Hats have been a tricky thing for me this winter. I have found a couple that are comfortable and fit well, but this has been harder to achieve than one might imagine. Some are itchy, some are too warm, some are too cold, and some catch on the little bit of stubble left on my bald head. I feel like Goldilocks, which is pretty ironic.

My dear mother has been patient with this process, and has been making hats. She made two from a pattern I found and purchased online, but the first hat was a little small, and the second was just not a good style. Her work is beautiful, and I feel awful that the hats haven’t worked for me. She is partway through a third hat. I bet it will be perfect.

Mom is a seemingly tireless woman whom I admire greatly. How she has found time to make hats in the midst of taking care of her house, her dogs, and caring for my dad, I will never know. This is just how she does.

If ever there were an example of godliness, selflessness, and industry, it is my mother. She will read this and shake her head, making that noise she does when you say something she can’t believe. She has taught me so much in life and I am blessed that she has invested in me all these years. I wouldn’t be the person I am without her.

As a mother myself, I know Mom has felt helpless in my cancer journey. There is nothing she can do to help me be well or remove this difficult thing. She can’t take away the physical or emotional pain. She can’t be here to tend to my physical needs on a daily basis.

But she can make hats. And she can wear her “My daughter’s battle” t-shirt to show her support. Sometimes, she drives me to appointments and has held my hand during at least one painful procedure. To her, I’m sure it doesn’t seem like much. It means the world to me.

Not all girls get to grow up with a mom who loves, cherishes, and supports. I’m grateful and blessed that I did. I’m still growing, and she’s still there.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all. Proverbs 31:26-29 ESV


Last Monday at this time, I was awaiting surgery. I was being wheeled from place to place having everything from basic IV placement to radioactive injections. I was at peace, but was nervous nonetheless.

Today, a week later, the surgery is behind me and I’m on the mend. I’m able to be off the prescription pain meds and manage with ibuprofen and Tylenol. It’s a great feeling.

I have an appointment in Duluth, and just getting dressed for it has wiped out all my energy. I’m worried that I won’t make it through the day. I’m feeling especially vulnerable where my wounds are concerned–wounds that aren’t visible to the public but that will hurt incredibly if I am bumped or jostled.

I’m afraid I will go into a building and, without thinking, reach out to catch a closing door or do one of a hundred things I am used to doing on a daily basis and can’t right now. Vulnerability is a frightening thing.

Then, I realize what is really happening. Fear has lost its grip on me in some areas, and so is seeking new territory. As long as I am preoccupied with fear and worry, I can’t focus on gratitude and thanksgiving–and that’s where my strength lies.

Thankful for this revelation, I choose to focus on all of the blessings and good things in my life. I am grateful that I can go out and enjoy the sunshine. I will have precious time to visit with my mom as we travel. We will drink good coffee and have a nice lunch. I trust that the surgeon will give me a good report.

Focus and perspective are continuing lessons on this journey. Today, I will do my best to learn and grow, and leave the fear behind.