I figured it was time to explain my family, specifically my mother, because they have had wide influences on me throughout my life, shaping me into the person I am today. I have been blessed to have a loving, caring, and fully supportive family. I love all of them with every fiber of my being. If it weren’t for them and my dearest friends (who I consider family as well), I don’t know where I would be today. I have been raised in a household where “I love you” are your first words and your last, and there is nothing I could be more proud of. My family have never given up on me, even when I felt like my world was crashing down.
My little sister Elise (also known as Ellie, Elle Belle, E, etc.) has always been my little munchkin. I love her to bits and pieces, and there isn’t a single thing in the world that I wouldn’t do for her. She is down right hilarious, and everyone has met her knows how her smile can light up an entire room instantaneously. She is a a flaming ball of sunshine, incredibly strong, beautiful, joyous, and vital to human life.
My older sister Abbie (also known as Abb, Ab-mister, Abbie Caddaby, etc.) has always supported me. Her doors were always open if I ever needed to rant, scream, laugh, have a spontaneous dance party, oogle over the latest bands, or just cry. She never told me to “just get over it” whatever I was feeling at the time. She embraced me and helped me get through it. We helped each other, really. It was like a sister-teamwork-cooperation-society thing we had going on. She also had great makeup and hair tips for me, as I felt I needed.
My dad (also known as Jaysun, Jaywan, J, Poophead, etc.) has always picked me up when I’ve fallen down. He believes in me, even when I can’t manage to see the other side. “Giving up” is just not in his vocabulary. He is so determined, and that is most definetely what I admire most about him. Once he sees something he wants to achieve, he goes and does it. You say he can’t do it? It’ll be down before your next breath.
My mom (also known as Anne, Yogi, Beautiful, Angel, Warrior, etc.) was always, and i mean always there for me. She never doubted me and believed on me with every fiber of her being. I loved her more than i can even begin to fathom. She was so determined, so kickass (please excuse my language, it is just such a perfect term for her), so brave, so confident, and so, so incredibly strong. She taught me what it is to be truly courageous, and what true determination is, in the raw. After all she went through growing up, she raised me to be the best person I believe I can possibly be. She proved to me life doesn’t hand you things, you have to earn them, and once you do, you have the most wonderous feeling of accomplishment. She also taught me just how precious life is, and that it can be taken away within a simple blink of an eye.
Did you catch on to the tense I was using with my mom? Past rather than present? Well, I have an explanation for that. In 2008, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. We had known there was a history of it continuously in our family, but it just did not occur to us that that was what the bump was. In 2010, while alone for a business trip in Kentucky,walking across the street, she was hit straight on by a large bus-like vehicle, while speeding and turning a sharp corner. She survived with a major head concussion and several bruises, but miraculously did not break any bones. Incredible, right? 2010 (after her recovery) – December 2011 were here absolute healthiest days. She was even training to participate in the Mud Run. She was running daily and participating in yoga, as well as swimming and other physical activities. She was eating so well and healthily. In Feburary of 2012 though, the news that would bring us all to our news came. My mom was re-diagnosed with cancer, except not in her breast; in her liver. Not only was it in her liver, but she was later to find out it was also in her lungs and bones, not to mention it being Stage 4. She fought and fought like the kickass woman she was, making it through every single day, and making the best of her life. Those two years included of BRIGHT pink hair, trips to Disney, the Outer Banks, Virginia, Florida, train rides, Elvis Costello concert (her favorite EVER), being tweeted by the Zayn Malik, starting a community garden, getting her book published, continuing her blog, homeschooling me for a year, and so many more unforgetable memories. But sadly, on December 13, 2014, the cancer quickly started dominating. Family flew in from everywhere, and I slept right by here side the night of the 13th, 14th, and all of the 15th. She couldn’t speak, or keep her eyes open or shut. She could barely even to roll over. Yet on the 15th, my mom flung her body over to where I was on the bed, and wrapped her arm around me, and muttered what sounded like a muffled and slurred “I love you, goodbye.” . I was crying constantly, those three days, and they will forever remain the hardest days of my life. The hardest, and most difficult thing I have ever done, was whispser to her “It’s okay, Ma, you are going to be safe. You are going to a better place. You can let go”. Tears were constantly flowing out of my eyes, and there was not a dry eye in the house. Could she really be going this quickly, after fighting so hard and so long? Later that evening of the 15th, and about 6:30 pm, my Mom gently passed away.
It is so hard thinking about her, honestly. I know I will never see her again on this earth, and I know I’ll never feel her warm embrace and smell her comforting vanilla aroma. I will never hear her empowering, yet silky smooth voice, that strung together the sentences that changed my life. She will never see me go off to prom, or even 8th grade formal. She’ll never see my first boyfriend, or my last. She won’t see me graduate and go off to my dream college. She will not be there on my wedding day, and she won’t be with me to see my first daughter, Gretchen Anne/Ashley Anne/Anne Zoe/Anne Marie. She won’t be there, ever again.
It is really terrifying, thinking about how strong of a history this gene has had in my family. I am the first of the 4th generation to see if the continuous gene has carried on, just like my mother. I just hope that when the time comes, I can be as strong as her, as strong as she was for me.
Our life span at the moment, is just an infinite number, until it comes to an end. We never truly know when our lives will come to a halt, we were not born with expiration dates. All we can do is cherish every living moment we have, for ourselves and those we love, because at any possible moment, your numbers could come to an end. Some of us will have long, wholesome numbers, and some will have numbers cut short, some intentionally, and some mournful yet bravely, much like my Ma’s.