Most women become a mother by accident, some by choice, a few by habit. Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with cancer are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over the earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger...
"Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint Matthew."
"Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint Cecelia."
"Rutledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint Gerard. He's used to profanity."
Finally, he passes a name to an angel and says, "Give her a child with cancer." The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy." "Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a child with cancer to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."
"But does she have patience?" asks the angel. "I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she will handle it."
"I watched her today," said God. "She has that feeling of self-independence that is so rare and necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has its own world. She has to make it live in her world and that's not going to easy."
But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you," said the angel. "No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness." The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"
God nods, "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman. I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take anything her child does for granted. She will never consider a step ordinary. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice...and allow her to rise above them."
"And what about her patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in mid-air. God smiles and says, "A mirror will suffice."