Have you ever met someone that just understands you perfectly? From the moment that you met them; you have been best friends. I know that it’s cheesy, but for me, that person has always been my mom. She has always been the first person that I go to for everything. Since I can remember, my ma is someone I looked up to and aspired to be. So, imagine how shattering it felt to hear the words, “Your mom has cancer.”
WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH NEWS LIKE THAT?
I was only fifteen years old. Five minutes before I received that life-altering phone call, the biggest thing I had to worry about was finishing my geometry homework on time. One simple conversation managed to flip my entire world upside down.
The moment I ended that call with my dad, I had made a decision– I decided that I would be strong for my mom. Now don’t get me wrong, this was not something that anyone forced me to do, but it was something that I felt called to do. As tears filled my eyes, my mind flooded with memories of all of the times that my ma held me in her arms and wiped my tears from my face. It didn’t matter how bad of day she had or any of the trials that she went through, she always made it a point to be there for me. She was always so strong. This time, I was going to be strong for her.
As the surgeries started, the number of appointments increased and chemo became a weekly routine.
My goal was to stay by my ma’s side for as much as my schooling would allow. I quickly learned how to stop gagging at the sight of blood, keep track of all of her medicine and prioritize my mom’s health and happiness.
But I don’t want you to think that I am the hero of this story because that just isn’t the case. When I had first learned of my mom’s diagnosis, I imagined that I would take charge and have to be the one that everyone depended on. Despite how hard I tried to be the stronghold of the family, my ma continued to be the stubborn, independent and tough woman that she always was. Rather than my ma having to rely on me for every little thing, as I had anticipated, I found myself admiring her strength more than ever.
Day after day, I watched my ma get up and make a choice; every day she chose to have a good day. I saw her face more setbacks than I could ever imagine, she had infections, impromptu surgeries and several unexpected nights in the hospital. Yet she still managed to keep a smile on her face. This experience helped reveal to me who my ma is – she’s truly a warrior.
From the very beginning, my mom and dad had told my brothers and I that this wasn’t just her battle, it was our battle.
They didn’t say that to make us feel like we had any obligation, but instead, to let us know that they recognized that this battle affected us just as much as it did them. I didn’t understand that as a sophomore in high school. The cancer wasn’t in my body and I didn’t have to feel the pain that my mom experienced every day. However, over four years passed, and I now understand just how big of an impact this experience had on my life.
You see, in the middle of my ma’s fight, for one of the very first times, I opened my Bible and read from it. I turned to Romans 8:18 and read, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
Although the years passed, and I am now in college, there are many days when my mind drifts back to that battle. I can say with confidence that this experience helped shape me into the woman that I am today. I feel so blessed to say that my mom overcame that battle with cancer and is still one of my very best friends. Every day I wake up, I choose to have a good day, thank the Lord for my friends and family and cling to the hope that I have, knowing that someday all of the pain of this world will be gone.