Strawberry Picking | #teambrendajoy

One month ago while in Charleston., we took a day...well, an afternoon really...to pick strawberries.  Fresh...ripe...beautiful...red...strawberries.

And they were delicious!

It was one of those days you hope to forever tuck away into the memory bank under, great, wonderful, perfect days.  And if I'm being completely honest, it was one of those days that definitely didn't begin as perfect.  We started out early, packed the twins in the car, drove all the way across town, only to find out that the strawberry patch we drove to didn't open until the following week.  With thunderstorms on the horizon, we questioned continuing on.  But we did...we packed everyone back into the car, laughed, then drove the opposite direction across town and found this charmingly rustic field with the most beautiful strawberries I've ever seen.

That day goes down as one of my favorite days with my mother.  Maybe it was seeing her in her element.  Laid back in her effortless, carefree style...cropped denim, a chambray top, pearl earrings and her hair neatly pulled into a red baseball hat.  Or maybe it was the way she praised my eleven year old brother for the bounty of strawberries he picked, all perfect in color and texture.  The way she doted on her grandchildren, making them smile and giggle.  Or maybe it was simply seeing my mom, being exactly that...my mom.  

One of the things I love most about her is that she's unwavering in who she is as a person and a parent.  Her willingness to put everyone before herself and her ability to spread joy everywhere are attributes I strongly admire.  In addition to being the most thoughtful person I know, she's also resilient...she's strong...and she's determined.  Determined not to have a few storm clouds ruin a perfectly good day of strawberry picking...determined to keep a smile on her face...determined to show cancer who's boss.  Two months ago I shared my mom's diagnosis and so many of you reached out with thoughts, prayers and hope.  Words can not tell you how greatly that has meant for my mom and our family!  

Today's a big day and a major milestone in my mom's treatment.  Today she finishes her first round of chemo...12 weeks and 6 treatments later and she's going strong.  Like superwoman strong!  By no means do I want to sugar coat this chemo thing...it's hard....like super duper hard, but my mom's handling her battles with grace and continuously shows compassion for those around her.  So, today, on this Mother's Day week, I want you to know Mom that I couldn't be prouder to call you my mother!

My Mom still has some battles to fight.  She recently had another scan to see how the treatment is working.  She hears those results today.  Based on that there are a lot of different avenues she may go with her treatment.  It could be more chemo, it could be more surgery, or it could be something we have yet to know about.  I ask for your continued thoughts, prayers and well wishes as she continues to fight this battle.  But in the meantime, we'll celebrate the victory of finishing her first round of chemo!

Way to go Mom!

I love you.

I love you more.

I love you most.

#teambrendajoy