Wednesdays with Wanda

First of all, I want to thank you for the sweet comments and emails about my Wednesday with Wanda post last week about “worries”.

It seems that is a topic we all struggle with, and I appreciate all of your prayers so much!  And I am praying for you as well!

I will have to say that your encouraging words have really helped me to keep my focus on God this past week and not my worries.  So thank you.

This week is a bittersweet week for our family.

Today marks my sister, Cyndi’s, first birthday without Mom.

Mom  had a way of making birthdays extra special…tarting off with that early morning phone call, “Happy Birthday, sweetie!”, that we all treasured so much.

Please pray for Cyndi today.  If you want, you can visit her at her blog,, and tell her Happy Birthday or leave an encouraging comment, or just send her a tweet at @walkinhisgrace.  I know it would mean so much!

This week is also significant because Friday marks the one year anniversary of the day that we found out Mom had cancer.

My cousin, Darrin, is the head coach of the University of South Carolina basketball team (yes, I am bragging!) and was in town, and we were having a huge family reunion on my dad’s side of the family at my house that night.

My family had helped me get my house ready for the reunion (including Mom planting flowers by my front steps), and it was a great celebration!  You can read about it HERE.

Late that afternoon, Mom had an appointment with a new doctor to see if she could find out why her face was swelling and she was so sick.  After the appointment, she was planning on going back home because she wasn’t feeling well enough to join us at the reunion.

She insisted that we all stay at the reunion and not go to the doctor with her.

Little did we know that the doctor would feel a mass in Mom’s stomach and tell her before she left the office that he thought she had cancer.

My sister called Mom during the reunion to check on her, and Mom said she was fine and would talk to us later.

Mom didn’t want to ruin our evening.  She had decided to tell us after the reunion was over.

I often wonder what was going through Mom’s head during those hours she sat alone at her house while we were at the reunion.  She had just been given devastating news, and I know her heart must have been heavy.  But there is not doubt she was talking it over with her heavenly Father!

About 10:00 that night, after the reunion, I called Mom on the phone to tell her how great everything was.  It was the first big “event” I had ever hosted at my house, and she was so excited for me.  Dad was on his way home from the reunion as Mom and I talked.  I was smiling from ear to ear with excitement as I told Mom all of the details from the evening.  And she listened, and I could hear her smiling for me on the other end of the line.  She listened and listened for a good 10 minutes…I had a lot to share!  :)

Then she told me about her doctor’s appointment and what the doctor had said.

My heart sunk.

But in true Wanda fashion, she said she waited until after the reunion to tell me  because she didn’t want to ruin my special evening.

Always unselfish.  Always thinking of others.  Always strong.

That’s my mom.

I got off the phone and told my husband the news.  I immediately began looking up information about cancer on the internet and Mom’s symptom’s came flooding before my eyes.

I knew it was bad.

I cried myself to sleep.

Mom went the next day for a CT scan and the bad news was confirmed.  Mom had stage IV gastric cancer.    Our lives were never the same.

I can’t believe it’s been a year.

I have experienced sadness and emotions like I have never known before.

And at the same time, I have seen God’s goodness and sovereignty like I have never seen before.

Some of you are facing “life changing” situations right now.  You may feel scared, hopeless, confused, angry, or sad.

Please remember this,

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

Put your trust in Him today.




  1. sending big hugs to you and your family to get through the day today. I am also hopping over to your sister’s blog to wish her happy birthday.
    Time and time again you share what a wonderful Godly woman your mom was and what a wonderful heart she had for those around her, including her family. Praying for you as I know you miss her terribly.

  2. Hi Traci,

    You are really a very amazing and caring person. I honestly love your blog and how you always express your true feelings in everything. I know your mother is with you in your heart and is passing on her ways to you; your memories are blessed from above. I love that you share those memories with everyone.
    I will go to your sister’s blog to wish her a Happy Birthday and hope both of you will have a very blessed day as well. ( My birthday is tomorrow )

    Kathy from Texas

  3. I am so thankful you posted this today. I needed it. My precious Mother-in-love has been battling colon cancer for several years and yesterday, we were told that she was given 1-2 weeks. As I read about your beautiful Mama, I keep thinking about how these two could have been the best of friends. The only thing we can dwell on is how much my MIL loves Jesus and has lived for Him. Even though she is in such pain, nauseated and on morphine, she was doing her Bible Study 3 mornings ago. We are blessed to have received such a great heritage.

    Isaiah 41:10 will be written on my heart today….


  4. I hope your heart is filled with love and good memories on this anniversary. I can only imagine how hard it is.

    And I know that her legacy lives on in you and your sister in so many ways. ((HUGS))

  5. I am so sorry about the loss of your Mother. I’ve read Wednesdays with Wanda on your site before. She was clearly an incredible woman and bestowed that into her children. My thoughts and prayers are with your sister today and the rest of you as well. God created an incredible woman in your mother, and in turn in you girls as well.

  6. Traci, what a heartfelt post about your Mom and your family. I can tell by just reading it that you have so much of your Mother’s love and caring within you also. She sounds like she was just an amazing woman who touched so many lives. I know that you have so many treasured memories with her. My prayers are with you during this time of her anniversary. I know that she is just smiling away watching down on all of you. I’m hoppin over to your sister’s blog also. Big hugs!!!

  7. Last night my father-in-law got his test results back that confirm that he has cancer. In no way can I describe how helpless I feel to help my father-in-law, mother-in-law and husband. I love him dearly and have faith that he will get the treatment and love he needs to get through this. I know!! I know!! Not the kind of comment you were wanting to get, so sorry!!! I’m definitely trying to put my trust in fod today. What a strangely poignant post. It’s so touching to see a family that loves each other as much as yours.

  8. I know your mom is still just as proud of you if not more. She just beams looking down from heaven at you. Anniversaries and Birthdays are the hardest. My dad’s birthday is in 11 days and I am not looking forward to it at all. I used your advice and told my 4 year old about dad having a birthday with the angels in heaven and he hasn’t asked about it since. Thank goodness, it was so hard. I will pray that you will look to Him on Friday and that He will give you comfort throughout the day.

  9. As one of those people who is dealing with some difficult things right now, I can say that your unwavering devotion to the Lord is a guiding light for me. Your exemplary example in the face of adversity shows me that I can “do” this. Thank you. My prayers are for you and your family today. I know that as these next weeks progress that there is a difficult road ahead, but know that readers from all over will be praying for you. Going to wish your lovely sister birthday wishes now.

  10. I sit here with tears in my eyes reading your beautifully written story about your Mom and about her
    enormous love for you and your family. What a great Lady. Thankyou for sharing this with us and
    I agree with you that whatever we are going through our Heavenly Father is always with us, we
    are never alone. He is closer than our breath.

    Love through Christ,


  11. Hi Traci! I have never commented, but have been reading for a while now. This is so what I needed to hear today! Thank you for posting

  12. Thank-you!!!! I love your Wednesdays with Wanda posts. The verse you shared from Isaiah is just what I needed to hear right now. God Bless you and your beautiful family!

  13. Oh, Traci; I read your post this morning and have thought of you during my busyness today. I finally located the verse that popped into my mind this morning as I read your many words. 2Co 1:4 (ASV) who comforteth us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort them that are in any affliction, through the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
    You probably didn’t want to learn this, this early in life, but, allow God to use you, to comfort others when the time comes. “What we learn in the dark (hard times) we must share in the light.” Wish I could claim that one, but it comes from Charles Stanley. Thinking of you as your heart heals. IN HIM, Karen

  14. Wow, did I need to see that verse today! Just found out that a sweet little friend of mine has relapsed with her brain tumor- she’s 12. In a day full of so much anger and confusion, it was nice to be reminded Who is in control. Love and prayers to your family in this difficult time!

  15. That was a truly beautiful post! Your Mom was a truly inspiring woman of God and I really enjoy reading your thoughts about your Mom, thank you for being willing to be so transparent about all that you have gone through.

  16. Bless you, bless you, bless you, sweet Traci. Time goes so quickly–but sometimes there’s just too much packed into those months, isn’t there? It seems just yesterday that you were celebrating your first birthday without your mom on this earth.

    Hope your summer is going well. I know you’ve been busy with your family and your job. Hope you’re finding enough time to take care of yourself!

  17. As always, my eyes tear up when reading about your precious Mother. I know today is a hard day and I am praying for you and your family!

    I admire the beautiful life lessons your Mother lived out in front of her children and grandchildren!

  18. I hope you know how special your Wednesday posts are to me. Wednesday is the day Jed receives his chemo. I am always lifted up by your posts about your precious mom. Thank you so much for having Jedidiah’s picture on your blog. I know many more prayers are going to the throne of God because of that and that is priceless to me. May God bless you!

  19. I attended the funeral yesterday for my friend’s mom who passed away from cancer. I saw the utter sadness on the faces of the 7 adult children of this dear mother. Her husband’s grief as they followed the casket out of the chapel will forever be with me. Such a strong family with strong faith, yet life ‘s experiences still hurt deeply. Your faith in The Savior is an example of great worth. My prayers are with you and your family.

  20. Traci,
    I enjoyed reading your blog today. So sorry for your loss. I lost my mother 2 years ago with a very similar story to yours. I think about her every day as I’m sure you do too. Something about the loss of a mother, and you hit it right on the nose when it comes to birthdays. I always remember that my loss is her gain, as she is in Heaven with God. My Mom told me once that it “was the natural order of things.” I’m sure your Mom felt the same, and was so happy that her beautiful children and grandchildren were happy, healthy and thriving.

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