Hug Your Mommas Tight
by Rebekah DeWitt
At 13 years old, my entire life flipped upside down. It was worse than the cheap carnival rides with their eerie tunes that entice you to buy 3 tickets and get in line. This was no carnival ride…. this was CANCER, truly the most despised word in the dictionary.
As a teenager, your thoughts tend to drift to things like, what in the world are you going to dig up in your closet to model the next day at school, or if your secret crush will finally notice you, or even how to get your little brother to stop annoying you to death! Never Cancer.
My mom though? She handled it all in stride with a smile lighting up her radiant make-up free face. A prayer in her heart. A fight in her soul to not let this demon take her light away. And a strength that kept her trudging through the muck even on the darkest of days.
Like the time Mom and I went wig shopping over Christmas break, an event that would break most women down at the loss of their treasured locks. Looking into the oval mirror at “Creative Wig,” Mom would comb her fingers through the wig and ask, “What do you think of this one, Beka?” It took all of my will power not to scream, “It’s not fair! I’m not supposed to be looking at wigs for my mom!” Yet, over the years, I had learned through my Mom’s example that horrible heart wrenching things do happen, but it’s how we accept these dire situations and use them for good that really makes all the difference. So, I would bravely comment, “The brown hair on that wig looks nice. It looks a lot like your hair, Mom.”
My mom ended up battling three different types of cancer: breast, ovarian, and rectal. And
though my mom beat the odds and lived longer than the doctor’s practiced predications, 14
years later, my momma went home to be with her Jesus on January 12, 2009.
God gifted me with 2 precious babies of my own to be a mom to. And do you know what? I
finally GET it! I get the love that my mom had for me and my 2 sisters growing up. To me there is no love more powerful than a mother’s love for her children. After all, for 9 months your hearts are mere inches apart. We were her universe. We learned by example.
My mom was genuinely sweet to every single person that crossed her path. She loved others wholly and unselfishly. She, without a doubt, gave my sisters and I the best childhood ever by living in the moment and taking us to apple orchards, fairs, sledding, church, parks, you name it! She saw the beauty in the most simplistic things and taught us to do so as well. She taught us to love God and depend on Him alone in our darkest of days. She taught us that finding true joy in life came in helping others, not owning hordes of possessions. She taught us that true beauty is found wholly within.
My mom used to wear this UGLY, fluffy, purple knit hat everywhere during the wintertime! My
sisters and I would get soooo embarrassed when she wore it out in public. But she didn’t care one bit. She modeled it with pride and a smile on her face, for she knew where true beauty lied. It’s taken me decades to learn that lesson, but now….I GET it. Confidence in yourself and who you are is all that matters. Inner confidence radiates strength, peace, and true beauty.
So now, with my mom’s life lessons engraved on my heart, I gratefully teach them to my own children. Every month, my kids and I strive to be kind to one another by taking cookies to the police officers or simply mailing a thinking of you card and colored scribble page to a lonely elderly person at our church. I’m trying to instill in my children the richness that sharing kindness, love, and God’s blessing will bring.
Share a smile. A compliment. A picture. A hug. Leave the world a better place. I hope and pray that my children find their grandma’s inner peace of what really matters in life: loving God and loving others. For that is where true beauty and true strength lies.
And of course, hug your kids tight, and hug your mommas tighter. You never know how long
you will have to hold them close.
About the Author: Rebekah DeWitt is grateful to have met the love of her life at the young age of 15. Together, she and her husband Brian have crossed many things off their bucket lists like skydiving and getting a porch swing. But the greatest was the birth of their two children, Brayden (4) and Isla (2). They reside in Canton, Ohio. Rebekah had the privilege of having her first book published in 2007. Geared for teen girls, it is called Holding His Hand: A Devotional for Teen Girls. Rebekah volunteers at the Make a Wish Foundation and her local church. She loves being a consultant for Rodan +Fields. In her leisure time, Rebekah loves making memories with her family, seeing the world, reading, and chick flicks.