Beyond the Pink Ribbon: A Legacy of Faith

December 24, 2009
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A woman with auburn hair and welcoming eyes, she had her entire future ahead of her; years to grow old with her husband and watch her children mature into adulthood. However, this future was attacked by one malignant cancer cell, which soon multiplied into many threatening bodies of breast cancer. She was a mother, friend, hero, and wife worthy of honorable mention, not only because of her loving kindness in everyday life, but because of the way she persevered through her circumstances.
My mother held onto more than just herself with a heroic grasp. She believed in an Almighty God that held her in balance, facing the potential outcomes with vigor in faith. That belief was never forsaken by this cancer victim, only gripped tighter in the knowledge that the eternal was of more value than the present. Her faith showed others that there was more to her than a pink ribbon bumper sticker. She did not consign herself to becoming another statistic, but kept on. She persevered in every sense, with an Odysseus-like persistence, overcoming the trials of misfortune, motherhood, and malady.
My mother became a hero because of her cancer setback, impacting others with her legacy. Breast cancer attacks not only the body but the mind as well. The way that a woman defines herself has immense power. Women are strong. But when that womanhood is assaulted, how does a true woman hold on? Somehow, she knew.
“She bemoaned the fact that she hadn’t made an impact,” says her husband.
However, this statement was proved wrong at her viewing and funeral. The viewing was held on a Thursday morning; a weekday. Though this would seem to be a inconvenient time for most to honor a friend, the amount of people that came to pay their respects that morning and later at the funeral astounded her husband and showcased the compassion that had emanated from her life. A hero is given honor when it is due, and this woman was certainly heroic.
She believed that there was a plan and purpose for her life, but breast cancer didn’t fit into the picture she envisioned. She had been a mother for nine years and a wife for eleven, and planned on many more purposeful ones to follow. She wanted this future with her family and friends, but this was not to be. I believe that she made the most of her days fighting breast cancer by staying faithful to her beliefs.
As her husband said, “Some are driven by patriotism and the red, white, and blue—their country. One needs to understand someone’s motivation to understand them as a whole. Her’s was Jesus.”
This amazing, valiant woman was my mother, and I am proud to say so. I believe that she has given my brother and I bright futures, not because of a tear-jerking story, but because she has taught us to have faith in what the future holds, even if it’s not pretty or preferred. I stand as a testament to her legacy, and her end has become the beginning of my own story.
The truth is that not everyone with breast cancer has a commercialized survival story. Some tales have unfortunate endings. But the life of My mother is neither a survival nor unfortunate ending—it is the legacy of one who lived and died a hero, leaving a fortunate future for those who knew and loved her.

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