9 months, mom & the big C at nautilus teachings

it takes 9 whole months
to grow a baby
and for sheri
it was 9 of the longest…
she fought all day sickness
the whole time.
she never told her mom.
her time with mom
was always about the baby
feeling it’s kick
together, watching
sher’s belly roll
side to side as the
baby tossed and turned
buying new clothes
getting the nursery ready…
never ever
about the big C
or her treatments.
dory would always just
play them off, saying,
“gee whiz, i can’t work this week
which means i have to change
my whole schedule around
just so i can go lay in the hospital!
i don’t have time for this!”
then she would smile
grab her daughters hand
and squeeze.
this was how they shared
moms pain.
they looked into each others eyes
and just knew
no matter what
they had one another.
dory was president of the local
business women’s league- Quota,
volunteered at church and was
executive area director
for nine counties
for the American cancer society.
she had sat by the beds of
thousands of patients
who were dying of cancer
she listened to their families stories
held them when they cried
baked cookies for all of them
regardless of how much of her spare
time it took up…
she enlisted sheri’s help
to fold flyers
paint and put up posters
answer phones
stuff envelopes
and participate in every
fund raiser they had,
from bike a thons
to frog leap a thons
to cross country skiing marathons
sheri was her girl
raising money for cancer
all year long…

dory just never gave up.
when she was in the hospital
or at home on the sofa
the phone cord was stretched
to it’s max so she could continue to work.
the big C
would not stop her
one tiny bit.
this is why her daughter
never really thought
she was dying.
her father agreed,
mom would be fine by Christmas…
well it was now March 1st
and remission was not in sight.
every week mom
was right by sheri’s side
at her OBGYNies visit
asking all the right questions
taking her daughter to lunch
and buying even more stuff
for her new grandchild.
and every week
sheri’s husband grew
farther away from her
loosing himself in his work.
he did go the birthing classes with her
and he was starting to seem excited
they had even picked out names
Lauren Lynn
or Nicholas James…
“sher,” her mom said,
“maybe he just needs this time
to prepare…being a dad adds
a lot of financial responsibility
and stress…be patient with him.
it’s new to him to…”
“i know, mom. it’s just he is so distant.
i know he didn’t really want kids
so what if he leaves me
once the baby is born?”
sheri pulled the car over to the curb
and began to cry.
“i’m sorry.
you don’t need to hear any of this.”
dory wrapped her daughter up
in a tight hug,
“now, now, my brown bear
(a nickname her mom called her
because she got so tan in the summer months!)
you can tell your ole mom anything
i love you…”
“i know. but you are going through so much
and my stuff is just stupid…”
“Hey!” her mom said,
“you are never stupid. this is life, sher.
marriage is hard work.
i won’t leave you.
i will always have your back…”
“oh, mom…i love you…”
then they both cried
and cried.
“enough of this,” said dory.
“let’s go to McDonalds and
get some quarter pounders
with cheese, large fries
and a shake! my treat…”
then they both smiled
and off they went
to mom’s favorite place
for a meal.
sher new the grease in the food
took away her moms nausea
she also knew this was
her mom’s way of telling her
if i don’t eat, i am going to be sick…
which is why whenever mom
was in the hospital
she would sneak this meal into her
when her dad was at work
unable to criticize her
or take the meal away!
mom and me
took the food home
sat at her table
laughing together
when the phone rang.
“hello…”, i said.
“is doris there? this is dr. b’s office…”
“mom, it’s dr. b…”
dory took the phone
and became silent.
a few minutes later she
hung up the phone
and began to cry.
“mom, mom, what did they say?”
my heart was pounding so fast
as i turned her around.
her eyes met mine,
and then the words…
“i’m in remission!”