My mother and I have not always had a smooth relationship. There has been yelling, screaming, and disagreements. There have been times I’ve wondered how she could possibly understand what I’m going through. Looking back, I can see that my mom was always right. She’d been there, had seen the outcome, and come out stronger. Hindsight, however, is always 20/20.
During my senior year in high school, my dad was sick and in the hospital for weeks at a time. My mom would drive to Cooperstown, every day in those 3 weeks, to see him. Having to assume several household responsibilities, it became evident to me the breadth of things my mother did on a daily basis, and allowed me to develop both empathy and respect for a mother’s plight.
Fast forward 9 years. My mom was diagnosed with Stage III Ovarian Cancer in October of 2014. Hearing the words was undoubtedly one of the scariest moments of my life. The cancer had spread but, thankfully, my mother took the right steps and got it taken care of quickly. My mom had to go through 4 months of tough chemotherapy, with ports in both her chest and stomach. She only had one stay in the hospital during her treatment, thankfully, which was the week before Christmas. When she came home, she asked me to do one of the hardest things I have ever done; she asked me to shave her head. Even though it was difficult, I feel like it was a great bonding moment between us. As women, our hair is sacred. This was tough for both of us. My mom has finished her treatment and been deemed cancer free. She is waiting for everything to grow back and to feel like herself again. I want my mother to know that while she waits, she is as beautiful as ever, but blessed with the wounds of a warrior. She continues to care for others before herself, proving her strength and grace each day.
I hope I never have to understand this situation that she has gone through this past year, but I know that my mom is my rock and will always be there to support me.