A couple struggles to navigate each day through constant pain and an uncertain future
Brenda Hindley (1973 –)
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Adima was always close to her mother, Anthea, who raised her as a single parent with the help of the community. (Her father left the community shortly after Adima’s birth, divorced her mother, and remarried.) In the summer of 2015, Adima and her mother were living together again after several years apart, when Anthea was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The oncologist gave her three to five months.
Mom did not take things lying down. She was a junior-high teacher, and tough as nails. Plus, she was only forty-nine. But when she got cancer, her attitude surprised me. She said, “Rather than fight God and question him, we have to take the attitude of Mary: ‘Here I am, Lord. Do with me as you will.’”
Armed with that mixture of resolve and acceptance, Anthea showed no signs of slowing down until the very end. She continued teaching as long as she could. She wrote to dozens of former students. She organized parties and outings. She spent hours reminiscing about the past with her sisters and her mother. And she always saved time to “just be” – one-on-one, with Adima:
I’m leaving, but you won’t be alone. You have people all around you, and so much to live for. I don’t want you going down the road of bitterness. It leads to hell.
She had always been my best friend, and wanted to be sure I was ready to face the future. Her basic message was “no self-pity.” She said, “I’m leaving, but you won’t be alone. You have people all around you, and so much to live for. I don’t want you going down the road of bitterness. It leads to hell.”
Of course, the community supported us throughout, medically and inwardly, and in every other way possible, also during the period of devastating inner loneliness I went through after her funeral.
Mom died in January 2016. Right before she went, I told her, “Mom, I’m going to be okay. So whenever you need to go, just go.” I could say that with a free heart, and I really meant it. And I know she heard me, even though she wasn’t responding anymore.
In 2018 Adima married Kent, and in 2019 they welcomed their daughter, Alivia Anthea.
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With photography by British photojournalist Danny Burrows, this 300-page hardcover book celebrates what is possible when people take a leap of faith. It will inspire anyone working to build a more just, peaceful, and sustainable future.
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