Grief, I've discovered, takes interesting turns along the way. It is two weeks until the first anniversary of my mother's passing from pancreatic cancer. (If you click on the "grief" label and/or the "cancer" label, you can read that whole saga.)
I've had a hard time this last week, with a significant burden of sadness weighing me down as the anniversary approaches. I miss her so very much still.
Backing up: about a month ago, I received a call from Patti, a friend here in Pocatello. Patti is a breast cancer survivor -- not once but twice over! She is truly amazing. She had called me because the annual Pink Tea breast cancer fundraiser was on the horizon -- an event that she heads up -- and she wanted me to sing a couple of songs during the event.
We'd been trying to arrange this for a few years, but scheduling conflicts always got in the way. This year, the schedule was clear and I accepted the invitation with gratitude.
As I mentioned above, a weight of sadness had descended on me in the last week. I knew it was grief over my mother's passing. And I wondered how I'd get through the Pink Tea, given that the room is filled with cancer survivors and their supporters.
I'd already chosen the two songs for the Pink Tea before this grieving season had come upon me again. I knew those were the right songs for the occasion, so I didn't change anything, despite my very real fear that I'd lack the strength to get through them.
How Could I Ask for More, written by Cindy Morgan
You Raise Me Up (which everyone knows, thanks to Josh Groban and Celtic Woman). The best version of that one is here: Celtic Woman singing You Raise Me Up (embedding of that video was disabled, so you have to follow the link).
Strangely enough, as I spoke before two hundred people at the Pink Tea about how the support of so many had been crucial to me through the journey with my mother, I found myself gaining ever more strength. And a peace. That I'm still carrying with me.
I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all my blog readers, friends, and online friends for all the support you have shown me on the journey. Suffice it to say that God is good and He does provide all that we need. I certainly needed you!