18.2.12

Enjoy Writing | My Mama Bear

"i wish nothing but the best for you."
adele


Two years ago I wrote this post for a Breast Cancer Fundraiser:


"One a foggy nearly winter morning in 2003, my parents gathered all of their children in the family room and told us they had something to tell us.  



Mom had breast cancer.   

That conversation started an unforgettable and life-changing year for me.  That night I practically bled tears as I laid in bed, trying to sleep and eventually I snuck into my mom's room and slept next to her bed on the floor.  I was scared.  But there is nothing like being loved by your church, neighborhood and even complete strangers.  By the help of literally hundreds, my dad, my six younger siblings and I were fed, carpooled, hosted, given clean clothes, had Christmas gifts wrapped, and adventures had while my mother battled cancer.   What a fighter.  Watching her faith gave me faith.  She was peaceful, hopeful and strong.  She made us laugh when she lost her hair (hardest moment of my life when I came home from school and saw her bald, sleeping head) by buying and wearing a colorful clown wig.  She never let us worry.  She lived out her marvelous hope in God.
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But I think the hardest part for her wasn't the chemo, or the surgeries, or the recovery, or the steroids… it was missing our lives.  At the time she had a one-year-old, two-year-old and four-year-old who she couldn't snuggle with at night.  That killed her.  Her babies were growing up and they had to spend most their time with someone else.  And that's when I first got serious about photography.  I took pictures of those kids so she could remember them during that year.  Rolls and rolls and rolls of film simply telling of the story of little Michael, Shannon and Lauren.   All of the wonderful women who came to help us always let me show them my "favorite" pictures and they were oh-so encouraging and supportive.  And one dear girl offered to let me shoot at her wedding that upcoming summer.  And that's how it allllll began.   
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My photography business is so closely tied to my mom's breast cancer." <-- This original post I wrote ended with the following lines: "Mom is thankfully in remission and is as healthy as a peach.  Praise God!  But I wanted to be a part of this fundraiser for any daughter who ever has or ever will watch their mom experience cancer.  As hard as it is, there is so much hope.  And God can do unimaginably wonderful things through such trying times. " 


Today, however, a few of those lines are no longer true.  It has not changed that there IS hope.  God still does unimaginably wonderful (and even beautiful) things through hard times.  But, as much as it completely stinks to say it, mom is no longer in remission or "as healthy as a peach."  The last few days have revealed that her shortness of breath the last few months were caused by a collapsed lung, and her lung was collapsed because of cancer on it.  
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I believe in a Miracle Worker, a Healer, a Sustainer, an All-Powerful Creator, a Tender Father, a Good King, a Sweet Shepard, a Friend Who Weeps, and a Warrior Who Fights for His people, and He lives in His Heavenly Home, which just so happens to be my home, too, thanks to His personal invitation and love for me.  He is all I need, and all my mother needs, and all we all need.  But, He Himself has wept with grief, because sometimes life does just hurt. 
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 I'll be here in Florida somewhat indefinitely to help take care of my mama bear.  I brought her some ballin' pink and blue monster-face socks. I knoooow, I knoooow, I'm a really great daughter ;)  I don't want to turn this blog a sob-story or whine-fest... but, this is about my life and there is much about my life as creative artist/photographer directly linked my mom.  And mostly I just love her with all my heart, and it's hard not to write about what your heart loves the most.  Prayers would be most appreciated, for my dad who is a sleepless Mr. Mom these days, Mama Bear and her lung (no more collapsing, please!), all seven of us kids... especially the little guys (they are too young to remember going through this the first time and it's still a bit overwhelming) and for the medical staff (may they be smart, kind and maybe even funny! We all dearly love to laugh!) You better believe I'm completely enjoying every and any little thing that finds itself in our day: the little old man with the deep accent where I bought a salad, laughing at Mad About You on my laptop together, giving and getting back scratches, reading the homemade cards from the little kids, coughs (coughing is a good sign, the Doc says, so we want lots and lots of coughs!), the Florida sunset through the hospital room window, making fun of mom's sweet but slightly dumb nurses ("I mean, I'd love to have her over our to our house for dinner!  She just forgot to bring my medicine for the third time."), worship music on in the background and just alone time with my mom.  Thanks for listening!

25 comments:

  1. Moms really are the best, so my prayers are with you all for God's hand to comfort you and a quick recovery!

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  2. I just prayed for you all!

    Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known."

    Isaiah 26:3-4 "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever,for the Lord God is an everlasting rock."

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  3. Aw, I'm so sorry Kristen and Snyder family! We will definitely be praying. Hard.

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  4. Hugs and healing vibes going to you, your mom, and your entire family, Kristen.

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  5. Praying healing prayers in Brookeville.

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  6. Lauren Rosa18.2.12

    Praying for your family!!

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  7. Oh I want to be there...give that woman a hug from me, I love her! Know that we are praying for all of you. I'm only a phone call away, ok?! Love you.

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  8. Praying for healing and safety and laughter!
    -stephanie

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  9. olivia joy18.2.12

    I am going to be praying so hard for your mom!!! Jesus is the healer!!!

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  10. Your strength in Jesus is so encouraging, Kristen! Praying for your mom, you, and your whole family.

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  11. i will definitely be praying for you and your family.
    last night i found out that a dear sweet lady who is a grandmotherly figure in my life is given 3 months to live. she has multiple cancerous growths on her neck that are continuing to grow. it's not an easy or fun thing to go through...

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  12. Praying for you all.

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  13. We 3 love you. And your fam bushels. Praying lots in faith with you.

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  14. Will be praying so much for you, Kristen....and your Mama...and your whole family!!!

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  15. Thank you so much everyone! Your comments and prayers mean oh-so-much to us all :D

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  16. You are all in my prayers too!!

    It is a wondrous comfort to know that every little (and big!) thing happens for His glory...all we need to do is trust!

    ♥♥♥

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  17. Anonymous20.2.12

    praying for you all.

    priscilla

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  18. francine20.2.12

    oh kristen. i'm so sorry about your mama. i just lifted her, you, and all of your family up in prayer. love love love from ohio.

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  19. Thinking of you all. So sorry to hear about this trial, but praying and hoping you will come through this storm and into the sunshine.

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  20. We are praying for you all Kristen. Please give your mom a hug for me. Maryland and Florida seem very far apart right now but you are very close to our hearts. Love you all - the Glabs

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  21. Praying dear friend. Love you all so much.

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  22. Kristen, I've read your blog for a long time, but never commented. I wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you and your family - may God give you His peace that passes all understanding during this time, and bring His healing to your mom.

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  23. Kristen, I am so sorry to hear this. Kimberly Glab told me today at school and I read your blog tonight. Please let your mother and father know that we are thinking of them, praying for them and your family. We pray for healing as well as peace. Judy Furnish <><

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  24. Praying...you mom is one of my all time favorite people...so much love and wisdom she imparted to me over the years. Much love to her.

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  25. Anonymous5.10.12

    hope you heard my prayer, havent prayed in a long time so thank you for prompting me

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Oh, you've made my day! Thank you for the thoughts and words!