Using tragedy as a stepping stone

The Crossing does not always have to be associated with a person.  It can be an idea, an event or a dream.  This particular Crossing was an event.
My mom does everything for me. Probably too much, really. Over the years I have grown closer to here than I have anyone else. We may argue a lot, but it’s out of love.

That being said, a lot has happened in her life that has not only brought us closer, but it also brought me closer to God.


My Mum


On Nov. 2 of my sixth-grade year my mom went to the doctor for a routine breast exam. A few days later our family learned that she would have to have surgery, removing the lump. After that, she would have to take 40 radiation treatments — five days a week for eight weeks.

When I came home from school the day my mother was diagnosed the whole family was sitting around my mother. My dad, both sets of grandparents and my aunt and uncle were there. I had no idea what was going on. Mom pulled me over to her and told me that she was sick and was going to have surgery soon.

You know, usually that is it. A person has surgery then that is it. Sure, it takes some time to recuperate, but never a doctor every day for 40 days. This was the strangest thing to me. I didn’t really know how to take it. Yeah, everyone was scared, but as a sixth grader it was hard to really understand everything that was going on.

Up to this point in school I had never missed a day, and I didn’t handle hospitals that well, either. So, my mom made me go to school the day of her surgery. I was on edge all day. I could not eat, think clearly or function really in any way. I had no idea what was going on with anything. I hated being at school that day.

So, I did the kid thing and faked like I was sick. I knew what the flu was, so I just acted like I was sick to my stomach and felt queazy. It worked like a charm. Since my whole family was in Nashville at the hospital with Mom, I called my best friend’s mom to come pick me up. At least she would have something to tell me about my mom’s status.

Thankfully, everything went well, but we had no idea what would come in the few weeks ahead.

Forty treatments. Five days a week. Eight weeks straight. At least they were all at the same time during the day. Mom and Dad had a schedule: Leave at 9 a.m., get there by 10:30, treatment at 11, then eat lunch at around 11:45.

Little did I know that this tragedy would be such a turning point in my life.

While mom would be recovering from the afternoon, people from our church would bring meals over. Not a night went by where there was not food at our house. People cared so much for her. It blew my mind. People that did not know our family were sending cards, calling us and making food for us. The outpouring of blessings shown by the members of our church was amazing.

Rewind a little bit. Before all this happened I was beginning to veer off the path that correlated to God. I started to believe that people within the church were hypocritical and not who they seemed to be. I was struggling with my faith at the time, and strangely enough, the situation that my family was in helped that immensely.

We have boxes of cards at home. Not just a small cardboard box, either. I’m talking about the ones that are about five feet long and about a foot deep. It blows my mind to think that people care that much about someone they may hardly know. Knowing that someone is praying for you continually is a feeling that I cannot describe.

This was not the end of things though. After Mom’s first battle with cancer was over, little did she know that she would have to fight the disease again two years later.

I was in eighth grade. I remember getting the phone call at school. Mom called to tell me that she had been diagnosed with cancer again. This time, though, in the other breast, and a totally different type of cancer. The two were not related in any way at all.  Her doctor at Sarah Cannon Cancer Center had never seen anything like this in all his years of practice.

We had to deal with everything all over again. The surgery, the treatments and the total exhaustion of each day. I say we, but really I mean Mom had to deal with it. She was the one defeating the disease. This time was no different, either.  People still sent cards, cooked us dinner, offered to drive move to her treatments and even offered to do laundry for us.

Dad owns his own business, so while he was tending to that I was either doing laundry, homework or cooking dinner. I learned a lot of things a lot faster than I had previosly planned, but I’m OK with it.

This time I handled everything a lot better than the time before. I knew what to expect, I guess. I knew that with the power of prayer and God’s grace that everything would be OK, and it was.

My mom is by far the strongest woman that I’ve ever met. She works nine hours per day, she takes care of my father and me and does a ton of things at home that I cannot even begin to describe.  She’s amazing.

It’s unbelievable how God can turn such a tragic event into one that can bring someone closer to Him. He did it for me, and he will do it for you if you have faith.

John 16:33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

With all of that being said, I encourage all of you that read this to visit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure site to either make a donation or to register for this years Race for the Cure.

I’ll leave with a video from “So You Think You Can Dance?” contestants Mellisa and Ade. The choreographer of the dance, Tyce Diorio, created this dance for a friend who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  He wanted to give her hope and strength and tell her story. He recognizes the pain, the hope and the story that can be told through dance.

This piece pulls at my heart every time I watch it. It reminds me how strong my mom really is. She is one of a kind.

Remember, The Crossing does not have to be a person. It can be an event. Either way, God has a hand in it.

Cross paths with God. Today


About Hunter Patterson

I am a young professional in the news industry trying to make it in this world. I work weird hours and surround myself with people I truly care about. I have a super cool cat and make really good grilled cheeses.
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4 Responses to Using tragedy as a stepping stone

  1. coopertorrez says:

    This is awesome, H-Patt. You’re mom seems like such a courageous woman. I would love to meet her if the opportunity ever came along.

  2. chaffinmm says:

    Wow, this is an awesome story. What a fighter your mom is. She does sound like an incredible woman and inspiration to those going through similar situations but even to those who aren’t. She is a reminder of how God works through situations and people to make us stronger. Great blog topic for inspiration and helping others “Cross paths.” Thanks for sharing.

  3. juless12 says:

    Wow this was such a great testimony. I’m so sorry you had to go through this, but also so glad that you guys are close and that she fought through everything! What an inspiring story and a great mom you have! This is an awesome story and appreciate you sharing. love ya!

  4. Pingback: Never Give Up (Acts 12) | The Crossing

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