Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hats Galore!

Saturday the 27th was the third organizer’s meeting and to date my hardest morning so far. The Neulasta shot was especially brutal, making my very skull scream out in pain and the waves of nausea were almost constant, but I took a handful of pills and rolled into the meeting about 15 minutes late.

We pulled into the parking lot and I commented to Justin that there must be another function because there were so many cars. SILLY ME! I absolutely found out that all of the cars carried loved ones with bags, packages, and bows chuck full of hats. Apparently, Brenda and Clair had been planning a Hat Party and today was the day.

I was oblivious to the situation while walking up the sidewalk to the church. I figure it had to do with the special effects of Spring starting to bloom, the wind blowing on my face (not through my hair:)!), and my mind, feet, and legs feeling heavy with the effects of the medication. Looking back, it didn’t even give it away when I saw my aunt Joey for the first time since the diagnosis. The hugging and crying clouded the logical question about why she was there!

Nonetheless, I walked into the gym, hoping to take some pictures of the different groups and quietly hug friends and family, when to my surprise; Clair whisked me to the front of the room and announced that, in addition to the organizer’s meeting, everyone was there for a Hat Party.

Shockingly (or not!), I started to cry and did not stop through the entire process. I was so overwhelmed by the love and generosity of everyone present, and maybe the most curious part of the afternoon was the fact that I was absolutely and utterly speechless. Luckily, my sweet Justin was able to thank everyone and share some special thoughts and sentiments that conveyed many of our deepest feelings.

My speechlessness has since left and I wanted to express my heartfelt thanks and as I have thought about all that were present, I realized that we all really do have HATS GALORE! In life we are called on to do many things or wear many HATS. This can be a challenge to say the least! When I looked around the room on Saturday it became apparent how many roles were being juggled just to make a Hat Party; there were parents and offspring, siblings and friends, CEOs and hourly employees, teachers and students, and the list could go on and on.

Many of life’s greatest pleasures and pain are found in the HATS we wear. Some of these HATS are chosen and some are thrust upon us, but at the end of the day we are free to choose our attitude not depending on the HAT we are currently wearing (2 Nephi 10:23). I love the empowerment that happens when we truly exercise our power to choose. I think about how this conscious choice changes the potential impact we have as parents and offspring, siblings and friends, CEOs and hourly employees, teachers and students, and maybe most importantly of all, CHILDREN OF GOD.
As CHILDREN OF GOD we will experience pain and disappointment, joy and accomplishment and are asked to become “as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” (Mosiah 3:19)

While wearing my parenting HAT, I have my boy’s best interest at the heart of my decisions and requests. In my feeble parenting I attempt to help my boys even when they, out of lack of experience or maturity, cannot understand. I think about my HAT as a CHILD OF GOD in this same way. I may not have the experience or maturity at this time to recognize what He is trying to do with me, but I CHOOSE to trust my Father, as my boys often CHOOSE to trust me, and when I look at their little faces, I am less likely to be overwhelmed by the CANCER HAT and that is a blessing.

I know life can be engulfing sometimes and it is hard to juggle the HATS that are in our lives. Thank you for your example and thank you for the HATS you wear with honor (2 Nephi 31:20)!



“Mom’s Heart” moment: One of the most painful parts of this journey has been watching my “Mama’s Boys” rely on others for answers to their cares and concerns. In our small world previous to cancer, it was Eli, Isaac, and I day to day while Justin was at work, we experienced triumph and tragedy (like the loss of a favorite car!), laughed and cried and we were together. It has been extremely difficult to be without them as much as I have and feel that connection fade a little, so you will understand how heart healing it was for me when Isaac bound up on our bed last night and grabbed my cheeks at said, “Mom, you my best friend!” And, though he jumped off the bed in the next moment to tackle Eli, a tear of relief fell from my eye.


  1. Becky ~ I'm SO sorry for the trial that you are facing, but you are truly an inspiration. I know something of the "cancer battle" through the experience that Dennis and I shared. My sweet husband Darwin is now battling Thyroid Cancer, which is much less serious but still challenging. I confess that I have not faced my own trials as valiantly as you are doing, so you are such a wonderful example to me and I am vowing to do better. I look forward to seeing you at the event on the 17th, if possible. I am planning on coming up with Nikki. I remain eternally grateful for the testimony that you have shared with me and those around me over the years. I send my prayers and my love to you and your beautiful family! ~ Cheryl Peacock Cottle

  2. I am sorry that I was not able to make it to the hat party. I was sick and was worried with you just having your chemo, that I would get you sick. But I just wanted to tell you that I love you! And that you are the most amazing person EVER! Your sweet spirit and testimony help build my testimony so much. And with the trials that I go through I no longer feel sorry for my self, instead I choose to have a good attitude and choose to trust Heavenly Father, knowing that he knows what is BEST for me! This is because of you and your strength during this trial that you have had to face. So thank you so much for your strength! I was also thinking as I looked at your sweet little Eli and Isaac's face, of how excited I am to bring sweet little spirits into this world! How lucky are we that we get to do that! Your are such a wonderful Mother! Thanks for just being YOU! :) Love Whit