I Lost My Mom This Month And I Need To Say This

I Lost My Mom This Month And I Need To Say This

Everyone is fighting their own battle that you know nothing about.

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When I was in third grade, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

As a nine-year-old, I had no idea exactly what this meant, and I certainly I had no comprehension of the anxiety, fear, and stress that my mom, and my whole family, would endure for the next 11 years.

Growing up in a family that cancer has wreaked havoc upon forced me to grow up a little faster than most people my age. I was always told that I was responsible and insightful for my age, and this is something that I carried with me. I started to learn that life wasn't always going to go the way I wanted it to.

When I was a high school student, my family and I faced some of the hardest and worst years, and my last year of high school is one that I will probably forever remember as the most miserable time I've been through. My mom's health was incredibly unstable, and the end of my Senior year brought my mom multiple health scares that were absolutely terrifying for us, and even more so for her.

Heading into college, things at least seemed relatively stable, and I believed the same thing coming into my Sophomore year. Now, only two months into my second year at college, I no longer have the most important person in my life. This has been an immense shock to my family and me, but it has also shocked the people around me, if just for the fact that I shared this part of my life with hardly anyone.

Through all of the years of struggle and sadness, this side of my life was one I did not share, or at least not for the most part.

This isn't a pity party. I am not looking for sympathy, nor attention. I simply want to bring to light the fact that every single person you meet is fighting a personal battle that you ultimately know nothing about.

I didn't even know as much about my mom's battle as I thought I did, and she was my mother.

In retrospect, I spent so many years of my life combatting my mom, arguing about things that meant nothing, and just generally not being as kind as I should have been, especially considering all that she did for me during the 19, nearly 20, years we had together. After I got to college, my relationship with my mom became stronger and continued to strengthen as time went on, because we now had limited time to spend together, and even just to talk. I started to value the minutes I got to spend talking to my family much more than I had previously, and I started truly making an effort to be a better daughter and sister.

Family is so sacred, and something that each and every one of us needs to treasure while we can.

My mom and I never had the kind of relationship you see in movies, where a mom and daughter talk about absolutely everything without boundaries. It wasn't that I didn't want that kind of relationship, I just wasn't even sure that I could have that, because my high school years had consisted of arguing and me closing myself off. By the end of my year as a college freshman, however, my mom and I were closer than we had ever been, and even closer still after these first couple months as a sophomore.

That might be the hardest part of all of this. My mom and I had finally established the best friend relationship I had always wondered about. We were finally close, and really close, at that. Our relationship was stronger and better than ever, and now I don't have that anymore, and I can't help but wish I had realized sooner exactly how important it is to love and cherish your loved ones while you can.

If you take one thing away from this article, I want you to walk away with a greater appreciation for the people who love, support, and motivate you. I want you to walk away knowing that every single second you have with the people you love is a second you should be so, so incredibly grateful for because one day you will run out of seconds. Life is too short for petty arguments. Life is too short to be rude and condescending to people who have done nothing but be there for you. Life is too short to hold grudges, and certainly too short to turn your back on someone over something that won't matter in five years, or even in one.

Life is too damn short to take people, and things, for granted.

Appreciate everything and everyone in your life, and everyone who has ever been part of your life. People don't come into our lives for no reason, and people also don't stay forever. And that is why you need to appreciate the hell out of them while they are here. You never know how much time you might have left with someone. I certainly had no idea.

I want to now return to the idea that you never know what someone is going through.

You truly never know what someone might be dealing with. Be kind, always.

Personally, as I explained earlier, I barely shared with anyone the fact that my mother was sick. At times, it was hard to keep it private, but I knew it wasn't something I really wanted to share, and it wasn't something my mom would have wanted the whole world to know. And I know that because she didn't share many details with many people either.

At the end of senior year, things weren't going very well, and I had started to get distant from some friends because my family had become a much higher priority, as it should have been. I tried to explain as best I could when I was asked why I had gotten so distant, but I couldn't and didn't want to, explain. I lost a couple friendships over others' suspicion that I had no excuse. And you know what? That's okay. That's okay because someone who values your friendship will stay through things you can't explain. They'll stay through everything.

Unfortunately, it takes an absolutely horrible tragedy and heartbreak to show you who's real and who simply isn't. It takes terrible things to show you who you should and shouldn't let go of, and who you should and shouldn't be worrying yourself sick over. If there is one bright-side of the tragedy my family is going through, it's that I now know who to keep in my life, and who to officially let go of. Realistically, no matter how bad of terms I am on with a person, if I were to hear that they were going through something awful, I would reach out without hesitation and offer my help and support. That's who I am and that is how I have always been, and it is that standard to which I hold the people in my life.

People who choose to be absent during your hardest times and your most outrageous times of need are people you must choose to let go of.

Returning to my main point, however, someone can seem perfectly happy on the outside, but be torturing themselves on the inside. You have no idea what kind of struggle a person is going through, even if everything seems perfectly fine. A lot of my friends had no idea that this was something I had been dealing with for 19 years of my life. A lot of my mom's friends had no idea exactly how serious things were for her. You simply have no idea.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to value your loved ones.

Don't forget to call home.

Don't forget to tell your parents and siblings how much you love them.

Don't forget to tell your friends how much you love and appreciate them.

Please, just don't forget to appreciate all of the people who put you first, who are there for you no matter what, and who love you to the end of time.

These people aren't going to be around forever. Love them while you can.

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Dear Mom, From Your Daughter In College

Here are all the things our phone calls aren't long enough to say.
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Dear Mom,

Do you remember when I was three and we would play together?

It was the age of princesses and carpet that was actually lava, and you were the prettiest woman in the whole wide world. Do you remember when I was in high school and the world seemed too big and scary? You would know exactly when to take me on a mother-daughter date and have me laughing about anything and everything, and you were the smartest woman in the whole wide world.

Now, I'm buried in homework and deadlines hours away from you and we don't get to talk as much you want, but you're still the prettiest, smartest woman in the whole wide world.

I'm sorry that I don't call you as much as I should, and you know a lot of what goes on in my world via posts and pictures. Our schedules just seem to never line up so we can have the three-hour conversations about everything like I want to. I know we don't agree on absolutely everything, but I cherish every piece of advice you give me, even though it probably seems like I'm hardly listening.

I know that sometimes we get on each other's nerves, but thank you for putting up with me for all of these years. Thank you for listening to me cry, complain, question things and go on and on about how everything in college is. I know I don't come home as much as I used to, but I think about you all the time. After all, you're my first friend, and therefore, my best friend.

Thank you for celebrating my successes with me, and not downing me too hard for my failures. Thank you for knowing what mistakes I shouldn't make, but letting me make them anyway because you want me to live my life and be my own person. Thank you for knowing when to ask about the boy I've been talking about, and when to stop without any questions. Thank you for letting me be my crazy, weird, sometimes know-it-all self.

Thank you for sitting back and watching me spread my wings and fly. There is no way I could have known how to grow into the woman I am today if I hadn't watched you while I was growing up so I would know what kind of person I should aspire to be. Thank you for being the first (and the best) role model I ever had. You continue to inspire and amaze me every day with all that you do, and all that you are.

I don't know how I got so lucky to have a person in my life like you, but I thank the Lord every night for blessing me with the smartest, prettiest person to be my best friend, my role model, my confidant, my person and most importantly, my mother.

Love,

Your daughter

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Your Relationship With Your Parents Changes Over Time, Here's Why

Four ways in which your relationship with your parents change from age eighteen to twenty-two.

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Over spring break I had time to think about all the different ways in which my relationship with my parents has changed throughout college. We've definitely had our ups and downs, but as graduation grows closer, I take time to note how far we have come. From freshman to senior year of college I have undergone a drastic change in how I appreciate my parents.

At eighteen, I wanted to get as far away from my parents as possible. I was going to college in order to be independent, study, and hopefully make a career for myself. Nothing could stop me and no one could give me advice. I was stubborn and hungry to explore the new life that awaited me. I didn't realize how hard it would be being on my own for the first time ever. I had never even been to camp let alone moved to a different state not knowing a single soul. I was happy for the new opportunities but quickly realized how much I had been sheltered. Initially, I resented my parents for my little life experience going into college but as the years have passed I realized I can't be so immature to put my lack of knowledge on them. As an adult I now make things work and advocate for myself. Your struggles as an individual humble you so you can come back together better and stronger than before.

Here are some ways in which the relationship between you and your parents change:

1. You don't live together 24/7, so you appreciate time spent with them.

When you're not sharing a space with your parents and they are not there to nag at you about chores, you finally get to know them as people. As an adult yourself you begin to relate to them in ways that weren't possible in childhood.

2. You realize what is worth fighting over and what is not.

You have learned how to live on your own and set boundaries. As an adult, you come back home knowing what can be improved upon within the relationship and what are things you can let go.

3. You have experience with adulthood now and can understand how really great they are.

Adult struggles are real and now as someone older and wiser, you have experienced a great many. You then begin to realize how your parents took on all these responsibilities plus the responsibility of raising/providing for you. You don't know how they did it, but suddenly you're mad at sixteen-year-old you who fought them on everything.

4. They are your biggest support system in wanting you to achieve your dreams.

There is no one quite as invested in your dreams like your parents. When you have no one to turn to and nothing to give you that extra boost of motivation, parents are there. They may not be perfect but they love you more than anyone so call your parents.

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