Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Man, I wish the time we had together would have lasted longer. It was only two years we shared before the cancer started slowly taking you away from me. I had so many questions, I still do. How did you do so much in your short life? Do you know how often I think of you? How will you ever know how much I appreciate the man you raised?

In order to fully appreciate the woman I am writing about, you have to know a little about her. When I met her, I was 15-years-old. I had an enormous crush on her son, and she knew it. The first time I ever met her, it was around Christmastime. She was in her kitchen, simple and understated, just like her. Standing just over five foot-five, I felt like I towered over her. I would soon learn not to underestimate her petite frame.

She was so welcoming. She looked at me with her beautiful blue eyes and radiant smile, and immediately made me feel at home. That was her specialty. That was Becky.

We started a conversation about Christmas break plans and where I would be on Christmas Day. She invited me for dinner. Yes, this woman I just met ten minutes prior already invited me to Christmas dinner with her family. But that was Becky. It’s one of the traits she instilled in her husband, and I am working to instill in myself. How did she know I wasn’t some juvenile who was going to steal the china the moment she wasn’t looking? She didn’t, but she trusted people in a way that I envy. She raised her son to trust people the same way.

Over the months, I would learn how much this woman would resemble Mother Theresa herself. Driving into the inner city to feed the homeless, going to prisons to minister and spread the Good News, heading up a monthly spaghetti dinner at church to raise funds to send kids to go to camp. The list goes on and on. Then there was a guy we will call ‘James.’

The first time I met James, I will be honest, I was intimidated. To my 15-year-old self, I remember him being a 300-pound, African-American male who I knew had done time pretty much his whole life. Now in reality, he was harmless but growing up in a whitewashed world, I remember being intimidated. So James walks in to my crush’s house in an upper-middle-class neighborhood, and as I’m sitting there a little unnerved, Becky jumps up and gets engulfed in his arms. Her tiny frame almost disappearing in the embrace.

See Becky had ministered to James while he was in prison. She had taught him all about Jesus, and about living a better life when he got out. Between Becky and Jesus, James had been saved. When my crush told me this story as I sat on the couch in Becky’s living room, watching the two of them interact, I was no longer intimidated, I was inspired. She raised my husband to love and give second chances. Thank you Becky.

Fast forward two years, and the pages of the tough chapter start turning. Breast cancer diagnoses. Becky never unwavering, finishes out her last school year as a teacher. It would be the last year she would ever teach. When she started chemo, she refused to stand by and watch her hair fall out in clumps, so one day after a visit to the salon, she walked in and triumphantly pulled off a wig that remarkably looked exactly like her own hair to reveal her bald head. Yep, that was Becky. She raised my husband to be resilient.

At this point, I was 17-years-old and her son and I were pretty steady. I was over at her house far often than I would EVER want company if I was battling cancer. She never minded. She never made me feel unwelcome. She would ask questions about how school was going, how my family was, suggest a great devotional book. She loved me like the daughter I wasn’t yet hers, but would be someday.

Then came some of the worst days my husband and I have ever faced. Her death, her funeral, the days of grieving. There was a viewing and it was set for two to three hours, but there were so many people who showed up the line was out the door and it ended up going over the allotted time.

At the funeral, my future father-in-law read from a prayer diary she kept, he read the names of people she prayed for, the list seemed to go on forever. There was an opportunity for people to share their favorite memories of Becky, the large church packed with people spoke of her kindness, generosity, ministry and love. In her death, Becky taught my husband and I the value of leaving a legacy.

A legacy is priceless, and precious. Not every parent leaves one for their children. Becky did, not just for her children, but for me and for her children’s other friends, for my kids who hear about Grandma Becky any chance I can make reference to her. So when I am with my husband and he talks to a stranger too long, or is across the street helping our neighbor install his new fridge or refuses to give up on me after we have a fight, I thank you Becky for raising my husband.

Thank you for raising a man who loves his wife and his children. Someone who will drive hours to help a friend move, will show up late at night to my mother’s house when she has a problem with her computer, who through his faults is always striving to do better. A man who isn’t afraid of commitment, who works hard to provide for his family and is willing to do whatever necessary to make his marriage work. I wish my kids had the benefit of your presence in their lives. If I can do half the job you did raising your son, my legacy can live on in them, because Becky you did an amazing job.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Kimberly Patterson

Kimberly Patterson is a writer, wife and mother of two adorable, over-zealous toddlers. She spends her days in yoga pants, pecking away at the keys on her laptop and pulling her kids off of whatever household furniture they climb upon. She has been published on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Her View From Home, The Mighty, and several other publications. Read more of her insights at truthisinthewriting.com.

I Am Not My Child’s Death

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Faith, Grief
I Am Not My Child's Death www.herviewfromhome.com

We are NOT what has happened to us or what this world says we are. That is not what defines us. While we are grieving parents, that is not what our whole story has to be about. Although, at times, we feel that our story is over. We ask, how do we go on and live full lives without our sweet Sophie with us? I’m still not 100 percent sure I know the answer to that. BUT the Lord says I am beloved. I am redeemed and accepted. I am holy and chosen. I am righteous and complete. I am...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK www.herviewfromhome.com

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes

In: Cancer, Child, Child Loss, Health
To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes www.herviewfromhome.com

Most people never get to meet their heroes. I have, in fact—I have met many heroes. These heroes didn’t set out for greatness; they fell victim to a terrible disease and faced it with courage, might and bravery like I have never seen before. And when we talk about this type of battle, there is no such thing as losing. whether the battle ended in death, life, or debility, each of these heroes defeated. My heroes are the innocent children who battle cancer. I high-fived, hugged, wept over, laughed and played with my heroes for 10 years as a nurse. And you better believe I...

Keep Reading

Cancer Can’t Take That

In: Cancer
Cancer Can't Take That www.herviewfromhome.com

“Hi, I’m Martha!” A lady around my mom’s age with tightly curled blonde hair approached me at my boyfriend’s church softball game. “I’m Jen,” I said, awkwardly waving though she only stood three feet from me. Martha pointed. “That’s my daughter, Stacey, and her kids, Brady, Harleigh and Boston is the baby.” I saw a chunky baby in a baby carrier. “Harleigh is a cute name,” I said. “It’s spelled H-A-R-L-E-I-G-H,” she announced. “Interesting spelling,” I said, bemused. That is how I met Martha. I’d been to my boyfriend’s church once and was then attending one of their softball games....

Keep Reading

I Wish My House Was Messy

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief
I Wish My House Was Messy www.herviewfromhome.com

My house is always clean. The laundry gets done quickly. The dishes are rarely stacked up in the sink. My counters are hardly ever sticky and nothing gets spilled. Everything gets put in its place and there is no clutter. My floor rarely needs sweeping and I never step on or trip over toys. My house is usually in perfect order . . . and it’s infuriating. You see, my house used to be a wreck a lot of the time. We had diapers, wipes, blankets, books, applesauce pouches, Cheerios, toys, movies, and any other number of toddler paraphernalia strewn...

Keep Reading

How This 10-Year-Old Is Helping Save Lives From Inside the Oval Office

In: Cancer, Inspiration
How This 10-Year-Old Is Helping Save Lives From Inside the Oval Office www.herviewfromhome.com

The world of childhood cancer is one you aren’t familiar with, until you have to be. It’s a world where more than 40,000 children undergo cancer treatment each year. In this world the average age at diagnosis is six years old, and one in five of those kids will die. It’s the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the U.S. No one wants to be a part of that world. Childhood cancer is not one disease–there are 16 major types of pediatric cancers and over 100 subtypes. The causes of most childhood cancers...

Keep Reading

I Knew I had Cancer Because I Trusted my Intuition

In: Cancer
I Knew I had Cancer Because I Trusted my Intuition www.herviewfromhome.com

Today marks the anniversary of having my cancerous thyroid removed. This day always makes me think about the power of intuition and, how you should trust it. It’s real. Maybe because my dad was only 50 when he died, I was able to entertain the idea: I might get cancer, too. I knew. Breaking into tears on a run surrounded by girlfriends, a year before my diagnosis. I feared. I had it. Something wasn’t right. Months passed. But with gentle nagging from my accountability partner, I finally made an appointment. It wasn’t until the end of that meeting, I casually...

Keep Reading

Having Problems is a Privilege

In: Cancer, Faith, Journal
Having Problems is a Privilege www.herviewfromhome.com

The smell of smoke alerted me to yet another mishap in our morning mayhem. I wanted to provide some sort of breakfast to my eldest son as he returned to college after the holiday break. Each school morning begins with such chaos at our house. Between my daughter’s tangled hair and her brother’s missing socks, I realized I had burnt the cheese toast (the only thing I could find as some sort of parting breakfast for our firstborn). You know when cheese toast is the best you have to offer, you are already in dire straits. Not only was our...

Keep Reading

The Question No Grieving Mother Wants To Hear

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Faith
The Question No Grieving Mother Wants To Hear www.herviewfromhome.com

  My name is Shelby, and I’m a mom without a child. My two-year-old daughter, Sophie was diagnosed with Stage 4 T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma in May 2017. We had 12 weeks of her responding well to treatment when she unexpectedly had a MASSIVE relapse in August. Our doctors had never seen a child relapse so soon in 40-plus years of practicing. We were in the club that even cancer families don’t want to be in, the “rare disease” club. We spent nine days in the ICU getting 15 doses of adult “rescue chemo” that saved her life and knocked her...

Keep Reading

Cancer Warrior, Your Star Will Never Fade

In: Cancer, Inspiration
Cancer Warrior, Your Star Will Never Fade www.herviewfromhome.com

How do you stand so tall? How do you walk so proud? How do you smile easily? How do you laugh so beautifully? How do you comfort others? How do you shine with such grace? With such class? With such dignity? I use to ask my wife those questions. The ultimate Cancer Warrior. She fought so hard. So bravely. With a spirit that left the World in awe. And now, I’m asking you. You:  The Cancer Warrior. How do you do it? To say that I admired her, well, that would be the ultimate of understatements. To say that I...

Keep Reading