Seed Story : Vicki
Occupation: Wedding Planner and Admin Asst at Woodmen of the World
Current City You Reside: Rocky Mount
Favorite Quote: I have so many!!!!! “ A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” ~ Eeyore
You may remember my friend, Vicki, from a BBQ event I photographed in October in her honor. To simply state, she’s an incredible woman. A single mother, full of faith, caring, giving, hardworking woman.
Last year, Vicki faced the beginning of a long, tough battle with breast cancer. The odds were against her, but she stood firm on faith. As her family and friends approached her with concern and worry, she was the one telling them “It’ll be ok.”
This is Vicki’s story.
“My entire life now is the complete opposite of my life a year ago.
I was in a desperately unhappy marriage that I had given my heart and soul to for years. I reached the point where I knew my life HAD to change. For the first time, in quite a few years, I fell on my knees and asked God for help. I completely let go of trying to control my life and just listened. Once I had truly given Him all the power, I had this new and overwhelming sense of peace. Somehow, I knew my road would be difficult, but “God’s Got This” repeated itself in my mind.”
“So in August of 2013, I asked my husband of 14 years for a divorce. Gradually, over the course of our marriage, he had multiple indiscretions, became mean and violent, and was not the kind of role model I wanted for my three boys.”
“Just as the boys and I were settling into it being “just us”, in August, 2014, I was diagnosed with three types of breast cancer. I was told I had a 30% chance of survival, as one of the cancers was extremely aggressive and had already spread to my lymph nodes.
I had no idea how rocky my path would end up being through the divorce and the cancer diagnosis. I’ve never been scared. That peace has remained with me. It was there during my first surgery, five months of weekly chemo treatments and all the tests and procedures in between. And it’s still with me today as I face a complete mastectomy in a few weeks. So for me, learning to let go and trust in God has made this journey one of finding out who I really am, what’s important, and what I’m capable of.”
“I’ve never been one to ask for help easily. I don’t want to inconvenience or bother anyone. But suddenly now, I haven’t had a choice. I needed someone to be there when the school bus came home because I was at chemo. I needed someone to drive me to and from the surgery to install my port. On the days when I couldn’t make it off the couch, my boys needed to be fed dinner or have someone to play with. And with a huge deductible on my health insurance that will span for three years at least, I needed financial help.”
“They say in times of trouble you find out who your true friends are. Typically that means people you thought you could count on aren’t there anymore. In my case, the opposite was true. I never had to ask for help. It came to me. I have more true friends than I realized.
I’ve had folks organizing fundraisers to help cover my medical bills …. dozens of ready-to-eat meals being delivered … families taking my kids to do fun things when I wasn’t able …. friends and family cleaning my house and doing my laundry … and the list goes on and on.”
“I couldn’t have asked for a better family than the one I’ve been blessed with. My Mom is my rock. I’ve never met a more caring, generous, loving, humble person in my life. She continues to show me every day the kind of person and mother I want to be. The same is true of my sisters and brother. I know they are there any time I have a need. No matter how big, how small or how much I inconvenience them, they are always there for me.”
“And of course, there’s my three wonderful, handsome, funny, talented, perfect boys. Drew (21) has stepped up and I can always count on him to be there if any of his brothers or I need anything. Yet he doesn’t ever complain about how much I’m depending on him right now. There’s also Sawyer (13) who is the most tender-hearted of the bunch. He has also stepped up and is doing household chores when I can’t (even cooking dinner for him and his younger brother!). He’s always making sure I’m okay, asking if I need anything and making sure I’m doing what the doctor’s ordered. And last but not least, there’s Max (9) who is funny and silly and you never know what he’s going to do next! He makes me laugh when I’m feeling down and makes sure I get lots of hugs and kisses when I need them!
I am happy. Truly happy. I think for the first time in many years.”
Going through such a life-changing event, Vicki has learned gained new perspective:
“I’ve learned to trust in God. The more I let go of trying to control things, the more doors He opens for me. And He walks through them with me every time I let Him. And I’ve learned priorities. Life’s not about appearances or what others think. Life is about loving the people who love me.”
Vicki’s advice for anyone going through a tough time?
“Let people help you. Your friends really, truly do want to help in some way. Let them. My friends and family still don’t always know what to do to help. So when someone offers help, I now take it with a smile and a genuine thank you. At the end of the day, we both feel good.”