Traverse City Record-Eagle

Generation Why

June 13, 2011

Tough Graduation: Mom isn't here

... in person

Sunday, June 7, is a day I will never forget. That day, my elder sister walked across the stage to get her diploma. I woke up that morning excited for my sister because she had struggled through hard times that year and finally made it to her graduation. Everyone in my house was getting ready, but my mother was still in bed, sick. Eventually, she crawled out of bed and got ready.

I remember sitting in New Hope Church watching my sister's friends walk down the aisle, the friends that I considered my adopted brothers and sisters. Most of them lived at my house because they loved it more than their own homes.

My mother and family sat behind me. My mother was one of the loudest people in that church. When they called my sister's name our mother was the loudest -- screaming, yelling, whistling and smiling with such joy in her face. I looked back at her and laughed.

I remember that day the most because it was the last day I saw my mother smile.

I was 14 when I found out that my mother had multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood. She sat me down on Easter Sunday in 2007 and told me she had cancer, but she did not want me to worry. She told me that she was a fighter and was going to survive.

I immediately started crying. What would I do without her? That day we went to my aunt's for Easter dinner. Everyone was asking what was wrong with me. My mother told them she had told me that about the cancer that day. I would not eat. I couldn't talk to anyone. I was so upset I did not know what to do.

Even though my mother was very sick, never once did I ever hear her complain, only if she was tired. She never was down, she was always her happy, amazing self.

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