I believe my mother prepared me for this day.
She died two months before my 19th birthday on November 25th, 2008. She was forty-seven years old. She still had half of her life to live. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 and she fought it for five years. During this time, she was declared cancer free at least three times. But, each time it came back.
It’s hard that she is gone. But, I do believe she was preparing me for this time. I believe she was trying to teach me how to be strong through her own example. My mother was the strongest person I know. She went through numerous treatments and medicines. They left her sick and on the couch for days. When she lost her hair, she smiled at me and told me it was okay. In addition to the illness, she dealt with the rest of the world and its problems. It never stopped her. How could someone go through this much and still make it seem like life could be worse. I remember my brother asking her how she did it. How did she keep going day in and day out knowing she had all this to deal with? Her answer was one I will never forget. She said, “I do it because I have to. Because I want to. There are things in this world I want to do. So I do them.” Every time I feel as though my world is crashing and I feel it is too much to bear, I remember what she said. I think of her and find my inner strength. I know that I will live my life to its fullest potential; nothing will stop me.
It’s hard that she is gone. But, I do believe my mother has taught me to enjoy all that life has to offer. I believe she wanted me to find what I was passionate about. My mother adored children. The smile on her face when she would come home from work is something I’ll always remember. She would laugh and tell me what silly things the children at school said that day. My mother worked with children who had disabilities. She was so patient with them. Underneath the smile I could see the exhaustion. But, she tried not to show it. My mom hated having to miss a day, two days, sometimes a week of work because the treatments were making her sick. She wanted to be at work. She loved her work. She loved the children. She loved seeing their improvement or listening to their quirky jokes. My mother pushed her cancer aside. And horses; they were a weak spot for her as well. I remember how devastated she was when the doctors told her she wouldn’t be able to ride them again. They said it was “too much” for her. She rode her horse anyway. She did what she loved; that was important to her. Even though it is hard to do things I enjoy and am passionate about right now, I know that she would want me to still go out and embrace life. I love children. I want to work with them someday and I will. I want to ride horses. I love the wind in my hair, the feeling no one can touch me and the exhilaration of going fast. I will do what I love because it is important to me. My mother helped me to see this.
My mother loved me very much. She always put me first. I believe she gave me everything I needed to embrace life and succeed. She never once told me I couldn’t do something I wanted to. I am so proud of who she was and the kind of person she allowed me to be. I am so grateful.
I believe my mother was preparing me for this day.