My Mom has pancreatic cancer. She is 79 years young and only found out about her cancer 5 months ago. Mom chose to undergo surgery to remove the distal end of the pancreas, but when they operated, cancer was found everywhere, and they just stitched her up.

She is an unbelievably strong lady with an equally strong faith. I believe it is her faith that has kept her so positive and enables her to radiate goodness to all those lives she touches.


Concerned that she might not see Christmas, and spoil the Season for her friends and family, she prayed and concocted a story.  Mom told us that God was having the painters paint her room in Heaven. I asked, “What colour are they painting your room?”  Her reply, “Royal Stewart Tartan”! She batted not an eye! She was serious…….that is her tartan…..Mom is also very Scottish!

She also added that the painters were very busy right now, and that God only assigned one painter to her room, and he had a very small brush…….there was no way he would have her room ready for Christmas!


What a great story…how positive her outlook.

I drove away from Southampton that weekend with a real smile on my face.

The next day I shared this story with many of my friends and it brought a smile to their face too. They are always asking, “How is your Mom doing?”, and this time I had a happy, funny reply….we all need a smile, even during these difficult times.

I have friend whose Mother was also battling cancer. I shared my Mom’s story with her. She smiled too! Well not too long after that her Mother passed away. At the funeral, my friend told me the painters must have got her Mother’s room painted first!  She also said that the painters had now gone on vacation, and there was no way my Mom’s room would be finished any time soon! Again …another shared smile on both mine and my friends face!


Getting ready for Christmas, I came across some artwork that I had set aside. It was a piece of art created by friend and artist, Margo Anderson.  Margo passed away a few years ago from cancer. Margo had done a collage entitled, “Christmas Tartan”. It was beautiful collage, a marriage of Royal Stewart Tartan and Christmas Holly.  I framed it, and this was my gift to my Mom at Christmas.


How fortunate I was to have received Margo’s work years earlier, and how appropriate that piece was to add to Mom’s story.


Mom stays positive, and we are looking forward to Easter!


Her loving son,



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