This, I Believe

I used to think we lived without a purpose. We all live, and we all eventually die, thinking our goal in life is simply to live, to survive. If oblivion is upon us, then what’s the point in even trying?
My mom had been experiencing cancer for the 2nd time for a little over a year and a half now. To me, that was devastatingly normal. I had grown up taking care of her, yet she somehow still took care of me. She was incredible. It in inspired me every single day, seeing just how strong she was, and how she managed to be witty, sarcastic, hilarious, and wise, all while her body was destroying itself. My mom was one of the most intelligent women I have ever known, and the strongest one I have yet to lock eyes with. This wonderful woman inspired and affected so many people in her life without even realizing it.
It was one November week, two weeks before Thanksgiving to be precise. My mom went into the CCNC as usual to have her weekly visit, and ending up being admitted to the hospital. She was there for originally a minor concern, but it grew into many. She ended up staying there until the 10th of December or so. I remember staying in the hospital with her overnight, sleeping in the plasticy, disinfectant scented recliner, making sure she was okay. When she woke up in the middle of the night from tangled tubes or blood clots or anything, I was there to help her. I remember eating Thanksgiving dinner with her in the hospital. We were having a fine time, her, my sisters, father, aunt, and I. It wasn’t until they left the room that the tears started rolling. My mom turned her head, crinkling the crummy pillow, looking at me with one of the most heartbreaking expressions I’ve seen, and said with her lip quivering,
“I’m sorry I ruined it. I’m sorry I ruined everything. Thanksgiving, our D.C. trip plans, everything. I am so, so sorry.”
My heart broke right then and there. This woman, who gave me life and made me who I have, who inspired me and so many others, who taught me how precious life was, who changed my life, thought she ruined everything? I couldn’t even begin to fathom what she must be thinking, or what I could even say.
My mom returned home from the hospital on December 10th, and was obviously not in good condition. I was concerned why she hadn’t stayed if she wasn’t ready to return, but I didn’t question the professionals. After all, I wanted her back at home. On December 13th, I spent an amazing night with my friends, and that happened to be one of the best nights I had for a long time. When I returned home, I noticed my moms friends were over, as well as a few others from the CCNC. I asked my dad what was going on, and he sat me down on the stairs.
“Arden, we don’t think Mom is going to make it much longer.”
My heart stopped, is if it was me whom he was speaking about. No, I could not lose her. That couldn’t happen. I started crying hysterically, trying to form sentences, but my brain couldn’t function. There had to be something we could do. She could not die, not right now. Elise needed her, Abbie needed her, Dad needed her, oh my god, I needed her. Everyone needed her.
The night of December 13th and 14th, I slept with my Mom, right next to her. I stayed with her every single second, for time was of the essence. On the night of the 15th, around 6:30 pm, my mom passed away, to the sounds of her favorite songs and the sounds of the ocean, emitting from our iPhones. There are no words to describe how much pain I felt in that moment, in that week. I couldn’t attend school the following 5 days, for I couldn’t stand without breaking down.
On the night she passed, I was given a locket, presented to me by my father. It was a simple, delicate heart, and engraved on the back, it had the words “You are my sunshine. –Mom”. That was the song was sang to me growing up, and what she always called me. I wear it everyday as a reminder of her love and passion, and that she is always with me.
On December 15th and the nights following, I decided I was wrong. We don’t live without reason or purpose. Every single one of us has affected so many people in our lives, molding them in to the person they are. We all live for something. I decided my purpose on this Earth is to inspire, just as she inspired me. I wish to change lives and touch hearts, as she did mine.

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