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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.

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