Growing up, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by so many strong, beautiful, and independent women who helped shape me into the person I am today. One of those women was my great Aunt Jackie.
Aunt Jackie was the person who watched me when I was little while my mom worked, she was the person who always had a bunch of toys at her house for all us kids, she was the person who started my obsession with weird shows, and most importantly, she taught all the girls in the family to be strong.
When I was 15, Aunt Jackie had told us she was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I was younger, I didn't particularly like my family that much. Any time we all got together I would just get so annoyed with them all and I would beg my mom to allow one of my friends to come with so I at least had someone to distract me from my family. This time my mom told me that I couldn't bring a friend and I just knew that something was wrong. I remember being outside when she told us and I remember trying to distract myself from listening to her. I knew cancer was a terrible thing, but I didn't really understand it. Aunt Jackie was one of the strongest people I have ever known. She told us that she would beat it and I believed her. She was my Aunt Jackie, so of course she would beat it. There was no doubt in my mind that she would overcome this, so I didn't think it was important to listen to her tell us again and again that she would win this fight. I knew she would.
I don't remember what day it was and I don't try too hard too, but I remember my little sister come running in our room, her face red and covered in tears. I just remember the way she cried out that Aunt Jackie had passed away. For a split second I just rolled over and covered my face, not believing her. It didn't take me long to realize that she wasn't lying and the strongest person in this entire world was gone. I got up and got dressed, before walking into my parents room. My mom was crying and holding my sister and I just remember sitting down before bursting into tears. Both my parents wrapped their arms around me and my sister, just letting us cry it out.
I'm not sure how long we sat there crying. Eventually I made myself stop, and told them I was going back to bed. I'm not an overally emotional person and I hate crying, especially in front of other people. I went back to my bed and I can't remember if I continued to cry on my own or not. I remember being angry and upset for a really long time after getting the news. I was angry because it wasn't fair that Aunt Jackie had been diagnosed with cancer in the first place, it wasn't fair that she had passed, none of it was fair and at 16 years old, I was more angry than I had ever been.
This article isn't about the emotional wreck that my family and I were after hearing the news. This article is about how Aunt Jackie was so strong before and during the time she had cancer. This article is about the most stubborn, amazing, smart woman who went through one of the worst things in this world. I honestly don't think my mom, my sister, or I would be nearly as hard headed as we are now if it wasn't for that woman. I was truly blessed to have known her.
Aunt Jackie never told me with her words how to be strong, she told me with they she handled her own situations, with the way she went through life, the way she fought cancer until the very end. She changed my life for the better and if I could just say one more thing to her, it would be that I am so incredibly thankful for all the amazing things she taught me.
She trul was the most amazing woman in this entire world.