Tuesday, February 12, 2013

She did it!

Remember when you were young, and dating someone, and people always said to you, "Remember, you not only marry the person, you marry their family as well!"  I remember hearing that often.  And probably didn't go out with some people a second or third time because of that fact :).  However, I have to say that when I met Jim, and then his family, I didn't think I would have a problem.  And, for the most part, I've been right!  (Well, there's still the little issue of my mother-in-law feeding my children Little Debbies for breakfast, which they still remember and hope she does whenever they see her at breakfast!)

Other than that, I have been so blessed.  Jim's family is so awesome. Over the years, we have had some really high highs (weddings, babies, etc.) and we have also had our share of sadness....but we have always come through with flying colors and probably a little better off because of it.

The past 2 years have been a little harder than most, as Jim's mom, Linda, has experienced some health problems.  If I remember correctly, it all started with a little hitch in her hip that she wanted to get fixed.  Well, one thing led to another, and she ended up getting her heart worked on, her thyroid worked on, her hip fixed (finally!) and, probably the scariest part, discovered breast cancer when all of that was over.

She has been through chemo (and actually has several more months of the "easier" kind (if there is such a thing)) and radiation.  A week ago, we celebrated her graduation from chemo with a lunch out.  Her daughter Jenny, sister in law Jean, sister Connie, a couple of other friends and I went to lunch to celebrate this momentous occasion.  As I sat at that lunch and looked around the table, it was an extraordinary moment to me.  She was sitting amidst people she had been around most of her life, celebrating her life!  There were balloons and flowers and of course a little wine to celebrate with.

I really wanted to write today about this remarkable woman who has raised such a great family (and a husband, too!) and is loved by so many.  So often we center ourselves around the painful part of cancer (many times, it's our only option), but today we celebrate a woman who faced her trial head on, rarely complaining and looking radiantly beautiful through the experience.

If I could have seen in the future when I was dating Jim into this beautiful family he is a part of, I would have thanked people for the lovely warning to be welcomed among them.  Linda, the trooper who fought her way through, and the rest who were all there with her every step of the way.

Hugs to you, Linda!