The true meaning of greatness could be different for every single person in the world. For some, it equals climbing the professional ladder and being successful. For others, it associates with reaching a height that only a handful of beings can reach. Meanwhile, there are people who see greatness in the way someone unconditionally, selflessly, and unreservedly cares for their loved ones.
This is a story of greatness that many will understand, but only a few will be truly touched by.
Writer Scott Mann was lucky enough to have the opportunity to appreciate selflessness in its purest form. Sadly, he had to go through an incredibly rough patch to see what being a great person truly is.
Mann’s former wife, Michele Hundley, was only 30-years-old when she was diagnosed with a rare form of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She was given the terrifying 10% chance to survive a year. Luckily, Michelle was strong enough to defy the doctors’ expectations. But what followed was far from a happy ending.
Even though Michelle was powerful enough to survive, the following years were filled with overwhelming experiences, both good and bad. During that period, as Scott shares, ‘she almost died many times’. He writes:
“Everything she identified herself with as a beautiful and successful person was lost almost overnight.”
Thankfully, Scott and Michelle were blessed with a real-life guardian angel.
Despite all the differences Mann had with his mother-in-law, Sharon, she became the reason he now knows what true greatness really means. She taught him that love is the most valuable thing in life. She showed him the significance of being unconditionally there for the ones you care for.
Although many years passed until Scott could see his mother-in-law’s true genuine colors, he finally got to appreciate her kindness.
“When my wife got leukemia at 30. When our world was shattered and changed forever, Sharon very quietly and very firmly stepped into the role she was born for.”
Finding out her daughter was fighting cancer, Sharon knew she had to step in and help. She, together with her ‘dependent Vietnam vet husband’, moved into Scott and Michelle’s house to be closer to her struggling child. With vivid gratefulness for Sharon, Mann reveals:
“Over the last two years she bought most of the groceries, cooked almost every meal, did most of the laundry and cleaning, drove both dependents to almost every one of the 300+ doctor appointments, sorted tens of thousands of pills, and made sure they were all taken on time at every hour every day.”
Even when the heroic mother got sick, she still showed incredible support for her daughter.
Tragically, Sharon herself was diagnosed with cancer while taking care of her cancer-battling child. However, she never stopped being there for Michelle even when she was getting a mastectomy or going through chemotherapy.
Thanks to Sharon’s absolute, unlimited love for her daughter, Scott could see what having greatness in your soul truly means.
“She goes about every day with humility and grace.”
“This, friends, is what greatness looks like in a quiet moment.”
The writer took this touching photograph one morning before leaving for work. His mother-in-law had no idea he was there. She was simply waiting on oatmeal to cook for Michelle, her daughter, ‘for the 300th time since she got sick’.
Even though Scott and Michelle’s marriage ended, the writer shares he is thankful she is alive and well. And for her loving mother, he says with deep respect in his heart:
“Not everyone gets to have a real-world superhero in their lives. And for this I am filled with gratitude every day.”