The hot steaming water was beating down on my bare skin. I looked up into the running water and saw nothing. I wanted to see nothing though. I wanted to forget everything that was going on in my life for just a moment before I had to pop back into reality. Taking showers was really the only way I knew how to calm myself down.
My mom yelled, “SILVIA! GET OUT OF THE SHOWER!”
“ALLLRIGHHHHTT,” I yelled back with an annoyed toned voice.
I groaned, and slowly turned off the water. I stepped out of the slippery, white, small bathtub ,grabbed a towel and threw it around my wet body. I looked in the mirror and told myself, ”You are okay; you are fine.” I questioned why I didn’t have any friends. It’s not like I’m a mean person; I don’t think I smell. I just don’t know what it is.
I walked out of the bathroom and see my mom at the bottom of our deep dark staircase, out of the corner of my eye. I turned, looked at her and asked, ”What?”
“Come down stairs after you get dressed please.”
“Okay, I need to put lotion and stuff on but then I will.”
I turned around and go back to my room, which is down the hall and is the first door on the left. I walked into my room and smelled my candy apple candle burning. I put on my favorite lotion, got dressed and ran downstairs. I walked into the kitchen and saw my mom and a man standing at the island. I was very confused. I looked at my mom with a puzzled face; she introduced me to the man. My mom said, “Silvia, this is Chad. Chad this is Silvia.” Chad reached out to shake my hand, his hands were very veiny and had long skinny fingers. I shook his hand and said, “Nice to meet you.”
“You too, I’ve heard so many great things about you.”
I smiled at him and walked into the living room. Mom yelled,” Dinner will be done in 5!” I didn’t respond. I was kind of mad that she just brought some random guy home for dinner that I’ve never even heard about before until tonight. But I couldn’t blame her for just wanted to date someone, I mean she hasn’t date anyone since my dad left us 3 years ago. I want her to be happy, because she deserved it.
My mom walked from our modern and recently updated kitchen into the living room and told me dinner was done, and I asked about Chad and how she had met him. She told me that she met him at the grocery store a couple weeks ago, and they had been talking ever since. I was happy for her; she seemed to really like him.
So it was the next day, and dinner went great. I learned a lot about Chad, and I noticed how happy he made my mom, so I wanted him to stay in our lives. But the weird thing is, my mom told me that she didn’t want to get too attached to him. I don’t know why. So on the side of my mom being weird about Chad, some other weird stuff had been going on in my life. I started to have friends. And that was something that had never happened to me. I started becoming a more of a happy person and actually loved my life. The group of people that I met were the most interesting people. They were fun and courageous and just wanted to live life to the fullest. And that was exactly what I needed in my life.
My mom and I had been growing further apart since I started making new friends. She had become such a lonely sad person, and I didn’t know what was wrong. I tried hanging out with my friends less so I could spend more time with her because I didn’t want her to be sad, and I missed her. So a couple of days went by, and I didn’t hang out with my friends and my mom had asked me what was wrong. I answered her question with a question. I asked her what was wrong with her. She had said she didn’t know what I was talking about. I explained, ”You haven’t been yourself lately. I don’t what to do Mom, I love you so much. I’m sorry I haven’t been around.”
“Silvia, you not being around as much isn’t what has been bothering me. I’m so happy for you that you started making new friends and are always out. That’s what a teenage life should be. I'm happy for you and I don’t care if you aren’t home as much.”
“Then what’s been the problem?” My mom paused for a good 2 minutes, I looked at her while I waited.
She finally looked at me and sighed and said, “ Silvia. My darling, I love you so much and I don’t know what I would do without you in my life.” she paused.
“You’re scaring me mom. What is wrong?” I shouted.
She looked up at me with tears in her eyes, I’ve never seen so much pain her beautiful green eyes, heart shattered when I looked at her. “ Silvia, I have stage 4 cancer.”
My heart stopped beating. I had felt like I just gotten the wind punched out of me and then got hit by a big truck and left for dead. I had no idea what to say to her. My mom was the most important thing in my life. I stood up. I didn’t look at her. I walked away. Then I ran upstairs. The salty water poured out through my eyes. So many thoughts were running through my mind. It was too overwhelming. I started to throw everything that was in my room. I smashed almost everything that I could, accept my laptop. All I wanted to do was scream. And that’s what I did.
My mom came upstairs; she was crying. I could hear it.
She said, “Silvia.”
“I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you sooner.”
“How could you keep something like that from me?! We could have been going through this together. I haven’t been here for you at a time that you needed me the most.” I honestly didn’t want to talk to her. I was just so mad and I didn’t know what to do. I was scared for her and for me. I didn’t know what was going to happen.
It took a while,but I finally calmed down. My mom was sleeping outside my door on our cream shaggy carpet that felt like heaven underneath your feet when you walked on it barefoot. I looked down at her and thought to myself. This is the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen and I couldn’t believe this was happening. I laid down on the floor next to her and started crying. I put my arms around her warm body. She woke up and looked at me, I looked back at her and said, “I’m so sorry mom, I love you so much. What are we gonna do?”
“I start chemo tomorrow, and we’ll just go from there.” I wanted to just lay there and hold her and cry, but I wanted to be strong for her.
We slept there that whole night and woke up the next day in the same place. She woke up first and had went downstairs and made me breakfast. I couldn’t believe what was happening in my life. My mom was dying. SHE WAS DYING. And she was downstairs making me breakfast while she was dying. It was unreal. I walked downstairs and saw her standing in the kitchen. I just stopped and stared at her. This beautiful women who brought me into this world will soon never be in my life again. WOW. I walked into the kitchen and said good morning. She looked back and smiled and had told me what all she had made for me today. I wanted to remember this moment forever. I ran back up the stairs and grabbed my polaroid camera, ran back downstairs and snapped a picture. My mom looked at me and laughed and asked, “What are you think you’re doing?”
I replied, “ Remembering this.” Her smile slowly faded after I said that, I apologize.
“I’m so sorry Mom, I just don’t know how to handle this. “
“I know darling, it’s okay. We can both work through this, it will be hard.”
I heard what she was saying and I was just thinking we both aren’t going to get through this. But I didn’t say anything I just looked at her and smiled.
“I want you to go hang out with your friends today, okay? Get back to your normal life it will be okay.”
“What?! I need to be here for you. You start chemo today.”
“Yes? And? You don’t need to be there for that, I don’t want you to see me like that. We don’t need to treat me like I’m dying and like you have be by my side every minute.” Did she seriously just say that?
“MOM. You are dying,” I shouted.
She looked at me with a calm look on her face and said to me, ”Silvia no, I’m living. I’m living my amazing life with my amazing daughter and as long as I’m living you don’t need to be by my side 24/7.” I didn’t say anything.
We ate breakfast and everything that day was perfectly normal. I went and hung out with my friends, when I came back mom was sitting on the couch watching some TV.
“Hi,” she softly said.
I replied,” Hey how’d chemo go?”
“Pretty good, the doctor said everything is going fine and I should be getting better soon, I have four months.”
“Mom,” I paused, “Do you really believe that?”
“Silvia stop it.”
“No mom. You have stage 4 cancer, there is no you getting better.”
She looked shocked. Like she couldn’t believe I had just said that. “Well it’s the truth, isn’t it? You said you had four months Mom. FOUR MONTHS. ”
“Yes but you don’t need to act like that, everything will be okay.”
I responded, “Alright mom.” Even though we both knew it wasn’t going to be okay.
Two months had gone. I had become so close to my friends, they were my whole world and eventually they actually would be all that I have. My mom had become very weak. She lost her hair, she lost weight, she looked like she had just aged ten years in only two months. It hurt me to see her like this, all I wanted was my healthy, beautiful, happy mom back. That was not possible though and I had accepted that. She started wearing wigs whenever we would go anywhere, even to just go to the gas station. She hated the way she looked and became very depressed but she tried to hide it from me so we could just act like everything was okay and she was fine. She said she did that for me, but I really think it was for herself. I don’t think she ever really accepted the fact that she was going to die and I was going to be all alone. Because she was sick, she was dying. But I understood like who would to think of that, especially if it was your own daughter who you were leaving behind.
We only had one more month left together, I had accepted that, my mom had became so depressed, weak, and sick that all she ever did was lay in bed. She read books and watched TV. Watching the person you care about the most, slowly lose themselves and who they are is probably the worst thing ever. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. My friends were so supporting and helping, they were always there for me when I needed someone to talk to. I was grateful that they came into my life.
I was hanging out with my friends a lot the past couple of weeks because I didn’t want to see my mom in the condition she was in. It broke my heart everytime I looked at her. My friends and I started doing reckless carefree things because I didn’t care anymore. I was going to a lot of parties, I tried weed, we drank a lot. That stuff was fun but I only did it because I wanted to forget about what was happening a shower wasn’t good enough anymore. The thing is with parties and drinking and smoking pot was it only made me forget about everything else for only a little bit. I knew this, but it was good to get away from it just for those moments. I could handle the fact that my mom was dying and she would be gone in the next couple of weeks.
It came to the final week of my mom’s life. The doctor calculated correctly when she only had four months. They had stop chemo and my mom was ready to be done with the pain. Her and I had a picnic in the park by the river. It was a beautiful day out, the sun was shining brightly, there has a little breeze. When the wind blew you could smell the green grass and the spring flowers in the air, you could hear the birds chirping and singing their love songs to each other. We saw all the happy young families having fun together with their little ones. I look at my mom and saw the sunlight on her face while she was looking around at all the beautiful happy things in life. I had never seen something so perfect in my entire life. She was so happy in that moment, and so was I. I forgot about her being sick, even though anyone who looked at her knew she was dying. All I saw was the young beautiful mom I was blessed to have in my life. We didn’t really say much when we were there we just wanted to remember how perfect and happy life was right then.
That night my mom had stopped breathing in her sleep. That night God had taken my favorite thing on this earth away from me. I learned, once you lose something so perfect and so dear to you, you will never find something that will ever come close to that. My heart had been ripped out of my body and locked away never to be found again. My happiness was stolen from me that night; and I didn’t know why. All I knew was that I would forever be missing a part of myself after that night, but I told myself, “You are okay, you will be fine.”