Home > Beckie > “Momma can do it”

“Momma can do it”

One day last week the house really looked like a toddler lived in it.   And Sarah now enjoys acting, but not yet saying, “I can do it.”  So, when I started washing the dishes, I jokingly told Sarah, “Momma can do it.”  Then, I instantly had a flashback to when Jim was first diagnosed and I was having a major shift in the way I had to think.  I would stand at the sink and tell myself, “I can do it,” over and over.

I was talking to a very good friend on Sunday, and she told me that she doesn’t feel sorry for me.  Then, she realized that might sound bad and started to clarify herself.  Knowing her, I knew what she meant, so I stopped her by saying, “I don’t want you to, I don’t want anyone to.”  She and I both know I’m a strong person.  There is no doubt I never ever wanted to actually have to be this strong.  Prior to now I had the opportunity to play the part of a strong woman: hydrogeologist, environmental politician and general manager.  Sounds good, and I thought of myself as a strong woman, but that wasn’t real strength.  What I did with Jim took real strength.  As a widow and single mom, getting Sarah and I through the next year and beyond, that’s also going to take real strength.

Let’s talk about how people tend to gain strength.  Usually you go through some sort of fire, but it takes courage to go through it.  In no way am I saying I am a courageous person.  But, I have found that it takes courage to move forward when you are almost frozen with fear.  The following quote by Ambrose Redmoon says it best, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”  My husband was, and my daughter is, more important than any fear I own.

I decided to get on the internet to look for examples of courageous or strong mothers.  I’m trying to find someone I can possibly identify with.  While I haven’t yet found my situation, and attitude, I did find a good list of Strong Mothers (SM2) and Widows that I thought I should share.   They are all “Momma can do it” mothers.

  1. Greta dean
    January 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I do not know you, but a friend at church told me about (and shared the link) to your blog with me. My husband’s brother is battling Esophageal Cancer for the past year. Your blog entry today was particularly timely and it conveyed what my sister-in-law is going thru…..especially the “I can do this, I can do this” part. In the very beginning she wept and told me “I can’t do this” and I told her “Yes you can, the lord will give you what you need each day, maybe moment by moment at times”. And she has shown such strength and courage to do what needs to be done in caring for her husband each day, at times not thinking she can take another step. I’m sure you can relate. My sister cared for a husband that battled brain cancer as well. The courge and strength given to you caregivers is amazing and does not go unnoticed!! Thank you for the entry you posted todat!!
    Greta Dean
    PS Would you mind if I shared a portion of your entry with others??

    • January 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      I’m so sorry your brother-in-law is battling EC, and doing it for a year – I know he’s getting tired. Your advice for your sister-in-law was very good, gentle and appropriate. She is lucky that you are noticing her struggles too. Your sister probably helped with that. (My grandfather had brain cancer too.) I’m really glad my blog entry was so timely. I continue to write for this very reason. Please share this entry (or any of the others) with anyone you wish.


  2. Jayne Field
    January 11, 2012 at 2:31 am

    Dearest Beckie,
    Your latest thoughts gave me much food for thought…as you talked about courage and strength and fear and the love of a spouse and a mother. And once again, you have found a quote that resonates with me. It is such a strong portrayal of courage. Know that I continue to pray for each of you. I pray for strength and courage in the face of fear and sadness and for the “Momma can do it” spirit. I pray that you will find places and ways to help fill your emotional tank. You are a strong woman in so very many ways. I love the wonderful picture of JIm and Sarah. Two peas in a pod.
    My love, Jayne

  3. January 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Hi Beckie. Sorry to hear you and your family are experiencing a difficult and harrowing time. Though I won’t say I know what you are going through I can empathise with you in some respect as my partner has a form of Leukemia which currently is in remission. He as already gone through 2 cancer treatments. This form of Leukemia can present itself over many years of my partners life, and he may live and die an old man or he may die of a ordinary cold at sometime in the future as each treatment he goes through weakens his immune system. Its like living with a time bomb, I have know idea when it will go off again, but am tense knowing a grenade will go off again somewhere along our life path. I also wanted to a reply to a comment you made in your story about your friend telling you how strong you are and how you were gripped by such fear you didn’t know if you could continue. A couple of years ago a relationship ended, one which I believed would last forever, and one in which I thought I went into with eyes wide open, as this was my first relationship I entered into with my daughter, who was 6yrs old at the time. I thought I was an experienced enough single mum to know the pitfalls associated with going into a relationship with a child, but 9mths into the relationship and 2mths into living together the man told me that my daughter and I had to leave that he couldn’t take living with us anymore, that he thought he could cope with my daughter (who has an intellectual and psychological disability) but he found the job too challenging. He gave me two weeks to move out, knowing though that in the small town we were living in and which I owned my home and had tenants just moved in on a long lease, that I would not be able to find a place to live in our town where my daughter could continue her schooling and continue her friendships. Keeping my daughter safe and trying to maintain some sense of normality was the only thing on my mind from the moment our world came crashing down. We ended up moving 3hours away, to my mum’s home, squashed up in a two bedroom home with two dogs and 3 cats, 2 adults and a child. I remember clearly the moment I told my daughter we had to move, she said “its my fault isn’t it mum?” my heart broke and I told her many times this break up had nothing to do with her. I remember another time I had to go grocery shopping and I remembe sitting in the car starring into the shop and talking myself into going in as I was experiencing an anxiety attack. But the thought of my daughter and how I was now living for her kept me going. Also I had to take my daughter to a hearing specialist and a friend met us at the clinic and I broke down in my friends arms and said I just couldnt go on, but my friend told me without any gentlness in her voice, “yes you can and you will, now go to the toilet and don’t let Brittany see you crying”. Anyway, Beckie, I don’t write this as any cold comfort to you and your family, I write this to you as your story has invoked memories in me which I would rather keep buried in side. All the best to you and your family. Regards Claudia.

  4. January 14, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    note I cringe when I see that I have written to words that are similar in tone. Difficult and harrowing, I should only have used one or the other. I write this because I am self conscious of your professional background.

    • January 17, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Thank you for the giggle. Believe me, I am not someone to make anyone self-conscious. I am lucky enough to have been born an incredibly curious and protective person. Those qualities drove me into my environmental career. I’m not a writer. Reader, yes, writer, no. When I took journalism in shcool, I was the photographer. You write beautifully. I enjoy the rhythm of your words. Please don’t worry about the use of similar words. They just provide emphasis. I thank you for taking the time to write such a long comment. Your understanding was like a hug.

  5. January 16, 2012 at 6:24 am

    P.S Beckie your writing is an inspiration please keep this up, plus it may also be serving as a healing process for you?? Anyway, I’ve come back on line here to tell you the one important message from my story and that is the old proverb WHERE ONE DOOR CLOSES ANOTHER DOOR OPENS. 3mths after my daughter and I moved into my mothers home I met my current partner at our local church. We have now been together 2yrs and we got engaged on christmas 2010. I truly believe that God directed me to Bega, as emotionally devestated as I was at the time, I believe now there is a reason for everything that happens in our lives. God Bless and take care

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