Monday, May 2, 2011

Overwhelmed with Gratitude


Everyone who has ever met me knows I tend to tear up fairly easy over “happy things”, actually all things. I inherited this sensitive gene from my mother Janet Kenner Garrick. Sometimes I can bite my lip or pinch myself to try and keep my tears in check but today its worthless. I am a crying mess!

For the first time since that dreaded day, February 3rd, when we began this cancer journey I have felt unsure about the future of Alexis. I have tried to be positive, upbeat, happy, encouraging and even tried to be funny but deep down inside, is always that nagging feeling of the unknown. For the first time I have seen a turnaround in Alexis. Sure, she comes across like she is dealing with this but, only a mother knows what is really going on. We have had some long nights and some long days. This morning as I got up to fix French toast for the kids, all the sudden Alexis appeared in the kitchen and said, “mother this morning I am going down to watch my team work out”. That was fantastic news! I have talked with Alexis about focusing on school and looking at that as her motivation. She just laughed and said, “Really mom, school is not my motivation right now but basketball is”. Off she went happy and out of bed before noon. That is huge for her! While she was gone I went in her room to see if she was feeling good enough to make her bed, that was wishful thinking, but as I stood in her room I was overwhelmed with gratitude. There on her bed were numerous quilts friends have made for her to wrap up in on those days she cant seem to stop shaking, pictures drawn by little children taped all over her wall with words of encouragement, treats, books, stuffed animals, cards and so much more. Yes, I am a crying mess! I was so touched by everyone who has reached out to us during this time in our life. Thank you doesn’t even seem adequate to express how grateful I am for each and every person who has even thought of us.

Alexis just got home and said she even got on the bike and rode it for a little while. The fact that she made an effort is huge! I feel like it is something about knowing we are coming to the end. It reminds me of when I used to watch her as a little girl participating in field day activities at Elementary School. She would look over at me and give me this look of, “why are you making me participate in this?” She never was a good long distance runner but something about her seeing the finish line always motivated her to run faster. Maybe it was the popsicles that were waiting for her or just the chance to sit down. Who knows, but she has always been a strong finisher. We are seeing the finish line. It has given her renewed energy to get through one more chemotherapy treatment. It has given me energy to get through it as well. I have often told my kids, we can do anything once and finally we are down to our last one. Radiation is our next new adventure. I am ready for a change, any change other then chemotherapy at this point. Alexis is happy, I am happy and yes I am crying those dang “happy tears” …again.

Michelle Kaufusi


13 comments:

amy said...

Michelle, you are the best mom! Thanks for sharing your tears with us! We love you and pray for all of you!

John & Cathy said...

Michelle you have amazing strength and this was so touching!

sherrie said...

Every mom has put themselves in your shoes and worried about you along with Alexis...so glad you are almost done with chemo! What an accomplishment for all of you.

Steph Vermunt said...

I love you so much Michelle! I loved reading your blog. Alexis is my hero everyday for the remarkable strength she demonstrates. Her family members are right up with her.. you guys are the greatest.

Anonymous said...

I just love you Michelle. As a far back as I can remember, you were always good to me. Thank you for the blessing of going along with your family on this journey we call life. You have been such a strong mom and women.It gives me strength to go on with my family. Watching your strength in Alexis and the rest of your family has been spiritually inspiring. How wonderful you are. We love you and your family. THANK YOU for sharing your family with us.
Ofa lahi atu, Vehikite family

Mary said...

You are a mom to admire! Your families strength and love has always inspired me. Thank you for sharing and letting us cheer for Alexis, only 1 more yahoo! We love you guys!

Becky said...

Michelle -

I inherited the same "crying gene" from my mom as well. I tear up all the time and tears flow freely when I check in on your Alexis' Battle.

So glad you are crossing the finish line and so glad Alexis as you with her, by her side to fight this battle. Crossing my fingers that all will be well.

Such a great post - right before Mother's Day. You are an incredible mother and it looks like Alexis inherited the "incredible gene" from you.

Take care of each other and know that a family from Fort Worth is cheering you on!

Becky Watts Dean

john said...

Well Michelle, that made me cry and I am almost afraid to admit who this is. We love you and your family and feel so blessed to be a part of it. Alexis is one of the strongest people I know and it just occurred to me that it must be a gene the SHE inherited from you. Thank you for your amazing words.

JC Leach

maxfamclan said...

You are an inspirational person! I know where Alexis gets her ability to always see the silver lining. She is lucky to have you in her battle. We love you and are so happy to have those happy tears in common with you!

Delsa Frank said...

Michelle,
Reading your account of the current goings on in your life brought back memories of constant hope, so many talks with God, an inner battle of positivity verses reality, and a new found strength and belief system. Cancer Moms are a pillar of superior validation and guts! The trick is to continue looking for those beams of light that shine through the tunnel you have all been shoved into so unfairly and difficult to define and come out in the end with a stronger sense of "self"! Alexis seems to be full of courage, love for life, and stubborn will. All the stuff needed to climb and break through the walls of this fight! God Speed Kaufusi Momma...you're doing just fine and coming up and over that hump is an amazing task fulfilled!!!

Anonymous said...

I love you!KPS

Cindy said...

Happy Mother's Day, Michelle. You're a wonderful mother who does so much to serve her home and community. Has this experience given you an excuse to slow down?--no way! You continue to amaze us. What a great example of strength, in spite of adversity, you and your family are!

Love always,

Cindy

PAUU said...

It's always the small and simple things that leave lasting memories... and even make us cry those "happy tears"...I'm sure your family's example of faith, endurance, patients, seeing that "finish line" is a blessing in return to all of us who share in your journey...so a card or a drawing is all a part of that "Charity" we all strive to have in our lives..Kia Kaha!!! Tupou Pauu