I’ve already admitted that I went overboard in the cheering and silliness while at the hospital so this little nickname shouldn’t be too much of a surprise – mom became known as Iron-Woman!
One of the first things we found out with the cancer diagnosis was that mom was extremely anemic so she needed iron. However, I didn’t expect a bag full dark brown sludge to be dripping into the hospital IV all day and night. It looked like mud and the iron pills she was given twice a day were black as the darkest night. This mess was being dumped into my momma’s body and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that… But we had been told to celebrate so we celebrated the iron! We decided that the iron was making her strong and able to fight. But in all honesty, I had no clue about iron or why our bodies needed it to survive.
Well, Google and I became friends! I looked up the need for iron in the body. Please know, I have not talked with the biology professors about this one (although they have been super helpful through all of this) this is just my simple understanding. Iron helps get oxygen through the body, it’s important for hemoglobin (which is really important according the doctor since he measured those levels in mom daily) and red blood cells. Also iron is essential for healthy hair and skin growth. The main thing was oxygen! Organs weren’t going to work, brain function would be impaired, and mom’s overall health would be impacted without iron – bring on the bags of sludge!!!
I kept looking and kept searching for answers about iron… and found more answers in the Bible. Remember the night mom spent with the angels? That night has been seared in my heart as a time when mom and I encouraged each other through words, looks, hand squeezes, and scripture. That night “iron sharpened iron.” Looking back to that night I have been reminded of all the times mom and I have walked through the good, the bad, and the ugly together. The verse that stood out most to me about iron in the Bible was Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Iron appears in scripture many many times where we see the strength in this element. We see power, strength, and ability in iron. So, there is something to this whole iron thing…
Iron is powerful! Mom is Iron-Woman, we have seen her fight, takes steps without a walker, learn to keep doing ministry through chemo and cancer, find joy in the Lord when nothing joyous seemed to be abounding, and more. She has taught us to keep going, to keep laughing, to keep extending grace, and to keep being about the Lord’s business.