i want to be a wuss, but i have a reason that most people don’t

“Is there anything wrong, mama?”

My six-year-old will ask while she lays her head of soft brown locks on my chest.  She wraps her little arms as far as they will go to offer comfort on those days when I feel less than whole.  Maybe no one knows the way she does…not even her yet.

It’s there some days.  That tendency to have a pity party and feel sorry for myself.  Some days I just get fed up because I feel like we’ve been through too much.  Isn’t it enough?  How much more can we take?  Can it be someone else’s turn to be strong and inspiring for once?

We had to do a stroke.  We had to pull it together and do pediatric cancer. We had to do eighteen months apart. We had two more strokes.  A coma.  Rehab. And this body that takes a lot of work.

We have had enough.

We really have.

And if not WE have had enough, I have had enough.

I’m tired of always struggling.  I’m tired of always fighting. I’m tired of always being the one to make choices that are strong.

Then my daughter puts her soft arms around me.  Arms full of life and expectation.  She’s expecting that I’ll never give up.  She never did.  She’s expecting my fighting spirit.  The one I told her she was full of every time they did something painful to her.  She expects that I’ll be just as strong as she was and just as much of a fighter.

For that girl who had cancer at two-years-old and fought it for years, I can fight too.

Never letting her down.

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35 Responses to i want to be a wuss, but i have a reason that most people don’t

  1. Ronald Loves Nike August 15, 2010 at 7:12 PM #

    Thank you for such an inspirational story. I can tell you that you are not alone and people often wonder how much more they can take with various different things. Hang in there and keep that spirit that it seems you have.

  2. DefendUSA June 26, 2010 at 11:12 AM #

    You know…long story short, I feel as if I have been fighting my whole life. I was born at 24 weeks gestation. I am 46. I graduated high school, entered the Army and made a life. I fell in love, got married, went to college. That was the easy part. The hard parts weren’t has hard as my last four years. We have endured financial ruin, 3 unemployments and more crap.

    My wonderful BIL helped us buy a business and I feel completely suffocated and tired, oh, so tired of fighting to keep us together. This family of 6.

    But, you are so right. When your kid comes to you and says “Mom, I got into Michigan…” I was proud, overwhelmed, and I knew I wouldn’t quit the game, no matter how tired and suffocated *I* felt.

    It’s in me, but quitting- not my style.

  3. Two Makes Four June 25, 2010 at 10:23 PM #

    Haven’t stopped by in a while, and there you go, making me cry.

    I guess that’s why you have to be strong when you’re tired: Because you move people, and you’re not allowed to give up.

    But you do deserve a break, and I hope it comes soon.

    Sending you some strength so maybe your shoulders will feel a little lighter.
    .-= Two Makes Four´s last blog ..To Hell and Back =-.

  4. Sara Broers June 24, 2010 at 5:36 PM #

    You are an inspiration to many~ you will have good/bad days! Remember the good days and focus on those~ through your faith, family, and friends ~ you will prevail!
    .-= Sara Broers´s last blog ..My 20th Wordless Wednesday Post =-.

  5. Kristin June 23, 2010 at 8:47 PM #

    What a raw, honest and somehow beautiful post.

    Oh, btw, this is a message tot the Powers that be…Anissa has done enough. She has given enough. IT IS SOMEONE ELSE’S TURN.
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..A One-Two Punch =-.

  6. denise June 23, 2010 at 11:48 AM #

    Ok, now i have to post. I’m practically in tears here. When I hear stories like yours- as i did through other blogs- I always wonder how some families can take it! Some are faced with so much I honestly don’t know how they do it. I know it’s the nature of life to do it- but you are inspiring and amazing to me. And you can feel ‘why me’ anytime you want! Your family has faced so much more than so many families. Yes it’s true there is always someone even worse off…but you still have a right to feel what you feel. And even in feeling that way- you show amazing strength. Your whole family does. I hope this is the end of struggling for all of you and once you come out of this experience- you will all be able to move forward with minimal struggles and challenges as you have had more than a lifetimes worth. But whatever you all face- you do it together with strength and grace. That is what life is about.

  7. Susie June 23, 2010 at 1:45 AM #

    The last four words of your post were so powerful…

  8. Janis @ Sneak Peek At Me June 22, 2010 at 11:56 PM #

    “Can it be someone else’s turn to be strong and inspiring for once?”

    You have no idea how often I want to scream this from the top of my lungs! Sending you strength, although I suspect you have already received your dose from Peyton today.
    .-= Janis @ Sneak Peek At Me´s last blog ..A Brief Conversation About Death and Honesty =-.

  9. Holly at Tropic of Mom June 22, 2010 at 11:46 PM #

    “She expects that I’ll be just as strong as she was and just as much of a fighter. For that girl who had cancer at two-years-old and fought it for years, I can fight too. Never letting her down.” Aw, you’re just trying to make me cry. I have no idea what that is like, and even though you don’t want to have to be strong, I admire you for it.
    .-= Holly at Tropic of Mom´s last blog ..Life at Latitude 26 =-.

  10. Lisa June 22, 2010 at 11:44 PM #

    Never stop fighting. You make me look deeper into myself when I read your posts. Thank you. That’s a good thing.

  11. MainlineMom June 22, 2010 at 11:43 PM #

    Oh, the tears. Dammit.
    .-= MainlineMom´s last blog ..Frugal Fashionista Friday! and H&M =-.

  12. Karen June 22, 2010 at 10:01 PM #

    that is definitely some raw honesty. I wish I had the ability to open up and communicate my feelings like that.
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Warehouse Curtain Divider =-.

  13. Michelle June 22, 2010 at 9:46 PM #

    you are a good mama…..

  14. Casey June 22, 2010 at 9:23 PM #

    beautiful post, fighting tears right now. I really think that you are one of the strongest women that I have ever “met” (through the internets that is). You are such an inspiration to so many out there.
    .-= Casey´s last blog ..diapers contained =-.

  15. Jessica June 22, 2010 at 8:58 PM #

    Anissa – your writing is getting SO STRONG. I am really impressed. You have such a way with language and your sentence structure is becoming so much more sophisticated, but you haven’t lost those dreamy, suprising descriptions. Yes, the content of your post breaks my heart because, indeed, you have been dealt a crappy hand and you have no choice but just play that crappy hand. But the way you write about it SINGS. I love reading what you write.

  16. kara potterbaum June 22, 2010 at 8:32 PM #

    Praying for you and yours. Love you guys.

  17. Elsa June 22, 2010 at 7:05 PM #

    you are such an inspiration!

  18. Kristy Rackham June 22, 2010 at 4:47 PM #

    Anissa… I feel that exhaustion too sometimes. Its so all encompassing, so overwhelming and there doesn’t seem to be any way out or an end in sight… how much can one person take? Just when I think I’ve reached my limit, I find some more… just a little, but that little bit is enough. It sounds like your daughter knows when you need just a little more to keep on going. It is my two babies, and only them that keeps me from the unmentionable some days. I wish you every goodness in the world, and just a little bit more…
    Kristy xo

  19. Julie Presley June 22, 2010 at 2:23 PM #


    You can do it. I know you can.

  20. Melisa with one S June 22, 2010 at 12:50 PM #


    .-= Melisa with one S´s last blog ..Parenting Phase One? Complete. =-.

  21. Brittany June 22, 2010 at 12:49 PM #

    Now this? Is the Anissa I know.
    .-= Brittany ´s last blog ..Father’s Day 4: It just keeps getting better. =-.

    • Mishi June 23, 2010 at 7:07 PM #


      Love you, Anissa!
      .-= Mishi´s last blog ..Bleu =-.

  22. Lorrian June 22, 2010 at 12:35 PM #

    Amazing = the whole frickin’ Mayhew family. :-)

    Hey, pity parties are as much a part of life as celebrations. We all deserve the chance to have them – the key is to know when to stop wallowing. Sounds like you’ve got a bunch of keys, Anissa.

    Sunshine and blessings are winging your way from my heart.

  23. maggie, dammit June 22, 2010 at 12:34 PM #

    I think you’re amazing. And it IS unfair and it IS bizarre but you keep on moving through it, keep on inspiring everybody, especially your own children, and that’s all you can do. Thank you for your honesty. xo
    .-= maggie, dammit´s last blog ..Pain is pain =-.

  24. toywithme June 22, 2010 at 11:37 AM #

    Children have a way of touching our hearts like on one else can. Their timing is somewhat intuitive. Just when life has dealt one card to many they sense this and are there for us. With a giggle, smile, dance or cuddle. Enjoy your darling daughter and loving family :)
    .-= toywithme´s last blog ..The Story Of The Birthday Blowjob =-.

  25. LisaUnfiltered June 22, 2010 at 11:27 AM #

    Oh, Anissa. I understand about “Enough.” I think it’s been enough for you too. Bless Peyton for helping you find strength. (((HUGS)))
    .-= LisaUnfiltered´s last blog ..Influencing our Kids =-.

  26. Melissa June 22, 2010 at 10:43 AM #

    I appreciate your raw honesty. God will continue to be sovereign over your family.

  27. Loukia June 22, 2010 at 10:35 AM #

    Your family is an impiration to all of us, you know. What yo have been through nobody should have to go through. What your daughter went through, no child should have to endure. But she is a figher and so strong and beautiful. And although I don’ t personally know you yet, (but I do plan on meeting you at BlogHer this August!) I can tell she got her strength from you, and you from her. That’s what keeps us going everyday, the love we have and the love we receive from our children. And I sometimes believe that when we go through awful things, it doesn’t necessarily make us stronger. At least, not for me, when my 3 year old was in the hospital for two weeks with severe pneumonia, surgery in his lung, chest tube, oxygen masks and IVs. After going through that, for me, I felt wasted, done, and not strong. It has made me ever more worried and afraid.
    I think you are going to get through everything – you have gone through so much and look, your entire family is still together! HUGS to you. You’re amazing. xoxo

  28. Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] June 22, 2010 at 10:34 AM #

    You? Are more than amazing slathered in Awesome.
    .-= Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last blog ..Official findings: Whoever smelt it, dealt it. =-.

  29. Mandy June 22, 2010 at 10:34 AM #

    So inspiring. So amazing. Even if only for her.

    You are an amazing momma and amazing woman.

    So much love, Anissa. Nothing but love.

  30. Lisa Rae @ smacksy June 22, 2010 at 10:33 AM #

    You are both miracles.
    .-= Lisa Rae @ smacksy´s last blog ..Soccer Camp: Day 1 =-.

  31. Digital Mom June 22, 2010 at 10:30 AM #

    You inspire me Anissa. Keep up your spirits and remember that God has your back :)
    .-= Digital Mom´s last blog ..Kindle vs Nook – The Price War is ON! =-.

  32. DESERA June 22, 2010 at 10:30 AM #

    This post has me in tears; wishing I could do something for you guys! You are all so strong and you have been through SO much! You are doing everything you are supposed to and it will come, I’m sure of it! There are bound to be “down” days and that’s okay and God Bless Peyton for recognizing that you need a little extra loving when that happens! I love you guys! ♥ Keep your chin up!

  33. Mama Fuss June 22, 2010 at 10:26 AM #

    Wow. That is amazing.

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