There is extraordinary power in love. Gestures range from extravagant to simple. Homemade cards, hugs and phone calls are extraordinarily simple, yet powerful gestures. The University of Wisconsin researchers recently found that “simply hearing Mom’s voice has the same calming effect as a hug.” Even research exemplifies the power of simple gestures—that’s extraordinary!
When I wrote When Your Mom Has Cancer, simple healing gifts were what I hoped to convey. In healing from cancer surgery, hugging can hurt but that doesn’t mean you should stop hugging. That’s what alternative hugs are for; consider lap hugs, waist hugs, and shoulder hugs.
Children are expert at alternative hugging. Homemade cards are their specialty. Stick-art provides an outlet for their feelings and simultaneously blesses Mom. They may not be able to verbalize all their feelings when cancer hits home, but they’re very capable of expressing great love. Their simple, yet powerful gestures can brighten even the darkest moments.
Recently, my artist and I visited with a survivor friend who’s battling stage 4 metastasized breast cancer. I noticed that she was surrounded by extraordinary love—cards adorned every wall. Taira’s boys vacillated between playing in the hallway and sitting with us to “talk story.” I was struck by the moments with her husband Rob and the boys. They weren’t disheartened or withdrawn, and the boys weren’t unplugged from the reality of their Mom’s cancer either. They were just in each moment—whether it was about her treatment or the gestures of love surrounding her, they were perfectly engaged.
Two of my favorite moments came via 4-year old Braydon. In telling us a story, he remarked that it happened when he “was Joshua’s age.” His brother Joshua is 12! We all laughed hysterically, even Braydon. Children have a knack for adding sparks of hope that are as medicinal as humor.
They are great encouragers too. Seeing his mom put on the pink boxing gloves we’d brought, Braydon delivered my second favorite moment in our visit. He said, “Mommy, those are really awesome gloves.” It was as though Taira had gone shopping and he approved of her fashion-sense. Even though Joshua was rather quiet, his gentle smile confirmed that Braydon’s comments filled him with joy too.
It would have been so easy to focus on our friend’s cancer battle. We talked about that. But we also talked about simple gestures of extraordinary love. That’s a beautiful blessing that will carry our sweet friend through cancer and beyond. Share simple gestures of love and follow Taira’s story of courage, hope and faith at http://hehashealed.me/.
The fight is on…pray with extraordinary love!
Maryann Makekau @ Hope Matters