My son played baseball across the street from my grandmother’s house. My mom would walk over from my grandmother’s house to the field to watch my son play baseball. She would lean on this fence, and cheer him on. I can say that’s a memory that I will never forget.
My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic lung cancer on January 19, 2011. I remember that day very well, because it was also my first day of grad school. I received a phone call from her, and I remember her crying and she was angry. She was angry because she didn’t understand why this was happening to her. Especially since she had been going to the doctor since October because of pain in her joints. Even though she wasn’t diagnosed in October, the cancer had already spread very rapidly. The doctors suggested immediate surgery, and the only thing I could do was pray.
I went through a lot of emotions; anger, confusion, frustration, etc. In the days following her diagnosis is when my mom became my ROCK! She was encouraging me to not quit school. I knew that going to school, working, raising my kids, and taking care of her at the same time was not an option. My priority was her and my kids. I could return to school at anytime. I needed to be with her.
It was hard for me to go to God in prayer. I wasn’t sure on what to pray for. People assume that we should just be praying for healing. Healing comes in so many different ways. Sometimes healing comes through death. I don’t think I’ve ever shared this with anyone about the answer I received while praying about her situation. I heard the Spirit tell me that she wasn’t going to be here much longer. I had to be at peace with that. I had to understand my mom’s story up until that point. My mom battled with her own demons, and she had to come to terms with them. I knew the demons that she was struggling with in her life, but she never expressed them to me. That journey was between her and God, and I had to respect that.
I knew that she suffered throughout her life before the cancer. My prayer was that she would find an undeniable relationship with God, peace, and that God would give her joy. I wanted her to experience the type of joy and love that only God could give her. As I was able to walk through this journey with her I was able to do it with a sound mind because I was able to witness a transformation of God in her life. I witnessed my mom become free.
I was by her side until I watched her complete this journey on July 9, 2011.
I never really had the time to sit down and grieve her death, but when God revealed to me that this was it for her I feel that I grieved then. Everything else was the process. God gave me what I wanted. He answered my prayer before she died.
It’s important to talk about grief because I feel as a community we hold a lot of stuff in. You know back in the day we were unable show our feelings, and I feel that it’s still in us; to not process things. I think it’s important to ask ourselves this question: “What did you get out of their life and death?” If I didn’t get anything else from my mom, I realized the importance of living free. Even in her death I could reclaim my life. Some people die a spiritual and emotional death after a loved one dies. I’m sure that’s not how our loved one wanted to leave us. Live your best life possible; that’s how you honor them in their death. One of the things I did for myself, and her was finish graduate school.
I was watching a show on television the other night and the woman said that she was afraid that she wouldn’t remember her loved ones voice that had passed away. I began to think about my mom. As a tear rolled down my face, I began to think about how she called my name. No one could call my name like her. I can say that’s one of the things that I truly miss the most. Her voice.