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Putting one foot in front of the other

The first two weeks of school have passed us by. Smoothly, with no big hurdles to jump…except that part where I got talked into accepting the role as a home room mom. Yeah.

It’s a tippy-toe dip back into my pre-Peyton-cancer life.

Before she got sick I was all about the PTA, volunteering to read in the classrooms, bringing the baked goods, making photocopies, cutting out stuff, doing whatever to keep the teachers happy because happy teachers mean happy classrooms.

Then she was diagnosed the summer before Rachael went kindergarten and Nathaniel went into second grade.

Hello, I’m going to drop off my kid, forget to bring their lunchbox, probably left their agenda on the kitchen table (remember to sign it? I scoff!), they may not have gone to bed until 10 pm because they came down to visit us at the hospital that’s an hour away, and they are probably going to cry at some point during the day because…..well, their life stinks. And ME?  I got nothing for you.

I had so many days when the kids asked me to do something, come meet them for lunch, bring in snacks for movie day, something. And I had to say no.  The PTF group didn’t even ask me to volunteer for any jobs because they knew I was going to say no.

But this year is a new start.  This year is the first year I’m really starting to see the light at the end of this chemo tunnel.  I’m making some baby steps and some groundshaking steps into freeing us from the restrictive lives we’ve inhabited for the past 2+ years.

I can be a homeroom mom.  I can plan a weekend where I’m going to leave my kids. I can see a future that spans farther than the end of the week. I can try to recapture that mom I was before.

Yet, REALLY? I can’t.

Because, I will always be the mom of a cancer child.  I will bear the scars of that forever.  The part of me that sailed through life blinded to the mortality of children died with Peyton’s diagnosis.  I can’t go back.  I can’t close my eyes to that.  Ever.

In a lot of ways her cancer diagnosis changed my life for the positive.  I try very hard to glean every blessing out of it I can or it could cripple me.  I know that living in the NOW is all we have.  You have to hold tightly to the joys that each day brings, because we aren’t promised tomorrow.  God has a great plan. I seek my place in that.  I don’t always like it. I often throw myself on the floor in a tantrum and rage against what He lays in my path.  But like any parent, he grabs my hand, gives me a good solid shake and sets me back on my feet.

The visual of my life as a darkened path, with light only coming after I’ve walked a step is so clear to me.  It’s scary, frightening, the end is shrouded in the darkness of the unknown.  I hesitate and falter.  But I have faith that the next step I take is the one that the Lord laid in front of me.

I will put my foot into the darkness and my heart will be enlightened.

Please keep the many children battling cancer in your prayers.  Consider being registered with the bone marrow registry.  Give blood.  Donate to support our team for the Cure Kids Cancer Challenge, where our team will be walking in honor of Peyton and in memory of the many friends who lost their battles.

THIS is for Karalyn, who said I had to post cute pictures of Peyton to make up for the skeevy spider. What? I need more reasons to post pictures of my kid? Are you kidding me?

Click to play The First Year

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16 Comments on “Putting one foot in front of the other”

  1. #1 To Think Is To Create
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 12:11 am

    I think that description in italics there, that is me. How did you get into my head?

    Hugs, babe.

    To Think Is To Creates last blog post..Exuding Rainbows and Light

  2. #2 Sam (The Edge Of Insanity)
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Geez, I cannot even imagine what you’ve gone through, and one day soon I’m gonna sit down and read everything from beginning to end… and then go hug my kids.
    Good luck in the upcoming year, you’re in my prayers!!!

    Sam (The Edge Of Insanity)s last blog post..Weekly Winners… The Longest Yard

  3. #3 brian
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Very moving. the people i enjoy reading and the people i surround myself with life have a similar mindset…to find the positive, to believe in the positive even when it’s roughest. your strength inspires me.

  4. #4 Karalyn
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 12:27 am

    Awwwwww……thank you!!!

  5. #5 Brittany
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 7:53 am

    I am in awe of your strength daily. You and your whole family, just amazing.

  6. #6 Maria
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 8:24 am

    It’s so moving to read about you tip toeing back into life that seems normal (and overwhelming sometimes!) to those who haven’t experienced what you have. Really puts everyday trials into perspective.

    Your strength and beautiful family are inspiring.

    Marias last blog post..It’s a technical term.

  7. #7 Greg
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Very beautiful photo collection.

  8. #8 Patti
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Bravo Anissa!
    Great Moms are not measured by how many hours they log helping the PTA, how many copies they make or cookies they bake. They are measured by how they ALWAYS put their kids needs first, and you have passed that test (in fact they are considering asking you to model it for some others that “just don’t get it”).
    That said- you need to make sure you secure your “oxygen mask” before assisiting others, so don’t forget to take care of YOU!!

    Pattis last blog post..3 Word Sunday- 30 Months Down!

  9. #9 threeundertwo
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Wow. Patti said it best.

    You inspire me. And I’m starting a series on the idiocy of volunteering, if it makes you feel better.

    threeundertwos last blog post..Unplugged Saturday Recap

  10. #10 Beverly
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Very true. We never walk the same path.

    I like to say that as the ills of the body heal, so does the soul. And we heal stronger than we ever were before.

    And homeroom mom? I’ve only done it once, I’ll never do it again, and it has nothing to do with the stress that an ill child brings to the house!

    Beverlys last blog post..Secrets I Never Thought I’d Share

  11. #11 Joanne
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Um, wow…I’m 100% with you sister…take babysteps and take care of you. Sam’s back to school 100% and I’m all set to jump back into that FT job/HR mom…”What else can I do to help out and make me feel like a normal mom and make up for the 2 yrs lost.” You can’t. Day to day is the only way. Love you tons!

  12. #12 Lisa b
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    I am so glad you are getting back to some sort of balance. Our daughter was born last may and our lives have been so disrupted by her illness. Our older girl starts kindergarten tomorrow and your post reminded me of all the things I missed, though I tried not to, in preschool.
    thanks for sharing this .

  13. #13 Kelsey
    on Sep 1st, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Aww your blog makes me just so humble. You are amazing!

    Kelseys last blog post..::Be Still and Know That I Am God::

  14. #14 SciFi Dad
    on Sep 2nd, 2008 at 6:37 am

    I have no first hand experience with this sort of thing; nothing at all. However, I hope that in time you’re able to resume the life you lived with the belief that Peyton really is “OK”.

    SciFi Dads last blog post..A(nother) Weekend Of Nesting

  15. #15 Sarah Clapp
    on Sep 3rd, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Take heart, even on your most unorganized day, I’m worst, and I don’t have the the stress of a child with cancer. You are a super-mom!

    I admire your faith!

    Sarah Clapps last blog post..Charlie’s First Day at Cutler!

  16. #16 Holly at Tropic of Mom
    on Sep 3rd, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    What sweet photos!

    I love Smilebox.

    Holly at Tropic of Moms last blog post..Tropic of Mom’s fruity chicken salad