I thought that cancer was something that happened to really sick or fat people. Sure, my Aunt had died from it, but I didn’t know that my own mother could get it. My hero, my role model. I mean, surely it was a joke, right? No. It wasn’t.
I knew something was wrong when my trip to Colorado, to see my grandparents, was cut short. And, despite previous arrangements, they both came home with me. When we got back, Gammy and Papa were rushing around the house, doing chores and such, and just being really out of character. A couple of days after I got home, my sisters and I got called into my parents’ room.
“Girls, your mom has breast cancer,” My dad had said. It was raining outside. The kind of rain that makes you want to burrow into your bed.
For a moment, I couldn’t speak, couldn’t move, and couldn’t do anything. I just sat there, my mouth wide open. “Is it bad?” I asked after a while. How stupid of me. Of course it’s bad, she has freaking cancer.
“We don’t know how bad it is yet,” my dad said. “We just need to hope for the best.”
“And pray,” my little sister, Ally, added. She was always trying to make it better.
My mom got up and held me close. I didn’t push her away at first. Then, I ran outside. I ran all the way down to the end of our dock, sat down, and cried. I let my teardrops intermingle with the rain. I sat there and cried until I ran out of tears. Then, I just sat there heaving, until I felt well enough to go back inside.
I snuck into my room, and lay down on my bed. Tomorrow was sheet-washing day, anyway. I cried myself to sleep.
A few weeks later, I called my mom into my room. It was the night before the first day of school. She came in and asked, “Are you worried?” She knows me so well.
I nodded. It was my first time going to a new school. I didn’t know anyone. I was terrified. I didn’t even realize I was crying until my mom started wiping my cheek. We talked a lot about what I was going to do tomorrow, and what outfit I should wear,...