Thursday, June 9, 2011

My most difficult challenge yet...

Here's this week's challenge:
"Songs I'll never listen to again"

This one was REALLY hard for me...I welcome any and all feedback!

The hallway's light was dim, the room at the end dark, except for her face. She was completely white, from her scalp to her lips. I felt the reaper's presence like a blanket, pulling us all under, suffocating us. For a second, I wondered if she was breathing. As if on cue, I saw her blankets gently rise. They seemed heavy on her frail body, crushing what was left of the life inside of her. I'll never forget coming home from my freshman year of high school to a dying mother.

I went in the room and pulled one of the blankets off of her. I saw my three year old sister laying next to her, keeping contact with her, somehow, at all times. I understood. It was as if she lost contact, she'd lose our mother. All we had left of her was the physical.

I'll never forget coming home from my freshman year of high school to a dying mother.

But this isn't about my strong mother who battled cancer, though I wish it was.

What was even more difficult to deal with than seeing her pushed to the brink of death my chemicals injected into her every week was her attitude. I saw other cancer patients joining support groups, helping each other. I saw them changing their lives, being thankful for each treatment available. They fought back. But my mother didn't fight. Though she was incredibly healthy for a cancer patient, she only held on to resentment. When I got sick, she told me, "At least you're not dying". She passed no hope to us. She was not strong.

"You know it's probably genetic, right?" she informed me one morning as she drove me to school, dropping me off late, as usual. I spent first period sobbing in a bathroom.

I saw my baby sister change from a sweet little toddler to a girl who was anxious, terrified of losing her mother. My mother welcomed the pity, and my sister could sense that my mother had no optimism.

But how could I hold it against her? I can't even fathom the suffering she endured.

After a year of being cancer-free, my mother was selfish. She believed that she got a second chance to indulge herself in everything. She didn't go to my swim meets, didn't look at my straight A's, didn't spend time with me. She had gotten a second chance at life, and she was wasting it.

Then one day, we got a phone call. Marilou, a woman she knew who'd had breast cancer, too, had passed away. She'd been clear for five years.

We dressed in black and went to her funeral. Her family walked her in as the music played.

Did you ever know that you're my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
for you are the wind beneath my wings.

I saw my mother crying hysterically, and I knew that she wasn't crying for Marilou. She was crying for herself. She didn't care that Marilou had helped everyone she met, that Marilou had stayed strong for her three daughters. A disappointment so deep ran through my veins. And then, a sadness. Because if my mother ever passed, I would know that she never lived. She never gave compassion to others, never shared her wealth or time with the people who loved her. And when the day came for me to stand up and talk about how amazing and strong my mother was, I'd have nothing to say but lies.

I saw her selfishness and hatred hurt the people around her, and I saw it eat away at her until she found another lump on her breast. She was given a second chance, a chance to relive her life, and she had wasted it on herself.

I never listened to that song again, that song they played at Marilou's funeral. My mother was supposed to be my hero, but instead, she was leading herself to her demise.


  1. Hi Holly,

    This was a very touching story. Thank you for writing it.

  2. This is so sad. Thank you for writing it, it must have been very difficult.

  3. You did such a good job with such a sad and difficult topic. I'm following you, now.

  4. This was so sad. You did a great job with it.

  5. My mother got a terminal illness about 6 years ago and I wanted her to fight, to have a life of some kind. Instead she stayed in her room for the last year of her life except for doctor's appts. I resented it for a long time. Then i tried to put myself in her place and thought "I probably would have done the same,depression would have gotten me." Great writing of this sad time in your life.