Thursday, February 10, 2011

Perspective in a photograph.

It was the picture that got me.

It was a picture of a mother gazing into her daughter's eyes, holding her little body tightly to her own in her lap as they rocked.

Pure contentment was in the mother's eyes.

It could have been any picture of any mother with any child. But it wasn't.

It just wasn't your typical mother/child photograph.

Most of the girl's hair was missing, save for a few long strands that hung loosely and haphazardly on her sweet, little head.

Cancer. In a 6-year old girl.

A stomachache that wasn't. A stomachache that is a cancerous tumor.


She is a local girl, but I do not know her. I first heard of her a few weeks ago through Facebook, when her family and friends asked for prayers and donations. I clicked, "Like" for her cause.

Ironic, isn't it? To click the, "Like" button for such a tragic story. But I wanted to follow it, and her story touched my heart.

I want to read the status update one day soon of, "She's cured! Cancer-free!"

A random stranger has touched my heart.

Because she could be my child.

Any of our children.

I saw the picture on Tuesday evening, as I took a break from my day and scrolled through the updates on my Facebook page. To say that it made me take pause is an understatement.

Not more than ten minutes earlier, I was complaining to my husband about my, "stressful" day. I was worn out. I couldn't listen to another whine from another shortie for another second. I just wanted to fall into bed.

Poor me.

Laundry. Driving the kids around the town. Mediating squabbles between the shorties. Cleaning up messes. Listening to the cries of, "I'M SO BORRRRRRED, MOM!" Keeping myself organized because I am chairing the school auction. Winter weather. Making another boring chicken dinner.

Waaaaa. Waaaaa. Waaaaa.

Poor me, and the, "stresses" of my life.

Then I saw the picture of a loving mother holding her cancer-stricken child.

And tears rolled down my cheeks.

Shame on me for thinking my problems are worth any dramatics.

It is human nature to complain about what bothers us. I fervently try not to be a complainer, because I realize how blessed I am.

But I am human.

And, as a human who gets caught up in the minutiae at times, I lose perspective on what is worth getting upset about.

Whining shorties and laundry piles are not worth thoughts of, "UGH. I. JUST. CAN'T. DEAL."

Because I can deal.

It's not that I don't have problems or worries. But not one of my problems entails me having to sit in a cancer ward, rocking my beloved child.

That mother in the picture would love the,"stress" of which I was complaining.

May God bless their child, and anyone with cancer.

I offered up more prayers in my heart for this family.

Prayers and a sense of perspective.


  1. RIGHT.ON.

    We all do it, though don't we? It is all about perspective. I'm really trying hard this year not to get bogged down with the little stuff....if the laundry doesn't get folded or the dishes aren't put away right away, so WHAT?

    Prayers for the family---so unfair and too much for any child or family to bear.

  2. It's kinda funny (not ha ha funny) but after I lost my son and daughter in an accident I gained that same perspective about the little things.

    It's rather sad I had to learn it that way... however I choose to see it now as their gift to me.

  3. Oh Jen, I am so very sorry for your losses. Words cannot express...

  4. I remember feeling the same way when I read that Whymommy (Susan Neider) was diagnosed with cancer. I was just about to hit "publish" on a really whiny post, then I read her story. 'Nuff said, right?

  5. I will pray as well. Unfathomable. And I realize that this family's situation is not about making ME a better person, but does make me want to hold myself to a higher standard, you know?


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