I was only seven. In the second grade.
I didn’t know what was going on. I still don’t have too much recollection unless I’m reminded of something. I didn’t know what could’ve happened. I didn’t know she could have died. I didn’t know how lucky I was that I still had a mother in the end. All I knew is that she would be okay in the end. And she was.
I remember the things I loved. Like my infamous pink cowgirl boots that were gonna, “kick cancer’s butt.” And how I became a staff member right along with the other workers at radiation every morning, I even had a nametag with my school picture attached to it. Driving to Rex Hospital in the convertible listening to “Put Your Records On” by Corrine Bailey Rae. The day I was at school while mom was having her final surgery and not being able to take it off my mind all day, then hearing she was going to be okay. Or the craft ladies that came every Tuesday to the waiting room and I would stay back with them while my mom got her radiation done. Tying the ties on the back of her gown.
You can’t think any seven year old girl would remember that, when it was 5 years ago. I barely knew what breast cancer was. Did I ask? I don’t remember. I remember the good things, nothing that I wouldn’t want to think about today. I did it for a reason. When people hear that my mom had breast cancer when I was seven and in the second grade, I always get the generic, “Oh! I’m so sorry! Is she better now?” and it’s always the same generic answer, “Yea, she’s better. Thanks. I don’t really remember it that well so it’s okay.”
Going to the gift shop afterwards and those little boxes of cranberry juice every morning from the mini fridge in the waiting room before. It never occurred to me the time that I was getting up every morning to go with her, which now I would dread every morning. I thought that me going along would help her get better. And in a way, it did. She needed my support then and she still does. I was there for her then and always will be.
My two favorite memories. Two things I know that neither me nor my mom will ever forget.
That day where mom was in the shower and I was in the bathtub next to her. She stepped out, wrapped the towel around her, and stepped over to the sink. She grabbed the comb as I watched her. She started brushing her hair, and the hair was going down with the brush, falling out of her head. Mom started crying. I had never seen my mom cry before. I stepped out of the bath and put my hand on her shoulder. “It’s okay mommy. We knew this was going to happen.” She turned around and I wrapped her in my arms. I had to be strong.
My other favorite. THE PINK BOOTS. Yes, the pink boots that kicked cancer’s butt. By this point in reading, even just this paragraph, you have to understand I was an interesting little kid, as I am to this day. I believe those boots played a part in why my mom is still here today. I wore those boots everywhere. School, the store, anywhere we went. Those boots came.
I was stronger than then I could’ve even tried to be today. I didn’t know that she could’ve died. I didn’t know what breast cancer even was. I knew cancer was bad and that everyone was helping my mom out, but I sure didn’t know she could’ve died. Now, I know cancer is bad. I know it’s bad in a different way than the seven year old mind thought it was bad. I know I could be living with my dad now. And only my dad.
I’m lucky that my mom had the doctor she did.
I’m lucky that my mom is still here with me.
I’m lucky she was strong to show me I could be too.
I’m lucky for everything.
Today’s guest blogger is Amelia Hope, my 13 year old little girl.
I believe I have the best little girl in the world, I do. Yes, of that I am certain.
She still makes me stronger than I could ever be without her.
Still the bravest of hearts and I love her so.