MOM

How do you tell your child that you have a brain tumor? and not let your own FEAR scare them to death?

I just had a conversation on the way to school this morning with my 10 year old son, Ryder, about Brain Tumor Awareness Week. Yes! It’s this week!
I asked him what he remembered about that day, the day I told him that his Mom had a brain tumor…(he was 8 yo at the time).
“I was surprised, Mom, I wasn’t scared… I was just surprised”…
Ahh…I breathed a deep sigh of relief and thought …“Well done Mama”….
In those first few days of being diagnosed, I confess that I was as emotionally stable “as a piece of furniture from Ikea”…. however, I didn’t want my kids to experience that with me !!! I myself was uncomfortable and having a hard time processing all these emotions.
I wanted them to experience me as they always had; strong, stable, steady, solid. (Of course also happy, healthy, vibrant, playful & fun but those were temporarily on the back burner.)
As their loving Mama, I had always made a point of telling them that I could be counted on no matter what, that I had their backs, and that I would always love them unconditionally, no matter what. Those values were now in question.
There I was swimming in the whirlwind of emotion. Emotion that I needed to experience to figure out my treatment plan and accept, come to terms with and allow what was happening for me. I was feeling it all:
– fear
– grief
– anger
– sadness
– frustration
– pain
I knew I was feeling all these feelings that were triggered by having to face and “deal with” being diagnosed with a life threatening illness or disease. However, I knew I needed a strategy of how to deal with my own personal journey but also be strong for my kids. I wanted to be that good teacher to them, I wanted to weave the vulnerability of honesty and truth, but also faith and strength into the tapestry of our family experience. These small ones in my life were, and always are, like sponges, they absorb everything. I didn’t want them to take on too much nor too little.
On my own, I diligently faced my own perceived loss of health, loss of control, loss of confidence, loss of life as I knew it. I faced being frozen in my tracks. But with them I showed up with borrowed faith, for their benefit and then in turn my benefit as well.
What I remember about that day is I sat down with my kids to intentionally share with them to the level in which they “needed to know”, at the level that would inform them but not overwhelm them. Face to face.  Looking them both into their eyes. I led with “Mom is going to be okay…..Mom is healthy and strong….but…right now I have to see a lot of Doctor’s and get a lot of treatment…I am going to need a lot of rest. No matter what, I love you and I am going to face this thing head on. You have my promise! Nothing is more important in my life than being there for you! It might take a few weeks…it might take a few years before I am back to 100% but know that I will be here for you!!!”
So with Ryder’s words this morning,
“I was surprised, Mom, I wasn’t scared… I was just surprised”…
I am thankful and full of gratitude that all my intentions were honored. Ryder was, and to this day, informed but not overwhelmed. Aware of what I am going thru, along side me in my journey but not scared.
So in my book, choosing to live in Love over FEAR will always be the right answer. I gotta be here for these Kids!! For me! For my life-purpose…after all I more than know that I am just getting started, just getting my feet wet, on this life of service, life purpose path.
In health, In healing and more importantly in great Love,
Meredith
mkm

Need to make a BIG life changing relationship decision? Should you stay or should you go?…this is where I started mine.

 

Sorting through the aftermath of a 10 year marriage is not easy…especially if heartbreak, betrayal, and disappointment is involved.

In my case I had a BIG decision to make:  Should I stay? or….Should I go?  This decision was no joke. I had been married for 10 years to my *ideal mate: Christian, Cyclist, Best Friend.  When this event came to light, we had  2 small children together, age 2 and 3.  I couldn’t just leave.  This decision weighed heavy on me.  In my pain I had to think bigger than the moment, I had to borrow belief and faith that was not mine, I had to be strong and unselfish for my kids, for the big picture of their lives, not just selfish or pulling back in my pain. 

So…what did I do?  I TOOK MY TIME. MY SWEET, PRAYERFUL TIME.  And you should too.

I struggled with this Big Life Change decision for weeks, months actually:

  •  I talked when I needed to talk.
  • I prayed when I needed to pray.
  • I journaled when I needed to journal.
  • I cried when I needed to cry.
  • I unraveled when I needed to unravel.
  • I got angry when I needed to get angry.
  • I yelled when I needed to yell.

You name it… I did it.  For the first time in my life I let ALL my emotions out.

My pastor at the time, the one I met with immediately, within 48 hours of “finding out”. You know that “fun” (sarcastic voice being used here) life altering first week where I cried non-stop and wore sunglasses to preschool pickup because I didn’t want anyone to see how puffy and bloodshot my eyes were.  But I knew the truth, anyone looking at me a mile away KNEW something was wrong. I was far from vibrating at my regular “high on life” , “high energy”, “high vitality” friendly and loving vibration.  I was in shock. I was just a functioning shell. All I could do was cry. Hug my sweet kids and cry again.

My pastor gave me these wise words, these words were a resting place for me to explore my options and honor my feelings and choices:

“Don’t make any decisions for 90 days !!! … you are in shock. You do not need to do anything right away.  You have children with this man, he will be in your life forever.  Don’t leave because you are hurt.  He is a man of God. Ask God what is best for you. Take your time.  Take your time until you know what your answer is.  You have this right.”

In my sadness and broken heartedness I put up that boundary.  TIME, I need my time. This is a LIFE CHANGING decision.  I am in no rush.  My husband was.  He wanted to renew our vows.  I couldn’t. I wasn’t there yet. “What do you mean?” I remember saying after a counseling session, “I don’t know if I can even talk to you without throwing up,…how could I possibly renew my vows?!?!… and then, “Forgive you,?.. I’ve never forgiven anyone in my life”…gulp.  Whew. Truth. Truth is not easy. I knew my weaknesses.

So where did I go from there.  I needed to make a decision that was for my higher good, for my children’s higher good but I had zero connection to myself.

Dear SELF…What do you want?…..

I did not know what I wanted.  I am a Mom with 2 small children, running a business out of my home with no childcare, what do you mean want?

Dear SELF…How do you feel?

Feel?… all these feelings I was feeling were not familiar to me. I didn’t know what to do with the amount of judgment seething and anger and resentment flowing thru me. This was unknown territory for me.  Not to mention the inner child who sure had her days of pity party ….”This is not what I signed up for?!?!: I remember saying.

Dear SELF…Who do you want to be?

I don’t know, I am so confused and disappointed, Me BE? Who is this man in front of me?  He is NOT the man I married. The man I married would have “never” done that to me. ..

These questions continued for months.  After 4 months of this level of soul searching I DID decide to leave.

On March 21, 2010, I loaded my kids up for a 2 week vacation, leaving Oregon for some rays of healing sunshine in California where friends and family were waiting for me with open loving arms.  That 2 week “healing vacation” however, slowly evolved into a long-term {Fresh Start} but that is a sharing for another day.

In the meantime, if you too are facing a real life change decision I can not tell you enough to:

Take your TIME.  BE true to YOURSELF.  Honor and cycle thru all your emotions. Take Care of yourself. Surround yourself with people who will love you but not tell you what to do.  When you know, you will know.

In Big Love,

Meredith

mkm