This story is a very personal one, but it's imperative I share my story. Like many women, I felt conflicted about the idea of wanting more. I was trying to win this war that so many of us moms fight every day. What's more important? My career or my family? I know the answer, but honestly, I couldn't help but want BOTH.
Like many writers, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” Douglas Adams really hit the nail on the head with this one, at least for me. I know I’ve raised plenty of hell for others with my tendency to leave some things to the last minute, but often it’s that sense of urgency that serves as the catalyst for producing my best work.
The pancreas—it doesn’t get all the attention like the heart, liver, or lungs. I didn’t even know I had a pancreas until I was fifteen years old. My entire life as I knew it changed that year; I went from being a perfectly healthy, normally obnoxious teenager—wearing rolled jeans and scüncis—to suddenly being very sick, in unimaginable amounts of abdominal and lower back pain, being thrown into a world filled with doctors, hospitals, big fancy medical terms, and ugly hospital gowns.
I have worked as a hospice nurse for about ten years now. I have seen a lot of death in that time, including during the holidays. I have worked with many patients and families, but there are a few that stand out. I would like to share my story of one of those who stood out, and deserved my utmost admiration.
You don't know me. Some days, I don't even know myself.
I'm a wife and a mother to my five-month-old son and four stepchildren. I deliver newspapers for a living. If you met me while I was with my family, working, or if you scrolled through my Facebook page, you would see what appears to be a stable, loving, hardworking and sarcastic 32-year-old woman.
What you don't see is the mental battle I struggle with day to day. I suffer from anxiety, and my anxiety attacks can be debilitating.
My name is Cheryl Jones-Allie. Lately, as I reflect on my life, I have asked with sincerity, “Father, why am I here on Earth?” Some days I ask, “What would you like me to do?” “Am I working according to Your will?” After trekking on my soul’s path, the answers to my questions are being countered with my steadfast conviction. It took a long time to start this journey. I am still trekking on it. In recent days, I feel the answers to my questions. It feels like peace and joy.