by Jess BeCraft
When I imagined my life as a mom, it certainly never, ever looked like this. I thought I’d struggle most with balancing my career and wanting to be the best mom possible - the mom who’d see to it that my little girl grew up to be a smart, independent, strong woman. Though my desire to be the best mom possible still exists, now my days are full of wishing I could play more, wishing I felt better so that I could be like other moms, trying to still bond, have fun, and discipline, while also sometimes wondering how long I’ll be here. Though I fully intend to beat the odds, I still want to make sure that Harper has the impact of a mom on her life, even if I do leave this earth before she truly remembers me.
From my very first Mother’s Day to my very last, it’ll be a tough day. It always includes wondering how many more of these I’ll get and how hard this day will be for Harper when I’m gone. Mother’s Day should be a day of complete celebration - a day of spending time with my people, getting flowers, and doing no chores. Instead, behind my smile are tears, just waiting to come out. Instead, it’s hard to even want to be celebrated because it somehow makes me feel like a ticking time bomb.
So, I instead try to shift focus to my mom - the one who’s been with me every step of the way, the one who moved in with my family to help with daily life, the one who’s always there and always will be. Though, this day is hard for her too. Until I became a mom, I didn’t fully understand how my mom felt about me… and for her, it’s a day of pain too - she wants me to be ok, she wants my pain go to away, she wants to make it the best day ever for me, all the while wishing it was different, wishing we both didn’t have this burden.
Mother’s Day is a reminder that I’ll only ever have one child, that cancer took away the possibility of a sibling for Harper. Though we did IVF in hopes of using a surrogate someday, as we reach my third Mother’s Day in active cancer treatment, we don’t really hold out hope of that becoming appropriate anytime soon.
Behind the heavy though, Mother’s Day is a reminder that I’m still here, that I’m celebrating my third round of holidays with cancer in my body, and that’s a little victory… with cancer, holding on to the little victories is so important. So, I’ll celebrate as best I can, hug my two year old and my mom tight, and hold on to hope that I’ll celebrate many more Mother’s Days to come.