Growing up, I had a pretty simple life. I was born and raised in Iowa my whole life. My family was average middle class. My parents came to all my brother and my sports events, and we took vacations together all the time. But as I got older, things became a lot less normal.
My brother David has always been good at hockey, so when he was fourteen, a prep school in Indiana contacted him to come play hockey for their school. This was the first thing that could’ve killed my mom. Maybe not literally but emotionally. Having her son leave four years early as a freshman in high school could’ve killed her. But it didn’t.
My family and I drove him out there in our mini-van and left him there. At that point in my life, it was the most crying I had ever done. As a family apart, we went through nights of crying and boxes of chocolate.
After two and a half years of prep school things were getting back to normal. But that didn’t last long either. My mom started to feel really sick all the time. She went to the doctor, and they didn’t know what was going on until Leap Day of 2008.
I was lying down with my mom in her room after her doctors’ appointment and my dad kept walking in and out of the room. Knowing my dad, I knew something was wrong. Finally, he sat down and just said it. He said that she had a thing called lymphoma. I didn’t know what it was and he said that it was a type of cancer. My heart just sunk. For the second time I thought my mom was going to die. And this time it was literally.
It was then I encountered the hardest thing I’d ever had to do. Tell people about it. It started with my brother and words that I am not allowed to put on here. Then to my friends, who had more questions than I could answer. The looks on their faces are what I will never forget. It was like they thought she was going to die, too. Basically, when we first found out about everything, everyone did but her.
My mom beat cancer like a rock star beats the drums. She went through six chemotherapy treatments and was cancer free before she even finished all the treatments. At times, people had their doubts in her but she just kept fighting. After battling two things that could’ve killed her, my mom is still alive. She never stops fighting and she never stops amazing me.
So I believe people will never cease to amaze you. I never think of someone as not being up to par because they can and will change my mind. I should expect more from people because then I adapt to expecting more of myself. And then you will never cease to amaze the people watching you.
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