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I Love You, Mom This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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“I love you, Mom. See you tomorrow.” These were the words I said everyday as I kissed my mom good-bye. Now most teenage girls I know have never told their mothers that they love them and usually don’t have to say good-bye. But I wasn’t like all teenage girls I knew.

As a baby, I was adopted by two loving people who were willing to take me into their home. These two people not only became my parents but also my best friends. As I was growing up, I learned that my real mother had me at a very young age and wasn’t able to care for me. I understood this and was thankful. After all, I ended up with two people who loved each other very much, and also loved me. Three years later, they adopted another baby girl, my sister, Lori.

Until I was about nine, I never understood why my parents never had any children of their own. Then it was explained by my father. He told me that they tried many times, but they weren’t successful. Part of the reason was because my mom had a disease called diabetes. Since I was young, I didn’t really understand, and as I was growing up I would see my mom give herself shots and wonder why she was the only one who had to do it. It never occurred to me that she was sick. All I saw everyday was a strong, beautiful, healthy woman, who spent her life helping people.

But, when I was 13, everything changed.

It all started with a tiny blister on my mom’s toe. This may seem like no big deal, but unless you know about diabetes, you can’t understand. My mom ended up losing her toe and worse was yet to come. Soon after that, she suffered a stroke and just as she began to recover from that, her leg had to be amputated.

This all took place over three years, and I was only 15 years old. The toll this took on my family was unbelievable. My mom was in and out of five different hospitals, each doing their best to help her. Sometimes, she was home for a few months, but something always seemed to go wrong. Holidays went by where my father, my sister and I spent the day in the hospital room with her. One Thanksgiving we ate turkey there, and another Christmas we brought all the presents, so she could see us open them.

I tried my hardest to make her feel better, but nothing I did could help her. At home, I had to take on so much responsibility. Taking care of my little sister became my job, along with cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and cooking the meals. At the time, I thought it was unfair, and took it out on my father. I hated the fact that all my friends were able to go out Friday nights, while I had to stay home and play “mommy.”

It was even harder for me to go to school while my mom was lying in the hospital. By this time, I was sixteen. Luckily she was there for my party, and I’ll never forget hugging her as tears fell down both our faces. I’m still thankful for that moment with my mother because it was the happiest I had seen her in four years.

But, once again, the happy days became sad. On June 15th, I stayed home from school to take care of her. That day she was once again admitted to the hospital. At first, no one could tell us what was wrong, and she remained in ICU for a week. She began to do well until July tenth. On that day she became very sick, and on the eleventh she almost died.

It was getting harder and harder to deal with. Every time she got really sick, she would always come back and do even better.

The doctors finally realized why she was so sick, and put her on dialysis, a treatment for her kidneys. It seemed to be helping her. On the 17th of August, we visited her and she was doing extremely well. When I left, I kissed her and said, “I love you, Mom. See you tomorrow.”

But we received a call at 6:30 the next morning telling us she had passed away during the night.

This is the hardest thing I have had to deal with, but I have learned a lot. Today, a little over a year since my mom left, I am closer to my father and sister. And along with all the responsibilities I have come to accept, I have gained respect for my mom. I still don’t understand how she managed to accomplish all she did.

And, as for me being adopted, I have no desire to find my real parents because the ones I have are the only ones I’ll ever need. They taught me to be strong and follow my heart. Watching my mom smile through all her pain taught me that I can accomplish anything. I know she’s with me through this important time in my life, and she’ll guide me in the right direction.

“Thank you, Mom! I love you and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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