Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Life as we know it

Posted May 6, 2012

When we least expect it, life throws us a curve ball - a bend in the road so sharp that we can’t imagine navigating it without ending up upside down in a ditch. This past week, my family was faced with such a sharp curb.

My beautiful, vibrant, brilliant mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Just last week, she was arguing cases in court and now she is trying to figure out what to do with a toothbrush. After many discussions, we moved her from her home state of Pennsylvania to North Carolina to be treated at Duke. But even more importantly, we moved her here so that we could circle the wagons of our family and surround her with love.

Nothing that we learn in life prepares us for this moment, the time when the roles become reversed and we must step up to the plate and do what is needed. My mother not only cared for me for 45 years, but she has imparted so much wisdom, so much joy, humor and strength. I am now drawing on those lessons, and hoping that I’ve been a good student, good enough to navigate what is shaping up to be the most difficult journey of my life.

Ironically, my daughters are now my strength in this struggle. They are not only helping with their grandmother, but they are helping me cope with the many emotions I am feeling. Even in the midst of tragedy, there are gifts - family dinners that we never seemed to have time for before, deeper and richer connections with relatives and old friends, and a sense of understanding of what’s really important in life.

That may sound cliché, but anyone who has ever been here will understand that you don’t come out on the other side of this the same as you were before. My family will somehow survive this painful bend in the road, and hopefully, my mother’s gifts to us will allow us to make the next phase of our lives more meaningful than before.

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood and parenting. Find her here on Mondays.


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  • blytheclifford May 10, 2012

    When I was in college, my grandmother was diagnosed with a brain tumor and moved in with my parents to receive treatment. It was difficult on all of us, and my grandmother ultimately lost her battle with brain cancer. But, I am grateful to my parents for taking her into their home and allowing my brother and I the ability to participate in her care and to share that extra time with her...and to be with her in her final days. I will be praying for you and your family as you embark on this next journey. I pray for health and healing for your mother. What you are doing is incredibly hard but definitely the right thing for all of you, your daughters included.

  • cjnall May 7, 2012

    You are so right to look for the positive during the negative. Treasure the time, enjoy the small things and keep praying. you and your family are in my prayers.

  • pirategirl12 May 7, 2012

    Amanda, I am thinking of you. I also became my mom's caretaker. While this is the hardest job I ever had (emotionally)I am so grateful I was able to be there for her and take care of her as she did for me so many years. May you and your daughters...and your mom receive MANY blessings in the light of this hardship.

  • ncsu91938 May 7, 2012

    Praying everything goes well with your mom. Alson praying for you, your entire family and the medical team involved with your mother's care.

  • moppie May 7, 2012

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. It's truly a family journey. I was the primary caretaker as my sweet Mama battled pancreatic cancer and my Daddy fought throat and lung cancer. I was 32 when Mama passed and 34 when my Daddy passed. It's definitely a tough row to hoe, but I have no regrets when it comes to the time spent taking care of them and being there for them even though it took me away from my young children. My children saw that it takes a lot of love and dedication to help your parents when they need you. I miss them terribly, but feel blessed to have been able to take care of them. The most wonderful thing is that I have no regrets or guilt. There are no "coulda, woulda, shoula's", and nothing left unsaid or unspoken between us, and that's a wonderful gift.

  • lec02572 May 7, 2012

    Amanda, my prayers are with you and your family. Having lost two of the most important women in my life (my mother and sister). I know the path that your are navigating. You are doing the right thing by surrounding her with the love of a family.

  • Mommy2Caleb+Carly May 7, 2012

    This made me tear sorry for you and your family...sending prayers.

  • knzsmom May 7, 2012

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this most difficult time. I know your mom apppreciates everything you are doing for her and is so very proud of you.

  • phendricks54 May 7, 2012

    May the Lord be your strength and comfort at this time. My brother, sister and I spent many days in the year 2003 caring for both my sick Mom and Dad. So many times we had to give up time with our individual families to care for them but we don't regret a minute of the time we spent with them. We lost them both the same year. Just remember to say and do all the things you need to during the time she is here. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • cinder572 May 7, 2012

    It's hard. I remember being struggling with my child like self to help my Mom...but you will be fine. You will do your Mom proud!