Lessons With Death

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Cancer...isn't a word that affects many people's lives, but is a word that stole something from me. I lost my mother and my hero on the same day. Watching my hero slowly withering away in front of my eyes the values I had and that I believed were disappearing with her. She was the mother that everyone wanted but that I had. Her attitude and beliefs not only influenced my life but as I looked back on her life lessons they became mine. The most important thing she taught me was that you have to believe in yourself and work hard in order to be all of what you want to be.


Her most apparent example of showing her beliefs were through our family trips back to her small hometown. Her town was a small town smack in the middle of East Texas, cut off from the rest of the world. Growing up she was barely above the poverty line which greatly affected the way she talked to people and her beliefs of the world. As she left her small town life behind to venture out into the new bigger world that she had never experienced her world views changed into the beliefs she would have for the rest of her life. As we were talking to her relatives I began to see her getting angry at their naiveness of what the world actually was and that there was in fact a world outside of a small town.



After their conversation my mom turned to me and said, “Never bottle your beliefs inside.” When someone tells you something that mature when you are just a kid you don’t really give any thought to it, but as I began to see her fade away I tried to remember every piece of advice she gave to me. As I remembered that instance I took it to heart and always displayed what I believed in openly. This instant in my life proved to me that your beliefs define who you are. And as I grew older and older and my mom's health began to fade these lessons she taught me became more and more important to me.


It's 2005 and I’m 13 years old, just finding out that my mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer again. It was now time for my mother to allow people into her life and tell them that she had a disease that could lead to her death. Even though she told our close family and friends she would never once tell any person she met that she had cancer because to her she didn’t want people to look at her for her weaknesses, but instead for her strength. Once at church she was so weak from chemotherapy that I basically had to carry her down an entire floor before she would let me find help because she didn’t want people to see as weak as she really was. Her representation of strength proved to me that whatever happens to you does not define you, but you define yourself through your actions. Because of this even though I am a teenager growing up without a mother I have never let what has happened to me define my attitude or the way I live my life. I live my life in the way that people will look at mr for what I do and not for what has happened in my past.


Freshman year of high school I'm fifteen and my mom has been in the hospital for a month and a half and we all know that the time is close to let her go. Not only did we know but even she knew, but she would never let this stop her from working her absolute hardest even until the very end. I walked in to the room four days before she died to my mom sitting in her hospital room working on pay roll for her office. I went to her room one last time four days before she would be gone forever she looked me in the eyes and said, "I haven't stopped working and you should never stop no matter what." As I sat there watching her work I began to realize that even though you might think that things are going wrong it doesn’t mean that you should stop trying your absolute hardest. After she passed I always remembered even in the days that just wanted to lay down and cry I got up and did what ever I had to to keep up her legacy of work.



The influence of mom on my life had an exponential effect not only on me, but also on my beliefs and the way I carry myself around people. Her hardships have taught me the most important lessons I will ever learn. She has shown me that through your life there will be hardships but it is our responsibility to ourselves and the people we love to carry on. She has changed me from being a person from thinking that there is no way to carry on to believing in myself and working the hardest I can shows how strong you truly are. I have come to believe that when you believe in yourself and prove to others that you are working your hardest that they will only look at you rather than what has happened to you.





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