Many teens report that their mother is the most significant influence in their lives. My case is not that different. My mother had a great influence on my life through the way she lived, but even more so through the way she died.
While she was dying, my mother showed us how to live. In her deepest pain, she experienced joy in being with my father, my two sisters, and me. First and foremost, she was our mother every day—a living, breathing lesson of love and parenting.
The Loss of My Mother
Our last Christmas together, I saw her strength, a picture that is forever ingrained in my mind. She smiled and celebrated, even though her body was weak and her pain was visible. In her death, she brought my family together. We grew closer because of our shared loss. And we learned to lean on each other during those tough times.
My mother taught me that family comes first and matters most. We can replace material possessions, but loved ones are irreplaceable.
For nearly four years, my mother battled brain cancer. Willing to do whatever it took to fight her cancer, she traveled long distances to receive treatment. She endured multiple surgeries and painful treatments. My mother did all of this with a smile on her face, hiding the pain from her loved ones. When doctors told her she would never walk again after surgery, she proved them wrong, taking her first steps within two weeks. Her drive and determination compels me never to give up and always to try my hardest.
Remembering My Mom’s Grace and Stoicism During Her Battle
My mother’s memory lives in me today. I am frequently reminded of her perseverance. When I am exhausted and want to stop studying for an exam or stop running in a soccer game, I remember my mom. When I want to give up, I envision my mom’s grace and stoicism during her painful battle. In those moments, I am filled with strength and determination to finish what I started.
My mother’s illness and death has had a lasting impact on my family and me. We have grown much closer as a family. We have found some closure through each other.
As an individual, I have grown into a mature young man. The trials I have lived through have tested my strength and resiliency. If my mother were still alive today, my goal would be to make her proud of me. But somehow, I know in my heart, she already is.