A Mom&rsquo:s Lessons This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “Honey! It’s 6:30, you’re going to be late!” my mom shouted as I rolled out of bed.

“I know!” I hollered back cockily, even though I knew I had overslept. I whipped on clothes, wolfed down some breakfast and, with a quick “Love you,” rushed out the door.

This has been the routine since day one. Although I wasn’t always scrambling to catch the bus, I have always been able to count on my mom to be there, no matter what. When I was 10, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and needed radiation every day for six weeks. Always thinking of me, she made sure to book 6:15 a.m. appointments so she could be back in time to see me off to school. Sometimes, if I were lucky, she would let me go with her and we would jam out to her “power songs” (Al Green, Bob Dylan, and Melissa Etheridge).

As I grew older, my mother’s love and devotion only intensified. One August day when I was 13, I went with her to a doctor’s appointment to have a growth examined. Having been diagnosed with lupus a year earlier, we figured it was just one of the symptoms. Nearly nine hours and a trip to the emergency room later, we finally left. During that time in the hospital, even though she was the patient, my mom never stopped worrying about me.

When my mom was lying in the hospital bed, she would turn to me and ask, “Are you hungry, honey?”

“No, Mom, you?” I chuckled.

“No. Are you sure?”

“Yes, Mom, I’m sure.”

My mom’s health continued to deteriorate. Last November, she was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx, which proved a very trying time. My mom’s power of speech, one of her most valued assets, was failing her. After three months of chemotherapy and radiation, we thought we had beaten it. Then, we found out that the cancer had returned, and that the treatment would probably be worse than the illness itself.

Throughout this whole ordeal, my mom has been a beacon of perseverance, altruism, and love, always putting my needs before hers. Besides just waking me up in the morning, or making sure I’m never hungry, she has taught me lessons I will never forget: to be aware of others, to work through problems, and to be independent. Most importantly, however, she has taught me to love others under all circumstances, and to make sure that love remains strong even during the toughest of times. This legacy of love my mom instilled in me makes me confident that I can prevail through any hardship. Even if I falter, I know my mom’s legacy will always be there to put me back on the right track.

I hear my mom pound on the wall as she tries to wake me, unable to yell.

“I know, I know,” I sleepily respond. Some things never change.

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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