My mom, Lucy Marie Kellett was born in Brooklyn on November 4, 1964. She was born into a family with three older sisters. Her mother Mary and her father John worked hard to provide for their daughters. Growing up she talked a lot. She was small but she was feisty. She loved everyone fiercely. Because she did not know how to love with anything less. She would walk miles to go to the gym and buy fruit. She was intelligent and was accepted into a high school in New York City. She took her GED and passed with flying colors. She was working a full-time job before she turned 18 years old.
She loved rock and metal music. She would go to concerts and throw herself off balconies to meet the bands. She knew all the words, to all her favorite band's songs. She collected records because of her avid love for music. Later in life, she began collecting books. Because she would love to immerse herself in the lives of the characters on those pages. She was funny, the type of funny that makes people cry with laughter.
When she became a mother, she did not receive a guidebook or lesson plan. But, she hit the ground running and never looked back. She loved and protected her shy son. Although many people did not understand him, she did. She would sit next to him for hours, silent until he was ready to talk. When I was born, she would not let anyone hold me. She said she did not want them to steal me away and I was "her baby".
She would run after me squatting because she wanted to be at my eye level. She would agree to bake dozens upon dozens of cupcakes and cookies when my brother and I would volunteer her to bake for the class. She did not plan on becoming a single mother to a 9-year-old and 6-year-old. But, she gave us a life we couldn't imagine with two parents. She would sit at the table and work on our elementary school homework with us. She worked two jobs, went to school and always was at the bus stop to pick us up.
She was my best friend and she always will be. I vividly remember the day we found out she had oral cancer. She had the biopsy and the dentist told her that it was a 99% chance she did not have cancer. The following Wednesday we received a call from the dentist, asking my mom to come in person. I saw her face and my heart sunk in my chest. I knew that she was the 1% chance.
She fought harder than anyone could have in her situation.
She went through a 17-hour operation and extensive recovery. She even named her skin graft, Annie. They had become close during her recovery. Every day over the summer, her and I held hands and walked into treatment. She would still find ways to smile and laugh, even with all her pain.
We waited a while for scans. When we went to see her doctor, we just wanted to hear "you're cancer free". It was her only wish during this whole ordeal. He walked straight in and we knew something was wrong. He told us that the cancer had spread to her lungs but he wouldn't know for sure without a biopsy. Two weeks later we are walking hand in hand for chemotherapy. She went through 8 weeks of extensive chemotherapy. She would say thank you to every nurse and would greet the employees at the check-in desk. No matter how sick she became, she was so kind.
The thing no one tells you about cancer is that it takes everything away. But, she wouldn't let it take away her heart. The day before she passed she was making jokes and we sat talking about my classes. She fought to her last day and that is why she will always be my hero. She passed away on Thursday January 25, 2018.