Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chapter Five

I invite you to read Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, and Chapter Four if you haven't already, and if would like to follow along with the story.


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From the moment I wake the following morning, all I’m able to think about is Mom, and what she went through. Now, sitting beside her, I watch as the nurse in the yellow uniform comes to take her away. I’m not allowed to go with her this time. She’ll be fastened to a device that will prevent her from moving at all, and they’ll give her an intense dose of radiation. So upset, my head drops back, and my eyes close.


I think of how she’s already been through so much. She’s the bravest person I know. It doesn’t seem like it was very long ago, I was running around carelessly, with the other kids in the park in front of the museum. There were dinosaur statues amongst the trees, and bushes. It was such a beautiful day. So as not to spend the entire summer with Dad, I went to camp from the time I was four, until I was fourteen. I didn’t mind going to camp though, I enjoyed spending the extra time riding in the car with Mom. After camp everyday, she’d buy me hot chocolate from the vending machine.

This particular day, we were all playing capture the flag in the park. I was running around trying not to get tagged, when suddenly I stopped, and stared up ahead. I knew right away that something was wrong. Mom was walking towards me from a distance. She never picked me up early from camp. I could see tears welling up in her eyes as she knelt down in before me, taking my hand.


“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“I have some bad news,“ she paused, and then continued “and some good news. Which do you want to hear first?”


“The bad, I guess.” I answered.


“I have breast cancer.” She said calmly. I could tell she was trying really hard not to lose it. I didn’t know anyone who had cancer. I knew what it was, and I knew that it was really bad. I started to cry, falling into her arms. We stood under that tree, in the park, crying for a long time, until Mom continued to speak choppily:

“The good news is: they caught it early, and they think that after surgery, and radiation, I’ll be all better. I can beat it.” She finished. As much as she thought that that was good news, it wasn’t.

The fact was, there was a chance that she might not be alright, and to me that was devastating. I couldn’t stop crying, and I prayed with all my might that she would get better.

The day of her surgery my aunt took me shopping, to try to get my mind off of things, but all we could both think about was mom, and so we ended up standing in the middle of a department store, beside the bath towels, holding each other, and crying our eyes out.


Mom made it out of surgery, and through her radiation treatments. She made it through the first year, and then seven: she was in remission. We were all so happy. Life was good, almost.She had a hard life. She grew up on a farm, in a family of five with very little money. In the morning before school she worked, then went to school, came home, and worked some more. Even doing her brother’s chores, so in return he’d let her borrow his car. At sixteen, she graduated grade twelve, and started working as a secretary in the city. The best way to describe her, would be to say that she was full of passion. Her lifer for good, or bad unfolded passionately.


Falling in love in her teens with a farmer who lived nearby, she got married at twenty. Her mother-in-law hated her, but she didn‘t care. They were only married a few years, when he drowned. She thought her life was over. She told me one time that a total stranger in a public washroom saved her life.


She went on working, had many good friends along the way, and met my father a decade and a half later. They got married almost right away. The week before the wedding, he punched a hole in the wall. Mom should have broke it off then, but then I guess I wouldn‘t be here.


She tried to change him over, and over again. “People can only change when they decide they want to change themselves, and that is something that happens very seldomely.” I remember her saying. The first time my father hit my mother, she scratched the side of his face so badly it looked like an animal with huge claws might have been responsible for the marks - I’m not sure how he explained the injury to his colleagues at work. My parents were together for five years before my mom had had enough of her abusive, alcoholic husband.


His promise to me to quit drinking when I was around didn’t last very long, and he pathetically started to try to hide his terrible habit. He must have thought I was an idiot. I could hear the clinking of the ice cubes in his glass, the pouring of the scotch at seven in the morning, I knew he kept the glass tucked behind a stack of newspapers right beside his armchair, and I knew he hid the scotch behind the cereal boxes I didn‘t like.


After almost twelve years of hardly speaking, my parents decided to be friends. Even though they lived apart, Mom would do my father’s laundry, and cook for him often. He never showed any appreciation, and when his drinking got really bad, I felt really sorry for her, that she choose to continue to tolerate it after all these years. I grew up, finished high school, and fell in love myself, not surprisingly to someone who doesn’t drink at all, and who is totally unlike my father.

Not yet finished university, I got engaged. My dad quit drinking this past year, and promised me he would walk me down the aisle. I still have my doubts. With me moving out, Mom decided to sell her house, rid herself of the debts she’d had my whole life, and move in with my father to save money to finally retire. I thought she was crazy, but she couldn’t think of any other way.

She just started living with him, when she found out she had cancer again, and only had a few months left to live. She’d been a secretary for thirty years, and for thirty years she smoked cigarettes. I’ve been taking her to all her treatments ever since. I know I’m losing her, but if I could have just one single wish, it would be that she could be at my wedding, if there's going to be a wedding.

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That was Chapter Five, of the story. I will post the next Chapter in a day, or two.
All the Chapters will be available along the sidebar as I post them.

I would love some feedback, good or bad. Thank you for reading along with the story.


Sincerely,

Mama of Romance
xoxo

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3 comments:

Wendy said...

I found your blog through someone else's and have loved following it for the past few weeks. I just spent the past hour and a half(fussy baby fighting bedtime kept interrupting) reading your chapters. They are so heartfelt and vivid. I found myself wanting to hug my mother and then hug you for watching your mom go through this. I am also VERY close with my mother and know the type of bond you have with yours. I only appreciate my mom even more now that I am a mother myself. Please keep up the chapters because I think your mother would be proud of what you have written so far! Can't wait to read the rest!

Straight to Your Hart said...

Yeah...chapter 5..Great!!

meandmom said...

I found your blog while avoiding other responsibilities today. :) (Sorry Boss) I am sitting here in disbelief, in awe, in humility, in love for another mom/daughter/sister/friend.

I don't even know what kind of feedback to leave. Your chapters are riveting and emotional. Please keep writing.