I Am Courageous
By Lauren Thompson
As it was featured on Facebook in the “You Are Courage Campaign” Page
Friday, July 25, 2014 was the start of the week that changed my life forever. My mother – my best friend, my biggest supporter, my strength, my light on every dark day – was transported to the local hospital exhibiting stroke-like symptoms. At only 58 years old, she was diagnosed the next day with a brain tumor. Four days later it was resected; three days after that, she was told she had a stage IV Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), with a projected life expectancy of 15 months with treatment, or 4 months without.
For the next 12 months, she endured 6 weeks of radiation, countless days of chemo therapy, and an additional resection. She was sick for weeks during, and after, chemo. She missed her last Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and both granddaughter’s birthdays (among other various birthdays, holidays and special occasions) due to her chemo schedule and hospital stays. Ironically, it was because of her family that she was fighting so hard. She was the best Nana two little girls could ever ask for and she loved our little girls more than life itself. Her biggest fear through it all was that her grandchildren wouldn’t remember her.
Growing up an only child, my stay-at-home mom and I shared a very special bond. Until recently, I was too naive to understand that not everyone is lucky enough to share the special bond that we had. In addition to being special to her family, she was also a notable lady in our small community, sharing her wealth of knowledge with children and adults for almost 30 years.
Carol Thompson passed away on July 18, 2015 – a week shy of her first hospitalization. It was a bittersweet day knowing that she was no longer suffering, while knowing I would never again feel her touch, hear her voice or smell her scent. I watched as the woman who witnessed my first breaths, took her last.
This year was my third Mother’s Day without my momma. I have experienced all of the various stages of grief. I have cried almost every single day, but I never let my grief keep me down. Instead, I decided to channel my energy into keeping my mother’s legacy alive.
I talk about Nana every day with my children, my family, my friends and the world. I know that no matter what, she is always embedded deeply into our hearts and forever in our thoughts and memories.
Being brave through my loss was something I would have never believed I could be, but I have done it. On the days I think I cannot go on without my sweet momma by my side, I remember that I can – and she would want me to. I have an amazing support network and have been blessed with astounding family and friends. I am courageous for my fiancé, I am courageous for my beautiful children, I am courageous for my father, I am courageous for my friends, I am courageous for me. Most of all, I am courageous because of, and for, my sweet momma.
© 2018 Lauren Johnson; http://livingthroughherlegacy.com