There are a lot of things that one could wish in the days leading up to their birthday. Mine is tomorrow. People tell you the best thing you could ask for is health. I got the best early birthday gift today.
My mom, Jinane, is officially cancer free.
It was a long and winding road that I saw her take. And she has reached the finish line. It was one tough year.
I saw people talk around the disease like an entity whose name shouldn’t be mentioned. And I saw her hurting every time they did.
I saw people look at her with pity and I saw how it killed her every time they did.
I saw her lose her hair and still fight.
I saw her become bed-ridden after chemo.
I saw her become one of those people you see in movies with a scarf around their heads.
I saw her face next to a bucket for more days than I can count.
I saw her look at herself in the mirror and reminisce at the woman she was.
I saw her fight.
I saw her never lose hope.
I saw her keep that spark in her eyes.
I saw her pray. I saw her love. I saw her become more amazing, more beautiful.
Breast cancer awareness month is in October. But cancer is a year-long disease.
There are a lot of things that make me proud about having that woman be my mother. But if there’s one that beats them all, it’s the sheer courage with which she faced her predicament and the bravery with which she came out triumphant.
Mom, I love you. I wish I were home to hug you. Now I’ll just have to wait on some neighbor to read this and go down to tell you how lucky a woman you are to have a son who loves you. That’s not true. I’m lucky to have you.
This is for Lucy who lost her cancer fight today. May you rest in peace you brave, brilliant woman.