Mom, Im here to help.

Daniel - Brockway, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 7, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in miracles, change, and respect for others. It was the summer after my sophomore year of school, and to me my parents were just two other people living under the same roof as myself. I never had a difficult life at home, and my parents both loved me and tried their hardest for me. I took them for granted, and my priorities were out of order. Despite the love and care they had shown me, I never showed the love and care I had for them.

Mom and Dad would ask me nightly to spend time with them. They would invite me in for a movie by the fireplace or for a trip to get ice cream. I was too old for that stuff. Who hangs out with their parents during the summer of their sophomore year? Dinner and weekend Church was almost the only time I saw them. I was too busy out with my friends and getting into the wrong things with the wrong people. I remember coming home one night to my dad crying. Neither of my parents would explain to me the situation. I sat up all night, worrying, crying, and thinking. Little did I know that what had arisen would eventually change my life. When morning came, I asked again what the commotion was all about. My mother had been diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the bone marrow. This cancer had caused my mother to get very weak, very tired, and very sick. That night I sat up for hours, alone, thinking.

It was time for a change; a change that I feel would lead to a miracle. I got my priorities in line and decided to partition my time between family and friends. Although I didn’t show it, family was more important than friends. Friends come and go, but family is always there. My mother had told me before I found out about her cancer that all she wanted was for me to spend more time with her. My limited time at home changed, and suddenly I was at home a lot more often asking what I could do for her and letting her know that she is always going to be my mother, the most important thing in my life. By doing this simple task, I noticed a drastic change. Mom could now do the things she used to. She wasn’t feeling sick or tired anymore, and her overall appearance improved significantly. This was either caused by spending time with my mom, or by chemotherapy, but personally, I think it was more because of the time spent with her.

I chose to ignore and completely block out the fact that my mom has cancer. How could she have cancer? This woman wakes up at five in the morning to make me a breakfast of eggs, toast, sausage, and a smoothie. She cleans the house and takes care of other duties. Before she got really sick, she used to walk eight miles or more daily on the treadmill, now she walks two to remain as healthy as possible. My mother has never missed a high school sports game of mine, and never hesitated to help me with school, or the many complications that life brings. Now that I have accepted that she has cancer, I find it easier to deal with the issue, and can work to make us both happy.

I often wonder about what will happen when I go off to college on August 11th. My mother and I share a bond that is unlike the bond she has with her other five children. I’m the baby of the family, and will be the last to leave home. I know there will be a lot of worry in my mind as well as in hers. I decided on a college close to my hometown, so that I will be able to check up on her. My parents had even told me that, health permitting, that they would be attending my college football games as I will be playing this fall. This came as no surprise to me. My mother could be on her deathbed and would end up making it to all of my high school soccer and football games. That’s the great thing about mom.

It has been almost three years since I found out about the illness, and aside from being diagnosed with diabetes, my mother is feeling healthy, and most importantly happy. In a way this was a personal wakeup call. I had changed my life around and for a change I saw that I was happy with myself. Because of this my grades have improved, and I have drive and motivation to show my true talents and abilities. All this came about by spending a little time with mom, and accepting the fact that she had cancer and I needed to do everything I could to help.