Heart of a Fighter

July 13, 2011
By LauraDanielle BRONZE, Newmarket, Other
LauraDanielle BRONZE, Newmarket, Other
2 articles 0 photos 2 comments

My heart painfully pounded in my chest. A sudden feeling of utter nausea fell to the very pit of my stomach. The words seemed to cut through my ears like a sharpened axe to a tree. The words spewed out of his mouth like the vicious tongue of a snake. My mind was a hundred places at once. I was completely flabbergasted. I mean, who wouldn’t at such heart wrenching news.
It was just another day in the life. It was a new day, a fresh start, and new opportunity. I hopped downstairs, head held high, ready for a new adventure on a crisp summer morning. I had no reason to think in the slightest that bad news was headed my way. As I walked into the kitchen I noticed that things were different than usual. The chipper chuckling that usually devoured the sound waves was replaced with a seemingly dark silence. As my dad turned to look at me, I could sense despair in his eyes. Something wasn’t right, I could already tell.
“Laura, I need to tell you something.” I didn’t want to know. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to handle it, whatever it was. “Your Aunt Christine was diagnosed with breast cancer today.” I could feel a bitter sickness churn in my stomach. I couldn’t handle this. I wanted to run somewhere far away and hide. Its one thing to hear your aunt has a life threatening disease, but a friend, and someone you look up to is a whole other story. My mind immediately went to worse case scenarios. Optimism couldn’t have kept more distance. I opened my mouth in hopes of intelligent sympathy to spill out of my trembling lips. Instead, I said absolutely nothing. Just stood there feeling simply devastated.
As months passed, I found other things to occupy my mind, other things that I could worry about. It had been a while since I’d last seen her, and for that I felt guilty. I was nervous to see her because I wasn’t exactly sure what to say. Would I tell her I was sorry and treat her like something was wrong? Or would I simply give her a hug and pretend like everything’s just fine?
I was told that she had been undergoing chemotherapy, and that one of the side effects was hair loss. I knew she would look different and quite frankly that scared me. I didn’t want to give any strange reaction. I thought it would be best if I treated her like always. Everything was alright, just like the old days. When she walked in the door, I could hardly recognize her from afar. But I did just what I had planned. Smiled and pretended it was all the same.
Time passed and she stayed a fighter. She didn’t act sorry for herself, or ask for any kind of sympathy. Not only did I want everything to stay the same, but she made it stay the same. She would not let this get in her way. It was just another bump in the road, and she knew she’d be just fine. She didn’t hope, she knew. For that strength, I thank her. I’d always acted like everything was the end of the world. One bad hair day, and suddenly my day was ruined. One bad test and my life was over. But it wasn’t, and now that I see all that she went through, and all the pain and anxiety she held inside for so long, I know I can get through anything. She stayed strong for anybody but herself. She never once put on a brave face and thought that maybe this was all her life was ever going to be. She stayed strong for her kids, her family and had such assurance that God would help her through it all.
Today, I look back and admire her for everything she went through. For every emotion she felt and kept hidden inside her heart because she knew she had to be brave for everyone else. I thank her for encouraging me to start living, because you never know when life will throw you a curveball that God will help you through. My Aunt Christine is a fighter, a strong woman, and a survivor.

The author's comments:
My Aunt's strong battle with breast cancer.

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