Even though it's been five years since she's passed away, I still yearn for her warm hugs and hot chocolate. She was the best.
"Don't miss me too much." Those were the last words my mum said to me before she took her last breath.
When people tell you that "it's all going to okay," or that "she's going to be fine," they say it to make you feel better about the situation you're in. However, these words only touch the surface of what you're going through. Watching your loved one lying on that bed, becoming a little less with each passing day, is the worst thing you can see.
I still remember the day mom was diagnosed. I had just come back from work when I saw her standing on the front lawn. Something was off, I could sense it. As soon as I reached she asked me if I wanted to go for some ice cream. The last time she took me out for ice-cream without me demanding was when she gave me the news that she was divorcing dad. Now, I knew something ominous was about to happen, the ice-cream was just a bandage on the wound.
Even though the radio in our car was blasting our all-time favorite song Don't Stop Believing, the air felt heavy. Before we reached the ice-cream parlor, I turned down the music and asked her, "Mom, I don't want ice-cream. Can you just tell me what's wrong?" My question shocked her, I could see that. She didn't expect me to ask directly.
I could see her hands shiver on the steering wheel as she searched for a place to park. As we stopped on the side of the road, she turned to me, her eyes brimming with tears, waiting to fall any minute. The next thing she said made everything around me hazy. Nothing made sense.
She said, "Hon, I went for some tests today. Don't panic. I'll be alright but the thing is... I've got stage 4-breast cancer." She then disclosed that the doctor suggested her to go for a double mastectomy and six rounds of chemotherapy. All through this, I was just holding her tight as we cried together.
Days went past faster than I thought they would. The surgery finally happened and chemos went on as scheduled. She surprised me with how gorgeous she was even through all of this. But we could all see that none of it was making any change. I had been secretly preparing myself for the day I'd see mom and her thousand-watt smile for the last time.
I didn't have to wait for too long. My once strong and beautiful mother had turned into a small human who was trying really hard to stay strong for the people who loved her.
May 12, 2019, marked the day I dreaded the most. My mom left me with those words. If only she had stayed longer I would've asked how not to miss her. And a million other questions about how to survive without her. Life prepares you for all kinds of things but it doesn't prepare you for the moment you lose someone precious to you.
My mum was my world. She was the one who worked two jobs to keep the food on our plates and keep me warm during the cold night. She didn't deserve this! I didn't deserve this. I wanted her to stay with me till the end of my days, I may sound selfish, but that's what I wanted. It wasn't fair!
The days after she passed away were just condolences from everyone who just knew her by her name and address but not the woman that she truly was. My mom's sister, who had been her and my rock through his journey continued to be so as I spent my night curled on the bed with my head on her lap, crying hysterically. I had lost the most important thing in the world to me.
Fortunately, I'm surrounded by strong women. My aunt helped me get back on my feet and not wander into the dark corners that I wanted to explore. She restored my faith in God and told me that mum's death was for a reason. Everything that God does is because he has a plan. I figured it was true.
The days I spent alone with my thoughts made me realize that I was exactly like my mother. She was this loud, fun, and absolutely hilarious person who never backed out from helping the ones who need it. In a lot of ways, she was still alive within me.
A few days back I was going through our photo album where I found my favorite picture of the both of us. It's me and her riding a rollercoaster when I was 13. Even though the picture's not clear, the memory is still fresh. That's the day I felt most alive as adrenaline rushed through my body while the wind whipped past my face.
I was taking it out of the album when I noticed a note under the picture, it was from mom. In her neat handwriting, she had left me with more than just "don't miss me."
Her note read, "You were the happiest in this picture. I want you to feel this way every day. Promise me you would. I know you miss... I miss you too but there are things you need to do first. Great things. I love you, Hon. You always make me proud. Love, mom."
Yes, ma. I miss you every second of my life and I hope you're proud of me, wherever you are.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.