All The Broken Hearts And Tears That Have Come Since Her Passing
As you may know, October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is a reminder to get checked, to honor those who have been lost to this dreadful cancer, and to work to find a cure. As a child of a mom who passed from breast cancer, this month holds particular meaning to me. While I typically run a fundraiser or share my mom's story, this one was different.
This October I was dealing with my own breast cancer scare. I went for my annual mammogram and ultrasound and they found a lump that wasn’t present the previous year. The radiologist called me in to see it on the monitor. Immediately, I was met with intrusive thoughts about my children and how this would impact them. I thought “this can't be happening. I cannot do this to my babies”. In that moment, I couldn’t even process how I would tell my children what I was faced with.
See, being a mom, who lost her mom to breast cancer, makes me see the entire process from a different lens. I see it from the view of my 20-something self who lost her mom and felt orphaned. I see it from the perspective of a girl who wanted her mom to be there in support of her while she birthed her children. I see it from the snowy Christmases without her to the birthdays that I often feel so lonesome. I see it from my kids' perspective when grandparents' day rolls around and my mom cannot attend. I see all the missed opportunities to be together. All the broken hearts and tears that have come since her passing.
While I waited out those weeks, during the biopsy and the results, I couldn’t help but think of my children and how they would feel, so small and innocent, if I had to tell them their lives were about to drastically change. I thought the how I would say it, what I would do next, who we could lean on, what legacy I wanted to leave for them. I thought about how they would remember me if I passed from this awful cancer. I thought about the images and memories they would be left with. I felt so guilty that something that might happen to me could impact them so painfully.
Luckily, after waiting those agonizing weeks, my result was much more positive than my mom's had been. The lump was benign. I didn’t have to have that conversation with my children this time. I could reserve all of those feelings that I had wrapped up in this for some other time. I could spare them the grief for another year. They could go on living not knowing how close they came to having their little lives altered.
I know that the possibility is there in my future. I know that one day I won’t be here to hold them when they cry and put magic band-aids on their cuts or see them grow old. This health scare was a stark reminder that I will eventually leave this earth but it was also brought about a beautiful awareness that we are here for a reason and that our lives are meaningful and profound. It reminded me about all that love I have in my heart for my children and that even on the toughest days, I would rather be there, in the thick of it, than anywhere else. It reminded me to slow down and seek the beauty in life.
To all the moms who have had to have a conversation with their children or those motherless moms, I hold space for you in my heart for yours is a meaningful existence that deserves recognition.
Bonnie Luft Bio:
Bonnie Luft is a Psychotherapist serving clients in New York and Connecticut. Bonnie has a passion for working with women, as well as couples, to support them in creating wholehearted, connected and emotionally supportive relationships. Bonnie is a parent to three children aged 6-9 and is currently completing her Doctorate in Behavioral Health.
Article's main picture Olya Kobruseva @inspiredbyfilmpreset,
Article's first picture Michelle Leman
Article's second picture Anna Tarazevich @anntarazevich