If you’ve followed my blog since 2008 you’ve probably picked up the minor detail that my brother, sister and I were raised by our wonderful mother. We each had a different bond with our mom and we each had different views on how she raised us.
My bond with her is 150% different for many reasons. First, I’m 10 & 13 years younger than they are. Second they, though only part time, had a father who though he’s not perfect he was still present in their lives, and still is. Third, I had a solid 10 years of time with just her.
The more time has gone on and the older I get, the more I am able to appreciate all she’s done for us.
Our life was far from perfect, and I love that. Our mom did the best she could, she made sure we had food, clothes and a roof over our head.
She is, in my eyes, the true definition of “supermom.” She survived struggles most people will never truly understand. That’s okay that others may not be able to comprehend what she’s gone through…because she may not be able to understand their struggles.
I look back fondly at my childhood memories with her… from our “hide-a-bed Fridays” where we slept in the living room and ate Pringles and watched TGIF together, to the afternoons I spent with her and my Aunt Lori (mom’s childhood best friend…) working out to Denise Austin.
Two years ago her doctor discovered an unusual result, she went in and found out she had Pre-cancer cells. She followed all the doctors orders and went in for a follow up to find they were gone.
Because I was the youngest, I often went EVERYWHERE with her. Even when she would go to give blood I would sit under her chair entertain myself by (strangely) watching the blood fill up the baggy thing.
If she and Randmore he went to antique stores to look at stuff I went with. Grocery shopping? Yep I was there. If she needed new clothes? I went with and sat underneath the clothes racks waiting for her to finish shopping.
I think you get the point. I went just about everywhere my mom went. She and I, as you can imagine, have a very unique relationship.
This past December, she noticed some changes. She let me know and told me she had an appointment to see what was wrong.
She sacrificed so much to raise us kids, she could have easily only put in half the effort or chose to not raise us, but she didn’t. Never once have I heard her say anything negative about us or our life. She is stronger than I could ever truly explain. Christmases were wonderful in our own quirky way. Birthdays were just as awesome as anyone else’s. She even managed to raise a 6 year old and a very stubborn, and feisty 16 year old at the same time.
I was in the shower when she called to tell me what the doctor had to say. She had to leave a voicemail, which I’m glad, I don’t think I could have stayed calm and may have made it harder on her.
I’ve watched her keep her chin up through some truly awful things. My grandmother passing, leaving our home state and family to live in rural king county, and even a separation/divorce.
I still have the voicemail. The words are a little shaky but she didn’t lose her composure…
“Mommy has cancer.”
She went into more detail, but I’ve chosen to leave those out, because those of you that need to know, already know.
We struggled a lot from my sophomore, junior and senior years… but she still made sure we had what we needed. She went through a real rough patch, but was always there for me and always will be.
The initial emotions I felt were, I assume the same anyone else would feel.
I cried a little, but felt like I shouldn’t. I decided to not let myself cry much if at all… I knew I needed to be there for her and didn’t want her to feel like she couldn’t tell me anything because I couldn’t handle it.
Growing up with only one parent is not as bad as people make it sound. My mother is so important to me and such a solid rock in my life, that we talk daily, even though we live in different states.
She had surgery on February 13th, 2014. They were confident ridding spread and that she, after healing, would be back to normal by April.
I rode the train to be there for her after her surgery. My sister and I were at her home waiting her when she came home from the hospital.
She needed meds every 4 hours, so we decided to alternate who would care for her…. Even though I knew my sister was there and would take care of her, I didn’t sleep much the whole time I was there. Even though it was incredibly hard on me emotionally, I’d do it again and again if I needed to.
Two weeks later we got the results back and they suggested she go in for radiation.
I keep telling myself it’s a dream. Someone who sacrificed so much for me, and someone who can’t seem to catch a break… should not have to add this to the long list of carp she has had to go through. Why her? She deserves a break, she deserves a relatively relaxed future. But no… things keep coming up.
Now that we’re almost done (I hope) with all this cancer, scary stuff I’m able to sit back and take a breath and somewhat relax.
She is my only parent. She’s all I have as far as family support systems go, and just the thought of what she’s going through kills me. I don’t ever want to see her in pain like she has been these past couple months. I’m so incredibly lucky and grateful to have her in my life, and so glad she’s almost back to her healthy normal self.
I love her and she’s such a wonderful mom, I don’t know what I’d do without her. :-)