This I Believe

Kelly - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on October 1, 2007

This I Believe

I believe in role models. Whether it’s your mother, father, a movie star, an athlete, your sister, your brother, or a neighbor everyone has a role model. The dictionary defines a role model as: a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others. My role model is exactly that and so much more. I believe that a person’s role model can be dead, alive, ideal, or real. My role model is Tryna Mitchell. She died on April 13, 2005. Mrs. Mitchell was 41 years old when she died, and she died of breast cancer. Mrs. Mitchell left behind a husband, a daughter who is now 8, and a son who is 5. The Mitchell’s moved in down the street from me about 6 years ago, before she had been diagnosed. I babysat for the Mitchell’s a lot after they moved in. We saw the Mitchell’s regularly living so close to them, through block parties, and other events. After living in Western Springs for 2 years Mrs. Mitchell was diagnosed with breast cancer. Soon after she was diagnosed she started chemotherapy treatments. Mrs. Mitchell’s cancer cells stayed pretty constant for a while not shrinking, but not growing. Through her cancer we got to know the Mitchell family very well, helping out with groceries, babysitting more, and meeting their family members when they came into town, which was now very often. Mrs. Mitchell never asked for favors, never looked for pity, and never wanted sympathy. I didn’t hear her complain once about what was happening or why it was her it was happening to her. Mrs. Mitchell was strong during the whole processes of her cancer, she was strong for herself, her husband, her kids, her other family members, and her friends. At the end of March she was getting very sick. I remember coming home from school one day and seeing a hospice truck in their driveway. They were coming to put in a hospital bed in the Mitchells living room so that Mrs. Mitchell could be at home when she died. It was shocking for everyone to realize that even doctors were preparing for her death. At this point it was the beginning of April and all her family members and friends were coming to town to say goodbye. All of her family and friends were staying in her house, neighbor’s houses, and hotels. Days before Mrs. Mitchell had died she was aware of her family, friends, and what was going on around her. Just two days before she died she was able at times to communicate and was telling her husband to go get more coffee cake for all her guests. Mrs. Mitchell always thought of everyone before herself, and was strong through her whole life.