This I Believe

Jesi - Boswell, Indiana
Entered on January 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death, family
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A Difficult Lesson

I believe you should always tell someone how you feel while you have the chance. Unfortunately, I had to learn this lesson the hard way.

Tammy and my dad were together for more than ten years, the majority of the time my older brother and I were growing up. She was more of a parent than our own dad, she was another mom. Tammy never had kids which was unfortunate because she would have made a wonderful mom. After she and my dad split up, we still kept in touch, but not as much as we should have. She was working nights as a bartender and I was in high school. I kept thinking it will be easier to see her when I was in college. I knew even though we didn’t talk a great deal she didn’t love me any less, so I kept telling myself when I was in college I would be closer and be able to see her more. I never got to that point.

I graduated from high school in the beginning of June. I was so excited because I knew Tammy would not miss my graduation for the world and it would be the first time I had seen her in months. She never made it to my graduation. I found out the end at the end of May that Tammy had cancer and things didn’t look good. I had found out through a voicemail… yes, a voicemail. Long story short she was diagnosed at the end of May with terminal cancer. The doctors didn’t give her much time, but she was still alive so I had a chance to see her one last time.

Well, I didn’t. I was working full time and kept saying I was going to see her soon. She was just diagnosed, I had time. I believed that until I got the phone call that she was in a coma. That was when I finally went to the hospital. I saw her hooked up to machines, not laughing and talking like the Tammy I knew. I never got to see her smile at me one last time or hear her tell me she loved me. Tammy died June 27th. Not even a month after being diagnosed, a beautiful forty year old woman with more than half her life ahead of her was gone forever.

I was filled with so much regret that I didn’t see her more, or make more of an attempt to visit her. I despised myself for not telling her I loved her before she was gone. I know she knew, but I just wanted to tell her myself. Tammy’s death, as difficult as it was and still is, taught me to always tell the people I care about how I feel because I never know when the last time I see them. Now, I make sure everyone close to me knows exactly how I feel.