She was halfway through treatment to fight Stage 1 Cervical Cancer. It was taking a toll on her body, but she continued to fight.
Mother’s Day found her feeling well and so I had her over for lunch and gardening. We talked about how differently she saw life now that the “C” word had hit her like a ton of bricks.
“You know I’ve been thinking,” she said.
“I’ve spent way too much time freaking out about stupid things. When you get cancer, all other things pale in comparison.”
A dirt-covered hand wiped her brow as she continued. “So my new rule is: stupid versus cancer. If it’s not cancer, it’s stupid – let it go. In my opinion, death or stupid really sums it up.”
My mom lived another five months before the “C” word would take her.
In the thirteen weeks since she died, I’ve thought about her “stupid versus cancer” rule. When I’m knee deep in dirty diapers, when traffic is heavy, when the dog has chewed up yet another of my daughter’s toys – I ask myself, is this cancer, or is it stupid?
So in a sense, my sweet mama taught me some of life’s greatest lessons in her final months on this earth. Simplicity at its finest: letting go of what doesn’t matter, and choosing to find joy among the difficult. As hard as it is at times to walk through this season of grief, I’m grateful for her words that warm day in May.
Do you find yourself struggling with this, too? Do you think the “stupid versus cancer” rule will remind you that often the best thing we can do is let it go?