“When life gives you lemons…”
I’ve always liked this quote. I feel it can apply to many emotions in life. You can choose to make lemonade, grab the tequila, or do nothing.
And what do lemons even mean in this context? Are they supposed to be symbolic? Do they represent good things or bad things? Honestly, I think it varies.
Recently, I was faced with a situation in life where this quote came to mind. A month ago, I got a call I hoped I would never get… “Alana, things aren’t well with your Mom, and you need to get home soon.”
In this moment, I was numb. I was sitting in a car, with what seemed like no emotions. Just me, sitting there with my hands trembling. It wasn’t until shortly after that I realized the magnitude of what was going on.
In the days that followed, my dad, brother, and I were faced with decisions I hope other families don’t ever have to make.
When you’re told you only have a few days left with your mom, life instantly changes. You forget about what’s going on in the world. You don’t check emails, don’t watch the news, you forget where you put your phone, and you start to question God’s plan. But most importantly, you love harder than you ever have.
I cried with my brother and dad as we sat around my mom, holding her hand, and telling my mom how much we loved her.
Fear is a weird emotion. I’ve often thought I was scared of snakes, but now, that seems irrational. In what I thought were my last moments with my mom, I was terrified. And what was that fear? It was fear of the unknown. What would life be like without her? Who would be there for the next big milestones in my life? Who would be honest enough to tell me that outfit choice wasn’t flattering?
But, during all of that, life gave me lemons. In my case, lemons were fear. I could have let myself be overcome with that emotion, but instead, I decided to make lemonade.
I took that fear, and turned it into happy moments. One might think it’s impossible to be happy in those moments, but you obviously don’t know my momma. I did her makeup, laughed at her hilarious comments, and reminisced on all the beautiful memories that I did have.
Over the past four weeks, people have asked me, “Alana, are you sure you’re ok?” My answer was always, “Yes.” Why? Because, my mom is still alive. People expect you to sit around and cry for days waiting for something to happen, but despite my mom being so sick, my family and I still managed to do what my mom would have wanted, and that’s to be happy.
Now, here is the kicker. Four weeks later, and my sweet momma is still fighting. She has defied all odds and stunned her doctors, friends, and family. She has one hell of a will to live, and for that I am forever grateful.
My point in all of this… It’s ok to be scared. But it’s also ok to be happy. It’s also ok to believe in the power of prayer and to believe in miracles, because they do happen. I firsthand witnessed it.
So, when life gives you lemons, I encourage everyone to make lemonade. Take the fear, and turn it into something sweet.