I met someone yesterday who helped put things in perspective for me. I have no idea what her name was, but she had a profound impact on my attitude.
We were out to eat as a family yesterday for lunch. A woman carrying an infant carrier asked us to keep an eye on her baby while she grabbed a high chair and we gladly did it. As I was admiring her baby I asked how old she was and the mother said “3 months”. The baby girl was quite small for a 3 month old and being the nosy mom I am, I asked if the baby was born premature. Her mom said “no, but she was only 4lbs 10oz at birth…because I was on chemo while I was pregnant.” I was stunned at the mother’s frankness about it all, but also her very positive attitude. She went on “I was diagnosed with breast cancer right after I got pregnant and had a double mastectomy and chemotherapy while I was pregnant so she was born small, but healthy. Now I’m in Pueblo for radiation today so we thought we’d eat out as a family after I was done”. Double shocked.
We continued our conversation a bit about the baby’s name and our 4 boys and the rest of her family (her husband and 8 year old son joined her a bit later at the table). The boys oogled the little girl (and so did Kerry and I). She was adorable, just like a porcelain doll. Tiny hands and features…she was a joy to behold.
When we were walking out to the car I couldn’t help but thank God for his blessing for my pregnancies, my health and the health of my children. I can’t imagine walking the road this woman and her family were on. The joy of being pregnant being overshadowed by a cancer diagnosis, surgery and then radiation. This woman, and her husband for that matter, had every right to be bitter, angry and scared. Instead she was incredibly positive and very delighted in her child. Kerry and I were talking about how difficult it must be and Kerry added…I can’t imagine how her husband must feel. To be faced with the challenges he must have as a father.
Everyone has their own tough road and the blessings that sometimes go along with it. It’s often difficult to imagine what the other person’s road must be like…we make it down our own by the grace of God, but I often find myself thinking that if it were me walking her path it might be too much for me to bear. I am thankful for the strength God has given me and the guidance He provides daily. He is faithful.
As we start a new year with new experiences and a new perspective I am reminded again of the promise I have from God….
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.