Today the world fixated on Meghan Markle, her wedding gown, her prince charming, and the fairytale that was told today. While the world looked at Meghan I looked for pictures and glimpses of Doria Ragland, the mother of the bride. While Doria is notably a social worker, yoga instructor, and works at a non-profit mental health clinic that’s not why my attention is on her. My attention is on her because it’s everything that I hope to achieve one day minus the royal wedding aspect.
You see, Doria Ragland is exactly where I strive to be, at my daughters’ weddings one day. I am lucky enough to be the mom of two girls and there isn’t anything that I wouldn’t give to ensure that I am present for the moment when my both of my daughters get married. People will tell me that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to anyone and that is true, however I feel that is less true for someone who was diagnosed with cancer who is always waiting on the other shoe to drop. And while I pray that the other shoe will forever be suspended in the air for the rest of my life, it will never minimize the fear. Not really sure anything will minimize that fear.
I often gaze at my children wistfully hoping that I am there for all the big milestones. Heading off to middle school, heading into high school, getting ready for prom, learning how to drive, heading off to college, getting married, and having their first child. These are the moments I wish someone could guarantee that I am there for.
With each follow-up oncologist visit and CA125 test I am not just hoping for good test results, I am hoping for the chance to live my life. To be there, to be present. With each good test result I shed a few tears that God allowed me to be present a little longer here on earth. That my wish is somehow in His plan. I celebrate, I cry, and I am forever humbled.
This past oncologist visit I believe I was a little more humbled than most. When I went for a lab draw the port acted up and wouldn’t give a blood return, after several port flushes they administered something that would take an hour and a half to help the port start working again. What that meant was I got an infusion room, my old chemo infusion room to be exact. While I have fond memories of chatting with my sister for several hours there, NOTHING sets you back like the thought of chemo infusions. Chemo will forever be the hardest thing I put myself through and the one thing that can bring me to my knees. It will forever be the thing that humbles me about life and makes me thankful for another day. To keep my mind preoccupied while there I donated scarves, chatted with other cancer patients, and caught up with the infusion nurses.
On the way out of the hospital a new tile mosaic piece caught my attention. I had helped create a small piece of this mosaic. It was during chemo and my leave of absence from work that I helped work on this piece. I stood there in silence for 10-15 minutes paralyzed and proud. Proud that I was a part of something so beautiful yet paralyzed by the time that it transported me back to.
Cancer may have taught me how to truly live life but it will forever make me ache as I wish for more time here on earth. To all the mommas out there, may we all make it to watch our children walk down that aisle and hold our grandbabies in our arms, never missing a moment we are granted in life.
May we all get to be a Doria Ragland one day, with a gleeful smile on our face watching the person we helped raise, shape, and love beyond measure walk gracefully down an aisle to love and be loved.
Raise those cabernet glasses with me to mothers everywhere! I will forever be watching the mother of the bride rather than the bride until my two daughters walk down the aisle. Cheers to mommas everywhere!