Breast Cancer

To the 2020 and 2021 Senior Mamas

September 9, 2020 KimHarms 10Comment

I cried on and off for 8+ hours the day our governor announced that spring sports in Iowa were cancelled. By the time I went to bed, my eyes were burning. My nose was raw from blowing and wiping it. And I’m pretty sure there was a little guy with a hammer in my head pounding nails into my skull.

I recognized this feeling. The first wave of grief. The last time I felt it was when cancer so unfairly took a piece of me. This time it was because circumstances beyond my control took something of great value from my son.

My heart still drops like a rock in my chest every time I drive by the Ballard High School tennis courts. Grief is a slow burn, and there are moments I still feel the loss months after the season would have ended. If you are a senior 2020 mama and you haven’t yet allowed yourself room to grieve what your child lost, I encourage you to do so.

Our tendency can be to dismiss our own grief when we compare it to a worse grief someone else is experiencing. (Certainly a lost sport/lost musical/lost speech competition is not worth grieving. . . Oh, but it is.) Punching down that grief just prolongs the pain and layers it with guilt because we believe the depth of our sadness cannot be justified.

I experienced this with cancer. When I lost my breasts, I was sad, but I thought I didn’t have the right to grieve because I was alive and cancer-free. I should’ve been thankful, not sorrowful. I should have been jumping for joy, not crying as I looked at my scars in the mirror. But the truth is, you can be both of these things at the same time.

You can simultaneously be thankful and sorrowful.

Give yourself permission to grieve. Be thankful that you got to spend so much more time with your senior last spring than you thought you would. But be sorrowful at all that is lost. It’s okay.

It hurts so badly because we love them so much.

But sometimes in the midst of hurt, we are given the gift of seeing maturity blossom in the children we’ve spent our adult lives loving. I received this gift when my 2020 senior was interviewed for a newspaper story after tennis was taken away.

This is the concluding quote of that story.

“My mom teaching me life lessons in the years after she beat breast cancer has helped me so much. This has taught me that when one thing that is very important is taken away, move your energy to the other things that are important to you.”

What a gift those words are to me still today. Seeing my child accept one of the biggest heartbreaks of his life with grace filled me up in a way few things can.

It’s fall now, and high school sports have resumed here in Iowa. And I happen to have another senior. A football player. My #83.

I shed a few tears the Friday morning of the first game when I finally allowed myself to believe that it was really going to happen. It felt kind of surreal to sit on the bleachers and watch my boy play with his teammates on a warm late-summer Iowa night. A win celebrated under the stars on a field surrounded by Iowa farmland was a beautiful thing.

The Bombers played their second game and got their second win a few nights ago. I do not take for granted the blessing of a second competition for Owen and his teammates when Carter and his teammates didn’t even get a first.

I don’t know how the rest of the season will unfold. I don’t know how many games we will play unaffected by the circumstances of 2020. But I do know that because of the pain of the loss of tennis, the joy of each day with football is greater.  I don’t take for granted the opportunity to soak a turf stained jersey and deodorize smelly cleats. These things that a year ago I may have thought a drudgery, I now consider a blessing.

If you are reading this as a mama of a 2020 senior who missed out on his or her time to shine on the field, track, court or stage, I am sorry. Know my mama heart grieves right along with yours.

If you are reading this as a mama of a 2021 senior who was given the chance to shine this fall in his or her sport or activity, bask in the beauty of it. It is a gift. Every practice. Every game. Every sweaty jersey. Every stinky pair of shoes. A gift.

Sit on the bleachers with me and enjoy the beauty of a season that wasn’t guaranteed and let’s be grateful for a little taste of a normal for those 2021 seniors we love so much.

“Joy and pain, they are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don’t numb themselves to really living.” Ann Voskamp

10 thoughts on “To the 2020 and 2021 Senior Mamas

  1. What’s up?

    I found this article very interesting…please read!

    Do you remember the blockbuster hit film The Matrix that was released in 1999? You may not know this, but it has deep spiritual implications concerning the times we are living in and Bible prophecy.

    It tells a story of how these “agents” are trying to turn us into machines. We are closer then ever before for this to become a reality when they cause us to receive an implantable microchip in our body during a time when physical money will be no more.

    You may have seen on NBC news concerning the implantable RFID microchip that some people are getting put in their hand to make purchases, but did you know this microchip matches perfectly with prophecy in the Bible?

    “He (the false prophet who deceives many by his miracles) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name…

    You also may have heard of the legendary number “666” that people have been speculating for possibly thousands of years on what it actually means. This article shares something I haven’t seen before, and I don’t think there could be any better explanation for what it means to calculate 666. This is no hoax. Very fascinating stuff!

    …Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666″ (Revelation 13:16-18 NKJV).

    To see all the details showing why the Bible foretold of all these things, check out this article!


    GOD is sending out His end time warning:

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    In the Islamic religion they have man called the Mahdi who is known as their messiah of whom they are waiting to take the stage. There are many testimonies from people online who believe this man will be Barack Obama who is to be the biblical Antichrist based off dreams they have received. I myself have had strange dreams about him like no other person. So much so that I decided to share this information.

    He came on stage claiming to be a Christian with no affiliation to the Muslim faith…

    “In our lives, Michelle and I have been strengthened by our Christian faith. But there have been times where my faith has been questioned — by people who don’t know me — or they’ve said that I adhere to a different religion, as if that were somehow a bad thing,” – Barack Obama

    …but was later revealed by his own family members that he indeed is a devout Muslim.

    So what’s in the name? The meaning of someones name can say a lot about a person. God throughout history has given names to people that have a specific meaning tied to their lives. How about the name Barack Obama? Let us take a look at what may be hiding beneath the surface…

    “And He (Jesus) said to them (His disciples), ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven'” (Luke 10:18).

    In the Hebrew language we can uncover the meaning behind the name Barack Obama.

    Barack, also transliterated as Baraq, in Hebrew is: lightning

    baraq – Biblical definition:

    From Strongs H1299; lightning; by analogy a gleam; concretely a flashing sword: – bright, glitter (-ing, sword), lightning. (Strongs Hebrew word H1300 baraq baw-rawk’)

    Barak ‘O’bamah, The use of bamah is used to refer to the “heights” of Heaven.

    bamah – Biblical definition:

    From an unused root (meaning to be high); an elevation: – height, high place, wave. (Strongs Hebrew word H1116 bamah baw-maw’)

    The day following the election of Barack Obama (11/04/08), the winning pick 3 lotto numbers in Illinois (Obama’s home state) for 11/5/08 were 666.

    Obama was a U.S. senator for Illinois, and his zip code was 60606.

    Seek Jesus while He may be found…repent, confess and forsake your sins and trust in the savior! Jesus says we must be born again by His Holy Spirit to enter the kingdom of God…God bless!

  2. Hey Kim! You are doing such a great job. I talked with your Mom the other day and we had such a good visit. It is so hard to hear “everything happens for a reason”. But you know what has come from you having had “the cancer”. You are helping so many women and men at a time in the lives when they feel their world has been turned upside down.
    I too, wondered why I had “the cancer”. But, the first day I had a breast cancer patient thank me , hug me for talking to her and giving her the needed information I knew she would need, I understood why I had had “the cancer”. I have been blessed to meet wonder people and give them the comfort of knowing someone really cares as you have also done. I am now a retired Patient Advocate. But I keep feeling the urge to help cancer patients in some capacity. God will lead me where He wants me to be. He has never failed me or you. Much love and hopefully someday I can come visit with you and your Mom. Olivia, Round Rock, Texas

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