When Life Hands You Cancer

{From a guest post over at Pink Cake Plate}

Hi there.

I’m Katie from Vintage Rose Wraps.  My sister and I sell headbands.  They can be found across the US in various boutiques, salons, and gift shops or online at www.vintagerosewraps.com.  The blog for our product is www.vintagerosewraps.blogspot.com, but we are very excited for our new lifestyle blog {coming soon} www.thevintagemother.com.   We love Laura and are so happy to be contributing to “31 Days of Pink” at Pink Cake Plate.

“Breast Cancer.”   Those dreaded words.  I didn't know how much it would affect me until my own mother called me one day to tell me she had it.  I wasn't prepared for it.  How could you be?

Surely this wouldn't be the first time our family has had to come together in faith, hope, and prayers—but could we withstand such a challenge this time?   This was our Mother.  Our beautiful, amazing Mother.
There were so many questions.  So many worries.  And so much concern by loving extended family and friends. 

We started a blog and rightly named it “When Life Hands You Cancer—Make {PINK} Lemonade”.  www.whenlifehandsyoucancer.blogspot.com This would be a place to share important thoughts and insight and a means to help loved ones stay informed while she underwent surgery, chemo, and radiation.  After a few posts, we started to recognize this blog as a really great opportunity to share.  It became a significant part of our experience as a family and for my Mom.

With the interest of the blog, came the opportunity also for loved ones desiring to DO something.  I happened upon an old metal mailbox at a yard sale one Saturday, and I knew when I saw it that it was going to get a serious makeover.  You should have seen my neighbors when they walked by the evening I was spray painting it.  We have community mailboxes in my neighborhood so naturally they were saying, “What are you doing with that thing?”

I mailed it to my Mom {she lives a state away}, gave my Dad strict instructions when the mail came and announced on the blog to “send some love” to our Mom’s pink mailbox.  You would not have believed the fun letters that came, the words of encouragement, the kindnesses offered, the photos, the hand-drawn pictures…and on and on they came month after month after month.

One niece mailed her a letter every week.  Another friend brought a treat to the mailbox each day prior to her starting her next chemo treatment.  And you wouldn't believe the friends of friends who took the opportunity to send some love.
This Pink Mailbox became a significant symbol and helped my Mom get through her treatments.  She’d open the mailbox which sat next to her bedroom chair each day and see if there was a new letter for her…and if there wasn't, she’d read and re-read letters already sent.

You can’t text, email, or instant message a mailbox.  To take the opportunity to physically send a letter takes so much more love and time and effort.  And that was something she recognized and appreciated so much.

I'm so grateful to say that my Mom is doing well.  There are some things that have changes, but we are grateful she is with us--still being that most amazing and beautiful mother.  And I know we owe that in part to the faith and prayers, and specifically the words of hope and encouragement sent to the Pink Mailbox.  

1 comment:

  1. I just stumbled on your lovely blog, and I had to leave a comment after I read this post. I hope your mom is still doing well - I would love to send some mail to the pink mailbox if that's still ok!

    My mom battled ovarian cancer for 19 months, and during that time I organized a group through my blog called Team Teal. These ladies from around the planet sent cards and letters to my mom and it meant the world to her! So, I know first hand how a piece of snail mail can brighten a day! Sadly, my mom didn't win her battle with cancer, but I will forever be touched by the kindness of blog friends who supported my mom (and me).