Did this really just happen?
by Lanette McNamara
(Gardner, Illinois, USA)
They call me Lainey and I'm 21 years old. My mother was diagnosed with colon cancer this March and by June she was gone. We lost her on the morning of 6-11-12 and I still feel like saying, "My mom has what?" I just don't understand.
One day she was my mom; the strong, over-worked, wisdom-filled woman I had known all my life. The next thing I knew she had become this strange, sickly, cancer-filled version of my mother; a fraction of the person I knew.
I feel like I watched her waste away. She was sick and constantly in pain and there was nothing I could do about it but hold the garbage can while she puked her life away.
On top of it all, I just know the last ten things I said to her, aside from I love you and I promise to drive carefully, were, "Sorry Mom but I have to go to work." She wanted her last few months to be happy and filled with good memories but since they never gave her a pain pump (even after they said her cancer was not curable) her remaining time was anything but.
After she passed my big sister was a mess while I was the "strong one." I don't even understand what that means anymore. I feel like people looked down upon me for not becoming a complete mess. I knew there were things that had to be done and I couldn't do it while crying. As a matter of fact, I just became so incredibly angry. I think watching her go through the pain and sickness hurt more than planning her funeral. As I sit typing this at home I can't help but look around at her things and think to myself, "Mom's still at work."
Are my feelings wrong? I break down sometimes in my own little moments but I think it hasn't quite hit me yet. I watched it all happen before my eyes and I still don't believe it. I'm scared for when it will. I'm hurt, I'm scared and I really don't know what to do now. But the strangest part is: I want to know why she hasn't come back to me somehow - In some way, shape or form to tell me she's okay or that I will be okay. Why hasn't she found a way to send me a message? Why is she gone? I still need her but all I have left to hold are the memories that hit me like bombs when I least expect it.