The #TogetherWeMother series is back and in honor of Mother’s Day this month, we are talking about what our mothers taught us. Find links to the other women involved at the end of this post.
Photos by: Sydney Akagi
Cancer. There is no way to be truly prepared. We learn about cancer fairly early on in our lifetime but aside from learning about it, it really isn’t something we think about often unless we know someone going through it. Honestly, I never thought this disease would be a part of my life in any form which I now know is completely naive. My mom has struggled with her fair share of illnesses over the course of her life but cancer? I won’t go into all of the details but I will say this. My mom is the strongest person I have ever known. She has fought harder than I knew was possible and she’s never given up even when life seems impossible. Hudson and I made frequent trips to visit with her in Chicago while she was going through treatment and I was blown away by how graceful she was while battling something so brutal. She replaced fear of “the big C” word with courage and got through one of the most difficult years she will face in her life. In honor of Mother’s Day this month and for the return of the #TogetherWeMother series I wanted to share five things I learned from my mom during this time.
Laugh – Laugh and keep laughing. It truly is the best medicine and having a sense of humor, in my mind, is the answer to everything. No matter how bad my mom was feeling, or what obstacle she was hit with next she always maintained the ability to laugh often and easily.
Stand up for yourself, always – You are the boss of your life. You know if something is off, you know what’s best for you, and you know who you want to be. Wether you’re standing up to doctors, family or friends, it is important. Your life is too important to let anyone push you around and you need to give yourself the same amount of respect you want to see in return. If something is bothering you, say it. If you don’t think you’re getting the best care, do something about it. Never stop fighting for yourself.
Be positive – Being positive is the key to turning things around! Kind of like that saying “fake it till you make it.” No matter how tough things got for my mom, she was always positive. That really takes a special person, you know? I’ve always tried to see positives before negatives but I now have a much stronger attitude about this. Life is too short to be torn a part by the negatives.
It’s okay to have a hard time – I know the one above is all about staying positive but I think it would be impossible to stay positive if you didn’t allow yourself to have a hard time too. This is probably one of the most important things I’ve learned from her. I’ve always tried to hide any sign of weakness but that really only hurts me in the end. It’s okay to have a hard time and it’s okay to ask for help.
Love yourself – Most importantly, love yourself. Love yourself for who you are on the inside. It is ridiculously easy to get caught up in wanting to look a certain way and comparing our lives to others but that isn’t going to get you very far. Especially when life throws a last minute detour your way. My mom embraced the changes her mind and body went through better than I think I ever could.
I love you mom.
Don’t forget to check out the other women in the #TogetherWeMother series by visiting their blogs below: