Itchy Feet

December 2, 2008
By Jennifer Reynolds, Congers, NY

She’s is a short, skinny, blonde woman with all the ambition in the world, with all this life in her just waiting to be lived. She has more fire, more drive in her then any other person around her. She’s a mother of two, a sister to three and a best friend to one, and an aunt to me.
She lives her life one day at a time with no regrets. On a regular summer night, and she just couldn’t get to sleep. She had this crazy itching in her feet, the kind of itching that it’s only heard about in movies to describe some sort of rare disease. She felt stupid for thinking about going to the hospital for itching feet, but then it became unbearable. The doctors informed her that her itchy feet were much more serious then anyone would have ever thought. It was cancer. Instantly she was shocked, she first thought what am I going to do, and then she said “I am going to fight family.” She didn’t let it bring her down, she wouldn’t let it. She had shed her tears and she knew what she had to do, she had to overcome this. Her family stood by her side and watched her struggle through the pain, but she wouldn’t let it bring her down. She just kept repeating, “I am going to fight, I going to beat this, I am going to survive”.

As I sat in the dismal funeral home, I watched countless people walk in and out all day long. People would come up to me and talk to me, but I wouldn’t answer. All I thought about was how she told me every day that she was going to fight, she was going to survive. Sometimes we live in these fantasy worlds that nothing bad can happen to us, until the worst happens. I couldn’t believe I had lost my aunt, the women I looked up to as a second mother, the women I thought to braver then almost anyone I knew. One of the hardest things to do is watch a person you love struggle in pain and go through so much and receive so little back. Although the pain was over for her, the pain was just beginning for me.

The funeral had ended and we headed back to my aunts house with my cousins. All of us hardly said a word to each other. We walked in and immediately it hit us that she wasn’t there anymore, the house felt empty and cold as if it had never been lived in before. We all spread about the house, movingly slowly and silently, almost like a movie in slow motion. And then I saw it, a chalk board hanging in the kitchen that said “Family I am going to fight” and for the first time I smiled, not because I was happy but because I felt her close to me. I knew in my heart that she wasn’t done with her life yet. She might now be here anymore but I carry her with me everyday. She wrote that because she’s going to keep fighting, she’s going to keep fighting with me, beside me everyday.

The author's comments:
This piece was inpsired by my a women, who i consider to be my second mother. She taught me so much, and this article is for her, to tell her story and offer some hope to those who have lost loved ones.

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