My mom passed away three months after I was born. I don’t remember her because I was so young at the time of her death. As a child, I never cried wanting my mom since I never knew her. I didn’t know the difference between having her there or her being gone. My life seemed completely normal while I was growing up. I lived with my grandparents and visited my dad on the weekends. It wasn’t until I started school that I realized what a mom was. My friends had their moms volunteer to go on field trips and eat lunch with them during school. My grandma is Chinese and doesn’t speak good English so she never did those things with me. After I started elementary school, I began to wonder how different my life would be if my mom was still alive.
In seventh grade, my friend’s mom died of breast cancer. My friend, Lauren, was devastated, and didn’t come to school for almost a month after her death. I tried to help her stay strong, but I really had no idea what to do. I couldn’t even relate to being so upset over losing someone so close to me. I had never experienced that kind of pain over my mom. I grew up not having her in my life so there wasn’t an immediate hurt of her being gone. I frequently began to imagine the life I missed out on with my mom as I watched my friend in mourning. I had never truly wept over my mom, but I began to miss her more when I thought about all the good times I could have had with her. Although Lauren’s mom was gone too, she would always have memories of the time she was able to spend with her mom. I went with Lauren to her mom’s funeral which was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. She had a heartbreaking speech that made me wish I could just spend one day with my mom. I went home that day and cried. I didn’t cry because my mom was gone, but because I never got to know her.
While I was upset, I thought back on my mom’s life. I’ve been told that she was a very sweet woman, and loved life. Her death was sudden and unexpected. As I thought about this, I realized the horror of death and the value of life. I believe that life is too short to take anything for granted. Life can be taken away from you in an instant so every moment needs to be lived to the fullest. I still miss my mom everyday, but remembering her guides me to live everyday like there will be no tomorrow. Everyone is going to eventually have a day that becomes their last so it’s important to cherish everyday until it comes.