When cancer strikes, it usually strikes unexpectedly. My mother was having headaches for as long as I can remember. She never wanted to show me her weaknesses, so she’d pretend everything was fine, but I saw it in her eyes when she had one of these many headaches. I never quite understood why the doctor couldn’t help her. She tried medicine and acupuncture, and whatever else I don’t know about. My mother’s headaches became normal, until that one weekend that everything changed. My parents were celebrating their wedding anniversary, so they planned a nice getaway. I stayed with one of my older brothers in Amsterdam. On their way back they would pick me up in Amsterdam, and then drive home. I remember sitting in the living room waiting for my parents, while doing something creative at the table. This is one of the most vague memories I have of my mother’s illness, because I didn’t know then what I do know now. My parents walked through the door, and my mother was incredibly enthusiastic about the weekend and about a table they just bought. A table that was 12 meters (for the Americans among us, that’s 40 feet) long! Uhh, say what mom?! My dad was standing at the front door, and my brother walked all the way to the back door, or the other way around, and they said: “This is 12 meters!” My mother looked from one to the other observing this length and confirmed that was right. I turned around to look at my mom in surprise, but I didn’t know what to think. I wasn’t concerned, because my mother was like a super hero. Soon after this incident my mother said she wasn’t feeling good. My brother took her to his bed, and we didn’t go home until she felt a little better. All I really remember is that I was still doing my thing in the living room, I was 11 years old, and my mother kept vomiting in the bathroom. I did notice my fathers concerned look. It was like everyone knew something I didn’t. A couple of days later my mother still didn’t feel right. She called my father at work, and he was so through with people not helping my mother that he went home, and took her straight to the hospital. That’s the moment we learned.. The moment everything changed.. Dark clouds were coming our way.. Yes, my mother was a super hero, but there was also an uninvited guest living inside her head, a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball. We had to fight evil, and she was planning to do so with every breath it took.
There are everlasting loves that continue to exist after death do us part. I lost my always-loving mother when I was 12 years old to brain cancer. A battle we could not win. This is my voice, my story, from a child’s perspective.