patty and said, “Isn’t it funny? Your kids can wound you deeply and all it takes is a heartfelt apology and EVERYTHING is ok. And I mean it, sis.” As she turns back to me.. “Everything is ok.” Now that’s love.
I want to leave you with this video from Patrick Swayzee and Barbara Walters. It’s ironic that this man passed from the same dreaded disease. The reason I share it though – is the tail end of this video. “It’s amazing, Molly. The love inside… You take it with you.” Live each day like it’s your last – and love just the same. Mend fences. Pride is a monster and it’s not worth the regrets you’ll have once it’s too late.
If you have interest in learning more about Pancreatic Cancer or would like to donate to research please visit the —->PanCan Site <—–