She called me her wet sticky noodle because I was always next to her in the hospital bed, crying. Sometimes I would happy cry and soak up the last moments I had with her. She was such a pure, lovable person who always taught me that the greatest gifts of life were to give and receive love. She was funny and understanding, practically a second mom to all of my cousins and friends.
When my mom was first diagnosed in 2008 with sarcoma, which is a soft-tissue cancer that’s very rare, I was young and didn’t really understand what was happening. You always hear about cancer when you’re little, but you never really understand what it is. I mostly noticed how she worried more, but the cancer did end up bringing my family closer. We went on more family trips together to New York City or tubing down the Delaware River.
I didn’t fully grasp that she was getting worse until she started hinting that it was “her time.” Or when she started getting extremely sick over something as simple as allergies. The chemo was weakening her so much to the point where she asked me if it’d be okay if she stopped doing it. I told her that I’d rather her have a short, fulfilling life than a longer one that was spent throwing up from more chemo. I just wanted to see her smile during her last moments.
After she passed, the loss of her presence was very obvious to my family because she was the connection to everyone. My cousins considered her their mom. She was everyone’s rock and having her gone definitely changed the family dynamic. We all bonded through her. However, her passing brought my dad and I closer, which was good because we tell each other everything now.
My mom was so important to me. When she passed, I wasn’t angry. I was calm and at peace. She taught me so much in life and even though she’s gone, I’m still learning from her. I’m starting to realize how short life is and how to appreciate everything in it. I feel emotions much more intensely now, especially love, because I don’t want to lose anyone again.
My mom always stayed positive and was humble through her illness. This made me want to always stay positive, too. Even though she’s gone, I have so much to be grateful for. I had the opportunity to be raised by two loving parents, I have an amazing boyfriend that has helped me through any bumps in the road, and I know now that life is too short not to appreciate it.
Though I wish she could see the person I am today, I’m glad that the moments I had with her were filled with unconditional love.
Montclair State | New Jersey