The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The wilderness of illness

A mother and daughter savor the river of memories

Editor's note: This article by Lindsay Mack, Lisle, Ill., and her mother, Rena Mack, was accepted for publication by The Lutheran this summer. Rena, however, died immediately prior to publication.

Lindsay: Mom and I have always been close. But like pink is to red and like grapes are to currants, we are our own women. We've been crafted by our different choices and ambitions and colored by each other.

Several years ago, when I learned that Mom had brain cancer at the age of 56, it was as if an electric pulse had radiated through our relationship. We were shocked and devastated. It also awakened us to a whole new chapter in our relationship as mother and daughter. We don't experience illness in tandem, like a pair of water skis skimming easily over a lake together. But cancer has deepened our relationship in unexpected ways.

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