My mother throws away our kitchen sponge, replacing it with a new one from the cupboard every time she comes – which these days, is quite often. She usually changes out all our towels and starts a load of laundry much too small to be energy-conscious. She is chipper and chatty first thing in the morning, in spite of my being groggy and grumpy for the first half hour of wakefulness for the past 29 years. She gets lost almost every time she drives here, and she spoils my son rotten.

My mother shows up after every round of chemotherapy, surgery, or important appointment, making the 2 hour drive to be with me and to help me meet the demands of my life. She brings coolers of food and prepares 3 meals a day. She wears pink breast cancer bracelets around the clock and tries very hard not to cry in front of me.

She takes care of me, in her own perfect way.
My mother and father in law also wear pink bracelets continuously. I am touched every time I see that bright rubber dangling from their wrists. My husband’s sister rents me an electric reclining chair the day I came home from my mastectomy, and drives the 3 hours to deliver it. My brother and sister in law who live out of state offer to help pay for my ever-mounting medical expenses, in spite of not being especially well-off themselves; they offer to make the 20 hour round-trip drive out to pick up Little H should I need a break; and, in a gesture one doesn’t offer lightly, they consider uprooting their lives and moving to be near us. They have 4 children. My brother is extremely busy working in a prestigious government job and not far enough along in his career to easily be making suggestions about where he should be located. They own a home. They were willing to change everything – for me.
There is so much beauty in the love we show each other. 

As I’m dragging on the floor, literally or figuratively, as I’m crying myself to sleep in a quiet and lonely brokenness, their love and compassion will be a light in my darkness.

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