November 18, 2002
When you're only seventeen and the world seems so close to you, yet in reality so far away, it is hard dealing with the many obstacles life can throw your way. Not only must one deal with the things you know come with the package of thriving to grow up, such as over-protective parents chaining you into an imaginary dungeon they have self-created. Along with young heart-throb boys with raging hormones trying to master the female race, and failing in every foolish attempt, but finally the God forbidden blessings every young girl must face with her body both internally and externally. With all these bumps and turns one must pass on the road of life it is even more challenging to find yourself fifty feet away from smashing head first into a brick wall which was never mentioned or pictured on the invisible map of life. This is what I came across this year.
This year from hell which hit me smack across the face as if I had just fallen off the jungle gym in grade school. You know its going to happen eventually, but as you go higher and higher with every sweaty grip of the next bar, you always think, "I'm in control, I won't let myself fall." Although it is when you fall when you realize, you're not. Everything's a gamble, all of it, life, the climb of the jungle gym. No one knows the next scene in this act of life. So when my mother was unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer, that was when my own sweaty grip of the bar let loose, and my face went smashing into the ground as if I was made of glass, and I shattered. Every piece of my being seemed uncontrollably lost in my mind, and I couldn't grasp onto anything, not even the realization as to what was going on in my mother's life. I knew she had cancer, oh I registered that much, but it wasn't until things got much more serious did I understand what I was trying to grasp onto!
Trying to pick yourself after you fall is always the hardest. As soon as you hit the ground you don't want to look up to face the fact that you have made an ass of yourself, and everyone has seen. You realize it was your game to reach the top, and it is the result of your own doing in which you are laying face first in the dirt. Although we sometimes forget that it is OK to fall and that everyone else does at some point. It should be of no embarrassment. Especially in my case when the problem wasn't something controllable that was a result of some act my mother had committed. Simply a choice by God to curse my mom for some irrational reason, which to this day I am still trying to figure out. No, I wasn't embarrassed of the cancer, yet of my own failure to take it as seriously as I should have.
I thought nothing could ever go wrong in my fairytale life, and if it did, I could fix it. Although I was corrected in my beliefs, when every phone call from the doctor always ended in a sad goodbye and my teary eyed mother telling me of what the last tests showed, and what the next would look for. It is as if she couldn't win in this battle that is always portrayed as a glorious story of the survivor. No one ever hears the story of the never-ending struggle. The story of the true fighter, who after 6 months of being poked, pricked and tested, still wakes up every morning with no change. The brave ones who stand up and walk away after they have fallen off the jungle gym. They simply brush the dirt off and walk away, ignoring the cuts and bruises, knowing only time will heal them. Shouldn't these be the women who are glorified on television? Women like my mother, who are faced with a deadly disease, which is limiting their life, for no reason at all? These are the true heroes.!