This I Believe

Nichole - STERLING HEIGHTS, Michigan
Entered on March 26, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe faith is something you have to experience to learn the true meaning of and sometimes you have to believe to see.

The year was 2004 and I was in for some changes. I decided in November that I would move to Sterling Heights and live with my mother. I knew I had to get out of the situation I was in.

When I moved in with my mother, she pretty much handed me everything I had been deprived of, things like new clothes, new shoes, hair cuts, proper upkeep, a world full of opportunities and the love of a mother. She gave me the things that she had so wanted to give me for the longest time.

At first I didn’t know how to take in all of this because it was not something I really knew how to handle. I knew that I could eventually get the hang of it, and I did. But with everything that she gave me, she also taught me how not to take things for granted. She taught me hands on things that mothers usually teach daughters, like how to sew, stitch and nit, be creative and to really think about color coordination.

The year went on and my grades leveled at about the D range, and the influence from others was still around, and that’s when things began to change. I switched schools and my grades were better and I was working on myself, for once, instead of others. But other things were changing too by this time.

My mother and I started a construction company and we were proud new business owners. We launched slogans and advertisements from Sterling Heights all the way down to Detroit. We were in full swing and were confident sweethearts earning a buck or three. The company pretty much changed our lives for good, being it a 24/7/365 job, there was no time for trips to the salon anymore. The change was good, but there was other change going on as well.

I noticed that my mother was losing weight, in vast amounts and in vast amounts of time. At first I thought that it was because of how busy we were with the new ball and chain attached to our ankles. More oddly, though, it didn’t matter what she ate, the pounds just dropped. She ate everything from hot fudge straight, to bagels at a time trying to gain weight because I wasn’t the only one noticing.

Everyone pretty much shrugged it off and it wasn’t brought back to our attention until mid March, 2006. Her then recent trips to the doctors she told no one about weren’t so sneaky anymore. I just so happen to miss school on March 14th, and was headed to the job site to make sure everyone had what they needed to rebuild a particular house. As I arrived, my mother called, told me to stay put, and that she would be there in half an hour. Her serious voice frightened me; she hadn’t ever talked to like that since I had moved in. Thoughts were zooming back and forth between me and the workers and a close friend of mine.

She arrived in jeans, a black top and a brown chard hart jacket. We all gathered on the work site and braced ourselves for what she had to say that was so important.

She started

“Nikki, I don’t want you to be scared. Sit down on the tool bench, and have one of the guys sit down with you.” I sat, in anxiousness to hear what would change my life forever.

“I’ve been seeing the doctor and have had some test done…” The pressure was intense.

“They diagnosed me with,” she took a deep breath, “Stage 4 dual lung and mastoid brain Cancer.”

Speechless I fell back and balled, harder than I ever balled, even as a child on the worst night. My mother, my saving grace has cancer. And it was the absolute one thing I could never help her with. Of course I could be there to listen, talk, and encourage, but it was the one thing I could and can never help her physically get through.

The weeks and days went on with the nagging thought in the back of my head. Like kids teasing you at school. “Your mom has cancer, she’s going to die,” I denied what I was telling myself. I knew better than that. My mother was stronger. But because I couldn’t physically help her, I knew that I had to place my faith in a higher power; I had to experience mentally what I couldn’t physically. With out the faith in the higher power, I knew she wouldn’t get better, even if she was on an alternative medicine with a 98% cure rate. It was more than that; it was something that starts in side of your self, because sometimes you have to believe to see.