Losing My Mother, Finding Myself

Losing My Mother, Finding Myself

There truly is no other love in this world like the love of the mother. And man, the love I received from my mother was truly incredible. She taught me so much, she taught me everything. How to love, how to care, how to feel, how to forgive, and most importantly, how to live.

She was my rock. My heart. My best friend. She was the only person in this world who would ever fully understand me and love me unconditionally.

As my 23rd birthday came and went, I held the world in the palm of my hands. I had everything I could ever want and everything I could ever need right in front of me.

Until that horrible day in July of 2012 when my family and I received the heart wrenching news that the spot they found on my mother’s lung was in fact cancer. Stage four lung cancer no less. One of the deadliest and most aggressive forms.

My world stopped.
Everything I had worked for suddenly didn’t matter anymore. Everything that seemed so big all of a sudden looked so small. My life was turned upside-down in an instant.

My mother was about to face the biggest fight of her life and I knew how hard she would fight, not for herself, but for her family and all of those who loved her so much.

Knowing somebody you care so deeply about could be ripped from your world in a matter of seconds is a very scary thing. But then again cancer shouldn’t make us realize that.

My mom put her brave face on, suited up and was ready for war. But cancer never plays fair and sometimes even the strongest of soldiers don’t survive the battle.

10 short months after her diagnosis, my mom became my angel. And as I stood at the podium and read her eulogy I realized I had two choices. I could sit around and feel sorry for myself and let my life turn to shit, or I could find a way to rise above the biggest loss of my life.

So I decided I would go with choice number two.

The loss of my mother was devastating. I would wake up every morning and wipe my tear soaked eyes, hoping that this would all just be a bad dream. But it wasn’t. I would now be a motherless daughter at the young age of 24.  I didn’t exactly know how I would make it through choosing choice number two, but I did.

Each and every day without her would be one day further apart from her. One more day that she would miss. I was angry. So angry. Not so much for myself, more so for her. I was angry that she would miss so much. Angry that she would never get to see her babies get married, angry that she would never be a grandmother, angry that so much had been ripped away from her.

Weeks went by, those weeks turned into months and suddenly one year later I was looking in the mirror unable to recognize the girl staring back at me. I was different now, I was changed for the better. Yes, I lost the most important person in my life, but I gained so much in turn. I found the things I love, the things I deserve, the things I want, and the things I need. I made it through and became the woman I am today.

Although my mother’s physical presence is gone, I hold her in my heart every day.

Would I trade everything I’ve learned and all I’ve become to have my mother back here with me? Of course I would, but that simply is not an option.

So for now I will continue on with that choice I made the day I said my final goodbyes to her.

I miss you, mom.

“If it weren’t for cancer, I’d say I have the perfect life. If it weren’t for cancer, would I even realize it?”
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