Ok I admit it. I am one of those optimistic people. I live in a world of rainbows, perfect pink roses and a reality where you can dream big dreams. I make lemonade when life hands me lemons and look for the silver linings in dark, cloudy days. Then one day it happened, I couldn’t make it all better, even with a truckload full of glitter.
I was lucky enough to be able to pick up my daughter from school everyday, most days I even looked forward to it. Picking her up from second grade was a pleasure and I loved hearing about how she adored art class, the daily lunch menu and all about who was planning play-dates where. One afternoon she was unusually quiet and I asked her if everything was O.K. She replied, “no, everything is not ok.” This was the first time EVER she had said this to me and my heart sank in response to her sadness.
She finally blurted out, “Mommy, what is breast cancer?” HOLY, MOLY why was a 7 year old worrying about such a thing at school??! Then I remembered that a note had been sent home earlier in the week asking if the their teacher, Ms. Smith could discuss her recent diagnosis instead of just disappearing without the children knowing why she left and if she would ever come back. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t gotten around to talking about with her FIRST. Between taking care of a two year old, a seven year old and everything else that had to be done, add to that a full college schedule for me, I had forgotten all about Ms. Smith.
At that very moment, I made a promise to myself that WE would never forget Ms. Smith. We had a long discussion about what the diagnosis meant, how Ms. Smith would have to be resting for a long time and how we would pray for her each and every night. We did just that. We made her cards, kept her in our prayers and asked about how she was doing as often as we could.
As sad as I was about finding out about Ms. Smith, I was even more sad about my 7 year old’s loss of innocence. My daughter asked me so many questions over those months, many that I had no good answers for. Then she told me something that told me she was going to be O.K., she said, “Mommy, sometimes Heaven needs more teacher angels.” My daughter looked just like an angel at that very moment. Ms. Smith will FOREVER be our teacher angel.
As I write this I am tearing up thinking of who I have lost as a family member, teacher and friend. Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. Moreover, I would like to bring awareness that early detection and continued research are key to curing the disease that rips our strong, beautiful women out of our lives and leaves us hoping for just one more precious moment with them. This doesn’t have to leave us powerless though, we can do so many things to help. Get yourself checked, encourage your friends and family to do the same and get involved in community events that support research and early detection.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is the American Cancer Society’s nationwide series of walking events to raise funds and awareness to end breast cancer. Definitely check out this walk to see how you can get involved and help out for the sake of women and their families everywhere!
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by the American Cancer Society (ACS) via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the American Cancer Society (ACS).