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I’m normally not this transparent on my blog, but hey that’s what they’re for, right?

I don’t know how to say this any other way…I HATE cancer…

My brother put in words exactly how I feel when he wrote on his facebook status 1 year ago,

“1st Annual-I HATE CANCER DAY!…to all you survivors-Stay Strong!!!”

Couldn’t have said it better myself bro. I feel just as strong about this statement today as I did last year.

Today=year 2 of my mom passing. Has it really been 2 years? As I mentioned in a post a few months ago, some days it feels like she’s been gone for a decade and other days it’s has if she’s still here.

My days in Korea have been filled with teaching, friends, hanging with my Filipina girls, photography, blah, blah, blah (as my 12 year old Korean students would say)…but then that moment hits and I remember…my mom…is…gone.

I wonder, am I supposed to be feeling remorse?






Is the pain supposed to be less now since it’s been 2 years and not 3 months? Or should I be thankful knowing my mom is in a better place? Should the sting become duller and life go on as we know it? Or am I supposed to feel a continual sting? And is that feeling a sign of “not letting go” or one of the many steps in the 5 steps to grief and loss books or one of the so called, “layers of an onion that needs peeling”?

To be honest, I’m not sure exactly how I feel. I’m usually never a girl for lack of feelings, but I guess I just don’t know (the first, I know).

Do I miss my mom? Uh, yah! If you know our family personally, you’d know that family means everything to us. So there wasn’t a lack of relationship or broken past that may distance many families.

A friend recently asked me about why God lets hurtful things happen. Of course I’ve had many thoughts about this question so I rattled off my typical thought out answer. I certainly don’t know the full answer to this question and probably never will. But I know one thing…that my God is bigger than me, I don’t know all the answers and he doesn’t expect me to know all the answers-thank goodness! And all I need to do is trust Him. Okay, maybe that was more than one thing.

Perhaps I’m supposed to be greiving more. Or maybe I’m supposed to be moving on with life? I don’t know. All I know is that life is short and although I would NEVER wish anyone to go through the struggle of cancer. I know one thing is for sure…the pain of losing my mother has made me love every bit of this life to the fullest.

I so LONG to have my mother with me, but I know the one thing she’d be telling me now is to live this short life passionately after the Lord. God is still sovereign and good no matter what. Dream big and never settle for less than His best in my life. And time is short so I will see you soon (okay, maybe the last one is my thought, but I’m sure it’s hers too:))

So today, I gave all my love and attention to the 60 orphan students that came to our school today. I could have easily given half my energy to these very independent, misbehaved (extreme understatement) orphans and my actions would have been justified, but somehow I just couldn’t. I knew looking at them, my mother would have been one of them. And of course I knew their mask of anger and horrific behavior was their scream for love and affection. So as I was teaching (or trying to) teach 40 children basketball, I poured out as much positive reinforcement (had to control them somehow) and encouragement as I could knowing my mother was by my side encouraging me.

Oh, and since I’m a photographer, I simply can’t finish a post without at least putting in one picture. No, this isn’t a picture of my mother and I, but it does show the tender love and affection between a mother and daughter. I couldn’t stop crying as I photographed this beautiful moment. This was on the Mexico mission trip I photographed last summer.

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September 12, 2010 - 7:31 pm

Elizabeth K. - This brought me to tears. I doubt I will ever meet a woman as strong as your mom. She would be so proud of you and what you are doing in Korea.

October 16, 2010 - 2:48 pm

Joshua Vorwerk - I Love how you love life! However, when you return to the states we are going to have to work on this sushi thing.

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