MidReal Story

Shattered Dreams: A Mother's Unyielding Resolve

Scenario: Alice, a high-achieving businesswoman, has successfully balanced her work and personal life for years. She has it all: a fulfilling career, a supportive husband, and two happy children. However, with her son facing a life-threatening illness and her company struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, the careful construct of Alice's life comes crashing down. Reeling from the pressure to hold it all together and save her son, she must now confront the reality that nobody truly has it all.
Create my version of this story
Alice, a high-achieving businesswoman, has successfully balanced her work and personal life for years. She has it all: a fulfilling career, a supportive husband, and two happy children. However, with her son facing a life-threatening illness and her company struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, the careful construct of Alice's life comes crashing down. Reeling from the pressure to hold it all together and save her son, she must now confront the reality that nobody truly has it all.
“It’s six o’clock on a Saturday.” My iPhone alarm blares from its docking station at my bedside.
I’ve been awake for an hour, but I’ve been pretending to be asleep as I listen to the kids get ready for school.
It’s something I do every morning, so I can be there for them when they need me.
I also like to have a few moments to myself before the chaos begins.
I work full time, and I’m a wife and mom, so my life is always chaotic.
Even though weekends are supposed to be more relaxed, they’re just as busy for me.
In fact, with the way my life has been going lately, I’m not sure what “relaxed” even means anymore.
It’s 2020, and the world is still in the middle of a pandemic.
The company I work for has been hit hard by the economic downturn, and we’ve had to let people go.
My job was spared, but I’m busier than ever.
I take a deep breath in an attempt to calm my nerves.
Today is going to be an even busier day than usual because it’s not just any Saturday.
It’s the first Saturday of the month—the day that we have to drive all the way across town so that our son can get chemotherapy at the children’s hospital.
When James was first diagnosed with cancer, I was terrified that he wouldn’t make it.
Now, more than six months later, he’s still fighting, and so am I.
The last thing I need on a day like today is a late start, so I force myself out of bed and into the bathroom.
As I brush my teeth and put in my contacts, I run through everything I need to do in my head: make breakfast, make sure Emily gets on the bus on time, drop James off at the hospital, then go home and work until it’s time to pick him up again.
I look in the mirror as I brush my long blonde hair.
I’m exhausted, but it’s nothing a little concealer can’t fix.
I’ve never been one to underestimate the power of a good beauty routine.
Even when everything else is falling apart, at least my skin is still flawless.
I’m about to turn off my alarm when John comes into the room.
He looks at me with his big green eyes and gives me a half smile.
I know he’s tired too, but he never complains.
It’s part of why I love him so much.
“Good morning, beautiful,” he says.
I give him a tired smile.
“Good morning,” I reply.
He kisses my cheek.
“Did you sleep well?”
“I don’t think I slept at all.” The truth is that this is how I always feel in the morning.
I have a terrible time sleeping because I can’t turn off my brain.
That’s probably why I also struggle to relax.
“Me either,” he says with a sigh.
He runs his fingers through his tousled brown hair and yawns.
Image for story eAGg
“Daddy, can I have a drink of water?”
Emily asks from outside our bedroom door, just as she does every morning.
She’s only ten, but she’s already so grown up that it makes my heart ache.
I get dressed while John goes to get her water.
By the time I finish, she and James are sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast.
“When did you make coffee?”
John asks as he comes into the kitchen with Emily, who is still wearing her pajamas.
I give him a look, telling him it’s too early for his jokes.
“You know we can’t function without coffee,” I say as I pour a cup for each of us.
“Daddy puts extra sugar in mine,” James says with a proud smile as he takes a big bite of his cereal.
I look at John, who has a big grin on his face as he looks down at James.
It’s moments like this one that remind me why I fell in love with him all those years ago, and why I continue to fall more and more in love with him every day.
There are plenty of men who wouldn’t have been able to handle everything we’ve been through, but John isn’t one of them.
“I love you,” he says as he kisses my cheek and takes the cup of coffee I made for him.
“Even when I put extra sugar in your coffee.”
“Especially then,” I reply with a smile.
He kisses me again, this time on the lips, and I feel that same spark I have since the day we met twenty years ago when we were nothing more than kids ourselves.
“Good morning, Mommy!”
James says with a mouthful of food.
“We need to leave for school soon so I can hand out my birthday invitations.”
“I know.” I give him a tired smile as I look at the stack of invitations on the counter: they’re for his birthday party, which is this weekend at the children’s hospital where he gets treatment.
He’s so excited to celebrate with his friends there that he’s been talking about it nonstop ever since we started planning it last month.
“I can’t wait,” he says with an enormous grin on his face as if he hasn’t said those exact words at least five times already today.
I’m so proud of him that it almost hurts, but I don’t tell him that because I don’t want to embarrass him.
Instead, I simply say, “Me too.”
I give him a big hug before getting up from the table and walking over to the counter to pour myself another cup of coffee that I probably don’t need but am going to drink anyway.
“I’m ready!”
James says as he stands up from the table and grabs his backpack, even though he still has a little bit of food on his plate that he hasn’t finished yet.
“I’m not,” Emily says with a frown as she looks at her half-empty plate of scrambled eggs.
“You can eat them on the bus,” I tell her as I take a big sip of my coffee and grab my purse off the counter.
I know it’s not the healthiest thing for her to do, but sometimes we all have to make sacrifices for the greater good, and this is one of those times.
Image for story eAGg
She rolls her eyes at me because she knows that’s not really true, but she does it anyway because she’s a good sister and always does what’s best for James, even when it’s not what she wants.
“Bye, honey,” John says as he enters the kitchen after finishing up some work in his home office, which is just off the kitchen.
“Have a good day at school.”
“Bye, Daddy,” James replies with a big smile on his face, which looks so much like John’s even though they’re not related by blood, and gives him a hug before heading out the door with me and Emily.
“I wish you were taking me to school instead of work.” She pouts as she walks next to me, holding my hand like a little kid even though she’ll be eleven years old next month.
“I know,” I say with a sigh as we walk the short distance to the middle school where she goes.
“Me too, baby, but I’ll be there to pick you up after school, and we can have dinner together tonight, just the two of us.”
She gives me a small smile at that and squeezes my hand before letting it go and running off to meet up with her friends.
“Bye, Mom,” she calls over her shoulder without looking back.
“Have a good day at work!”
I watch her go before getting in the car and driving to the office.
By the time I get there, I’m already on my second cup of coffee for the day and feeling mostly awake and ready to face whatever challenges come my way.
The first thing I do is check in with my assistant, Sarah, who has been with me for three years now and is the only thing that keeps me from losing my mind most days.
Image for story eAGg
36
84