A couple of days ago I had to write my first paper of the semester.
The prompt stated that we’d right about an event in our lives that changed our attitude and character forever.
I automatically thought of my mom, but I knew her death wasn’t the only thing that changed me I had already been changed before that.
It started with the day that I found out she had cancer. I realized I had not relived that memory since it happened and boy was it hard!
But it was almost therapeutic and I wanted to share it with my readers!
I have lived a very difﬁcult life. I am the oldest of four who were raised by a
single mother. I had to grow up a lot quicker then most kids my age in order to help out my mom. I don’t remember many fun childhood memories. Most of
them are moments of ﬁnancial struggle and stress. I was raised by a warrior,
someone who thought me to never give up and to be a positive person. Thanks
to her I always tried to make the most of everything and see the positive in them. My struggles made me the strong person that I am today but it also made me very paranoid to fail in life. As I grew up I became obsessed in succeeding and I was very hard on my self when something did not go as planned. At age twenty two I had already had some set backs on my plan with my education and future career. I was very disappointed in myself yet I was determined to keep pushing and not let anything else stand in my way. I had my mind set and I could not allow anything to make me deviate from my plan!
It was on a Monday afternoon I was at my boyfriends aunt’s memorial service
reception. I was sitting on a table surrounded by his siblings as we all ate our food in silence because non of us could believe she was really gone. I was full of mixed emotions myself as I kept looking at my phone since my mom had been in the hospital for three days with a very bad case of pneumonia. I was waiting for her call because on that day she was getting her ﬁnal results of all the test they ran and was planning to check out the following morning. I remember taking one more glance at my phone as a text message came in. It said “They said yes”, I replied to her “Yes to what? Is everything okay?” I waited for what seemed the longest ﬁve minutes of my life yet no reply. I got up and excused myself from the table as I walked to a quitter area in the salon. I called her three times but she would not answer, I was starting to freak out. I could feel it, something in my heart was telling me that she was not okay. I was nervous, I felt as if the room got very hot and I could feel my face and neck starting to sweat. My phone ﬁnally rang and as I answered it my hands were shacking so much that I could barely press the answer button. As I said “Hello” I heard her say “You are the
ﬁrst person I call, but I need you to stay calm and please do not cry.” Had she
not added the last part I might have stayed strong a little longer but I could feel the tears running down my face on to my chin. She said again “Kelsey? Do you hear me? Please try not to cry” I said to her “Mom what’s wrong? Just tell me already!” She knew I was crying and she said to me as she began to cry “No, no, no, please I told you not to cry! There was a pause and then she said “I have Lung Cancer.” I could not believe what I was hearing. I broke down as I grabbed the bottom of my dress and squeezed my hand into a ﬁst. I could barely breath and speak but I forced out the words and said to her “Is it bad? Is it curable? Are you going to die?” I could hear her begin to also gasp for air as she cried louder and said “ Yes, no unfortunately, eventually but it can take a long time” I felt as if my heart had been ripped from my chest and all I could say was “No! No! No! No! No! No! Why you? Why god? Why her?” We cried on the phone together till my boyfriend walked over and looked at me with confusion. He said to me, “Is
everything okay?” She heard him and it seemed like she was almost trying to
calm her self down hoping he would not hear cry. She said to me “Listen up, you and I both know God only gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. Everything is going to be okay. Only he knows what he is doing so calm downand try to be positive like I have always thought you to be. I need you to call my sisters and brothers because they have been calling me non stop and I do not wish to go through this again. I am going to get some rest and I’ll see you when you get here. I love you Kelsey remember that everything is going to be okay!” I
don’t remember if I even responded to her after that, I just remember hanging up the phone and telling my boyfriend with a loud cry as I hugged him tightly “My mom has Lung Cancer” I broke down I could not be strong anymore. By the time I looked up his immediate family was there to comfort me. I cried and cried as I was passed from one person to another. His mom hugged me, his dad hugged me, his sisters and ﬁnally his grandmother. I felt myself weak in the knees as I hugged the lady who had just buried her third child who had died from cancer. She said to me “I am so sorry honey, I do not know what to say. No one and I mean no one deserves to feel this pain.” I could hear everyone around me crying but it was almost like I was running low on tears. Something in his grandmother’s hug gave me strength and helped me calm down. I wiped my tears off my face and started to call my aunts and uncles before I left the reception and drove to the hospital to see my mom. After that day I was no longer worried about success, failure or if my life worked
out as planned or not. I had mixed emotions on the whole cancer fact and I could still not believe it was true. I went from going to church every Sunday to not going at all and not even blessing myself every morning as I woke up or every night before I went to bed like I use to. This lasted about a year. I went to school and ﬁnished my AA Degree but I was not very motivated. I was angry, disappointed and still very confused as to why this diseases had made it’s way into our lives. Eventually I started to go back to church along side with my mom and even though I was still confused I was no longer angry. I had a small break
from school as I took care of her and we fought this disease side by side. I was no longer worried of how long it would take me to ﬁnish or when I would start working in the ﬁeld of my planned carrier. We helped each other through it and like always she was strong and positive making it hard for me not to follow her lead. Five months ago today my mother passed away at the age of forty six. She left four children and a granddaughter behind to live on her legacy. But most of all she left a changed and even stronger daughter who promised her she would not stop until she achieved everything she ever wanted in this life. Even though my mothers sickness and death have been the hardest experienced I have ever lived through, I know that it has made me stronger and changed my perspective on life. I have learned that it is okay to deviate from a plan. I learned that even the most perfect plans could fall apart and that I must not dwell and stress on it too much. I learned anything good takes time. I learned it does not matter how long it takes me to accomplish my dreams as long as I do not give up and keep pushing forward. I now realized money and good fortune is not as important as it perceives. Living life as if it’s your last day is whats important.
The Daughter of a warrior;
“We want simply to be our selves… not just our little female selves but our whole big human selves.” – Mary Jenny Howe; A leader of the feminist group in the 1900’s
I like to think that I was created for a special purpose.
I believe I’m here for a reason and to leave a mark on this world.
I have a big ego and I’d like to thank my mother for that; she was a warrior.
I’m very confident in what I am capable of.
I am strong and independent.
I love myself and do the best I can to keep myself happy.
I live through what I think is right for me.
I respect my body and myself.
I am a woman with class and I expect EVERYONE to treat me that way.
I believe in myself and know anything I want is achievable.
I believe in possibilities and I push myself to always try and be the very best “Me”
I try to never let life or anyone take anything from me.
I always make sure to never live without showing myself love and appreciation.
I know what I’m worth.
I am valuable and irreplaceable.
I am a beautiful woman;
Sometimes in this hard life all you have is YOU and YOURSELF.
In a moment when people are in your presence and life feels to good as you feel loved and appreciated it seems like nothing could ever take that away from you.
Unfortunately nothing is forever in this life, we are all just passing through.
Remember to always love yourself no matter what you’re going through! Never let life happen with out showing yourself respect, love and appreciation.
Also rememeber that any given time those who say would never leave will change there mind from one day to another. They will decide to leave you for doing one little thing not appreciating all that you put up with on your end. Unfortunately they are willing to never look back after you tried so hard to always give it a chance and hang on tight.
Friends are best friends one day and enemies another. People claim they care but they could careless. In a moment of tragic people always promise you everything then become invisible and can’t be found.
Those you thought you’d have forever, are now just a memory. And you will never be able to embrace them again.
People die and people are born; everything and anything can change in a heart beat.
I use to believe that as I got older life would only get easier. I believed it so strongly that in a way that’s the only reason why I’d try to stay positive and keep pushing. I would say to myself “Life CAN only get better”
Everything that would happen to my family and I would’nt affect me. I would just look for an excuse on why it was happening and on what good things it would bring into my life for the future.
For example, if we didn’t have any food my mom would say to us “I’m sorry girls all we have is beans again” and I’d say “Don’t worry mom beans are the best there is!”
But god knows I was soooo tired of beans and sopa.
If we couldn’t make the rent or had to move again, I’d worry so much and I HATE packing and moving. But I’d try to be positive and say “It will be cool, a whole new place!”
The list goes on and on and on and on…
And I’d try so so hard to understand. However we all go through our rebellious years and I definitely went through mine. As a teen I got to the point where I didn’t even believe my excuses anymore. I didn’t get it. And I’d even tell my mom things like “It just makes no sense how you work so hard and we do not have ANYTHING?
How mom? How don’t we ever have ANYTHING?
What did we do in our past life or before God put us on this earth to deserve it?
But I quickly learned to accept that we had just enough.
I learned that “God only gave me what I could handle”
So some how I use to believe that “Life could only get better”
And that “God was only giving us what we could handle”
And then I got older and I began to understand better. I started to believe that it was all in my control now and that it was up to ME to change things around. I would day dream of all the places I’d take my mom on vacation and of all the new things she’d finally experience. I use to believed that as long as I had a plan, all would go as planned.
However it didnt, nothing got better and NOTHING went as planned.
I’ve accepted that nothing always goes as planned but I can’t seem to understand why things never got better.
I’ve now learned and learned that life isn’t perfect so I’m not complaining and thinking “Why me?” Like if I am the only one who has lived through hard times.
I KNOW some have had it worse…
But I still don’t understand it!
My mom worked to die and never got to see the places she wanted to see.
My whole believe, plan and hope that someday we’d both be sitting hip to hip saying “Yupp, this is definitely better…” never happened.
And no its not all the same, somethings are better.
But I’m tired of hearing “God only gives you what you can handle”
“Life could only get better”
Because it’s not true. Life can also get worse and that’s just LIFE for you. We are not all here to pursuit all of our dreams, we won’t all get everything thing we desire and want, not all of us will get a break and some people won’t live a happy ever after.
All I can do now is accept that with hope that even if it NEVER gets better, it will only become a smoother process to deal with it all.
Thinking a bit,
In only a couple of days it will be 5 months since my mom has passed. I miss her like crazy everyday and every minute. I wish I could still come home and see her face and hear her voice but I can’t.
I was hoping that since she’d passed I’d be able to avoid hospitals for a while. However I’ve been to three different one’s since. Methodist our near home hospital which I am already familiar with because my mom spend 2 years in and out of there. Huntington Hospital in Pasadena where my sister ended up after being hit by a car (yes unfortunately the bitch is still running loose, I don’t know what is taking so long). Then there is also The children’s hospital of Los Angeles where I now know my way around because my brother has been here since Sunday. If any of you readers care, we are ALL OKAY no need to worry.
I still wish we had never made it to these places anyway. Everything about hospitals creeps me out now. The hallways, elivators, the beds, and the cold feeling you get no matter the temperature outside (102° by the way) and of course that sad feeling you get that you are not here for your mom anymore. It sounds crazy but it’s almost like my body and heart get this hope that they might see her again for a couple of minutes until my mind has to calm it down and say “sorry but she will not be here”.
What really brought me back to reality was when I was filling out the forms for my brothers admittion into the hospital and the man asked me “Are you a single mother or are you married?”
I answered with confusion on my face…
“Ummm, I am his sister”
and he said to me…
“Well of course, but the mother is deceased now and you are his guardian so are you a single mother or are you married?”
And with an empty feeling in my heart I answered “I am a single mother”
I walked out of there almost devistated. Not because I was raising my siblings or anything but because I never thought of it that way, until him. I was now something I never wanted to be. I was now a “Single Mother”. I knew it wasn’t by choice but I began to sort of freak out thinking of all I struggled along side of my single mother and wondered what would happen if I’d also fall in the future causing my siblings to struggle too?
I never could had imagined my life like this, I had a plan and it was destroyed and re written for me. And even though it saddened me and stressed me a lot I told myself as I walked back into my brothers hospital room, “You are a single mother now! Who was raised by one of the warriors of single mothers… You can do this!”
I went from negative to positive in only seconds but my brain was again smacking me out of it saying…
“You got this!”
Feeling positive and trying to stay strong;