This I Believe

KENDRA - FORTUNA, California
Entered on December 27, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I Believe

Ok…I can do this. What should I say? How can I encourage her? Maybe, I’m the one who needs support. I open the door for her, and she goes straight for the counter. I want to hold her back and ask her if this is necessary, if there’s any other way, maybe it’s a mistake, and instead I let her go. She went straight for the counter. It seemed just as if it was another day for her; she knew what to do where to go. “What stren¬gth,” I thought. What was I so scared of? My mind ran off in some world I had never discovered before with thoughts that made me feel as if I would break down and cry forever. But it came back for a moment, “The doctor will see you now.” We walk down the hall, it’s quiet, there were brightly coloured paintings on the walls and carpeted flooring that squished under our feet; my distractions are lost at the nurse’s station, “Hi Marcy, Hi Cindy, and Hi Leanne!” It was undeniably Mom, so happy and acquainted her voice was strong. It was time for her infusion treatment. I was glad that she had made all these friends, but the thought was how she met them. They took us into the cramped room, and we sat down.

I sat comfortably, watching my mom…she holds a smile beautifully; even with the machine attached to her, it seemed to her as if there was nothing there. I thought of many things while sitting there, I thought of God, of my brothers who live out of state, and I thought of my mom. I could see how much strength she had, and that it is so believable that a mother’s strength, that is far stronger than any other, helps her to survive all that life has given her. I believe in a mother’s strength.

When I play through my mind the “Midnight Episodes” that happened last time, my mind goes wild with memories of waking up with the linen closet door opening and closing over and over, coughing and crying and that retched smell of vomit that filled the upstairs. I remember feeling… next to scared… numb, how could I be so deserting? What could I do to help her? Watch her kneel at the toilet as if it was an alter that gladly accepted her offerings? It seems as if the chemotherapy is killing her rather than scouting her body to kill the big “C”. But once again, must I endure another five months of this, most important, must she?

Often when I am away from her, like at school, I remember my mother working hard to keep her family together and safe. If you ask my brothers what they remember as a child, on their list would be a lot of hot dogs, hamburger, and rice. Imagine a 100 dollar budget every two to three weeks with two teenage boys and then three other people to feed, the food didn’t go very far. My brothers moved more than I did, but it isn’t really a surprise that any or even all of us attended no less than six different schools. Mom made sure that we had three things: one, that we learned the teachings from God’s word. Two, she made sure that we had a roof over our heads whether it was canvas, metal, or wood. Three, she made sure we felt loved, we three children were hugged and kissed every morning and night and so many times in between.

Maybe, her strength and love is what made my brother look at her broken heart with his hollow eyes. Often times she had to stomach the sight of his body literally being eaten away by his drugs and alcohol, and the fact that we may not know where we may find him tomorrow. Every night we would pray with each other, but I would peak through the door to see if she was awake or if she was praying; and so very often I would hear her praying and asking God, “Where did I go wrong?” I hate to see my mother so broken down, and even at the age of seven I knew that this was not the way mothers were to be treated; I am certain that she did what she knew to do.

My mother’s strength to hold her head up, to keep faith, to keep joy, to keep laughter, supply encouragement and love in her life amazes me constantly with everything that she does. My mother is currently diagnosed with ovarian cancer for the second time and previously survived two other types of cancer. She used to be the person who would sit by herself in the back, but now she interacts with all types of people and seems fearless at times. She believes that each day is a miracle, and that she can be here to see her grandchildren grow is a blessing. I believe that a mother’s strength comes from the glue that puts her heart back together.