I sat on my XL twin size bed hearing the heaviness in her voice as she cried into the phone. I sighed. I was used to the dramatics. I was often times the mother for my own. So many nights I would give her advice about life and how to deal with her own. I waited for the tears to subside. I just knew it was something infantile like how the latest woman that couldn’t handle her beauty had made my far too sensitive mother crack like icicles hitting the hard concrete. Shatter actually.
“I have breast cancer.”
Those simple words shattered my fragile foundation.
See just three months prior to receiving that news I died. I mean I was murdered actually. I mean he killed me.
I saw myself leaving myself as the sword he penetrated me with caused my soul to erupt into a small fragment of my imagination and I was just a figment of my former self. I mean. I thought I said no. He said he heard me. Now he needed to be my savior so no one else would do what he didn’t have the control to stop himself from doing. I thought he was my friend’s boyfriend. That made him my friend right?
Well mom since you’re speaking to a corpse I can’t imagine how the daughter you once knew was supposed to speak life into you. So I was silent.
Until the words found my lips. I don’t even know how I spoke the words since my heart was numb and cold, unfeeling really. “Its going to be alright mom. We pray. We believe. We just have to do what we can to fight this.”
But I didn’t. I didn’t pray. I didn’t believe. Her mother lost a battle to the same six headed monster and I knew in my heart that since history repeats itself hope was one thing I wasn’t afforded. Anyway, dead women do not hope and they do not dream so there. I was off the case.
The following year I worked to avoid myself, my mother and my reality. You can run but you can’t hide. You can’t hide what you really have inside. I mean literally. I worked an eighty hour work week. Forty hours at my Jewel-Osco MIT (manager in training) position, and forty hours as a security guard overnight shift where my awesome co-worker would let me get a couple Z’s in the locker room on rough days.
The time came to go home. So I board the plane to Boston. Squares in my purse my lifeline. Since something had sucked the life outta me, life really, I had to suck something of substance back into mine. I thought it was tar, rat poison, and tobacco that was going to help me get some of me back.
I waited for my mother to arrive at the airport and as she rolled up I overlooked her. I stood looking around wondering why this frail woman with the sunken in face and lopsided breasts was looking at me like that. I didn’t like the looks of her one breast the size of a watermelon and the other a mere cantaloupe, so I impatiently blew my cigarette smoke out looking around. This lady in the passenger seat was still looking at me with love in her eyes, but I couldn’t see her. She reached her hands out the window to motion to me, and when I finally connected my eyes to hers my heart dropped like lead. I threw my cigarette down in an attempt to hide it. She knew of my other habit, but not this one and since all smoke isn’t created equal I was actually ashamed of the cigarettes.
“I’m sorry baby I would’ve gotten out to hug you, but I can only get out the car one time. That will be to go back in the house.” She laughed self-consciously. “My legs aren’t as strong as they used to be.”
I didn’t even know how she recognized me. I was still as dead as I was when she called me over a year ago. I still couldn’t read any of my books. Its like my mind couldn’t concentrate long enough to write or read. No wonder I took the job at Osco. I needed something hands on forget dreams of PhD’s. I was a failing McNair scholar with no one to understand my struggle. Mainly because I couldn’t admit to myself that I had been murdered so I couldn’t tell another soul.
Three weeks from that day I was pulling a strand of my mothers hair, wanting to cut it and keep it for myself, but not wanting to deconfigure any parts of her. She lie in peace. So beautiful, yet so fragile. Like a wilting flower whose beauty you remembered so clearly you couldn’t bare to recognize the fact that its time had ended.
“I’ll see you again, my sweet mother.”
I reassured her. I didn’t know how. I didn’t believe in the concepts of her religion for some reason I couldn’t put my finger on but I hoped my statement was true.
After that a fraction of even my dead self I could not function. I had no unction even to get up in the morning. Forget about classes, you say Spanish 101? Well no hable ingles because I didn’t want to even speak to myself, the soliloquies I was known for reciting alone silenced by a void too big to fill.
I escaped into nothingness. I began to look at failure as an option. Who was I living for? If I wasn’t living for my mother’s constant criticisms and praise and dreams of telling her friends how awesome I could be? Not me. I failed on purpose. I didn’t want this life. I mean I was dead anyway right?
But God has a way of reminding you what is really important. I knew May 27, 2009, eight months after saying goodbye, that the new life that had been implanted into my womb was my ticket out this tomb.
It was in living for my daughter that I began to realize that there was someone much higher than I ever knew that was bringing me back to life. Resurrected like He did Lazarus. No he wasn’t the angel I had been trained and raised up to believe he was. He was my CREATOR! He is my Creator!
I began to see my Father in a whole new light. My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ sitting on His right hand was shown to me clearly. He began lifting the veil from my eyes allowing me to see again. I was able to read again. I was able to write again. I was being sparked back into life. On this journey there have been many coming as sheep in wolf clothing to deceive me, thinking I was supposed to help them, so I did. Then I would sink back into losing myself, because sometimes its easier to deal with someone else’s stuff than to sit down and deal with your own. But today I stand firm.
I am committed to my Father first and he shows me how to be committed to me. Failure is not an option and Philippians 4:13 is my new name tag. Hello my name is I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Because nothing else really matters. We have a responsibility to touch the lives of the people we meet, and love them even when they don’t know how to love their own selves. Sometimes love is hands on and sometimes it is from a distance. But, I am thankful. Thankful for a fresh start, and yes I write a lot. It’s so many words. For a four year silence, however, I think I am just making up for lost time.
So today is my second day of my twelve week fitness journey. I’ve found a Susan G. Komen race in Seattle I want to run in September. I can do it. I believe I can. I know I can. I just ranted on twitter a few days ago about wanting to go to Seattle and here the Lord provided me with a reason to do so. How I love Him. He provides for me always. He showed me how to breathe life from him, so no need to pull any type of smoke into my lungs. I breathe clearly. So here is for my mommy. A woman that loved everyone, and taught me so much love. Here is for today and tomorrow and letting go of yesterdays. To success, and a God to always believe in, because He always wins.