Cynthia Tankersley isn’t thinking about what she lost. On this Thanksgiving, she’s remembering what she gained.
The Club No One Wants to Join
Cynthia is a member of their club … the club no one wants to join.
“My boys died, and that part of my heart died,” the mother of three boys said. “Losing a child is the deepest, hardest thing a mother can go through. It doesn’t matter the circumstance.”
Her husband, Mark, had a rare genetic disorder, called MonoMac Syndrome. His condition manifested as leukemia, eventually killing him in 2011. Her middle son, Jake, inherited the same life-threatening disorder and suffered from lung complications before passing away in 2010.
And then Josh, Cynthia’s oldest, unexpectedly died two years ago. He called her the day before complaining he couldn’t breathe. To this day, Cynthia isn’t positive if MonoMac played a role in his death because he had refused to get tested, but she has her suspicions.
Josh was a perfect genetic match to his brother, Jake.
What Cynthia Gained
“People would look at me and ask how I was getting through it,” Cynthia said. “They’d ask, ‘how come you’re not angry with God. How can you believe a God exists?’”
But she isn’t thinking about what she lost. On this Thanksgiving, she’s remembering what she gained.
She didn’t turn from God. She embraced Him, called out to Him. He gave her comfort and peace, helping her get through the next minutes, hours, and days … something no pharmaceutical drug could do. Through her grief, she understood a truth. “My boys have received an eternal reward.”
That certainty has allowed her to see things more clearly. “I had a choice. Either I stayed in that place of desperation or I learned from the trials of life and moved forward. I chose the latter. Losses are a part of life and from these losses, I have gained a closer walk with God.”
When others ask her about her kids, she tells them not to feel sorry for her. Yes, she talks about Jake and Josh, but she also speaks of Zach, her third son, whose wife gave birth to a healthy baby girl a few months ago. “I ask these people what they got from my story,” Cynthia said, “and they all say hope.”
She isn’t thinking about what she lost. On this Thanksgiving, she’s remembering what she gained.