I normally post book reviews on my blog, but I know in a number of my reviews I have mentioned how a book touches me or brings up feelings about my past. Today, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I would like to share a personal story with you.
Snow is falling and the sky is gray, hard to believe its April. I stand outside in the cold letting the snow fall on my face hoping somehow it’ll wake me up from the nightmare I am living. I want to breathe, but I can’t seem to remember how. A single tear escapes my eye. No. No, if I cry it makes the nightmare real. Somebody talk to me… anybody. My husband holds my hand and opens the door. I walk inside. There is faint organ music playing in the background, gloomy and depressing. I hate it here. I want to leave, but instead I walk into the small room where the rest of my family is. I smile. I am brave. I look straight ahead and walk. I walk forward and I see my mom. I go to her and rub my hand to her cheek and smile at her. I wonder if she is proud of me. I wonder if she knows how much I love her. My little nephew suddenly runs up to her and starts patting her shoulder, “Grandma, Grandma wake up” The world around me starts to crumble. I feel something inside of me waking up, but I don’t want to wake it up…I feel it trying to break free from my control. People start to arrive. Good. I have it under control again. I talk to people. I can’t get over how many people are here. It’s so nice. I smile I even laugh. Suddenly, we are ushered away into another room and we are being lined up. It feels like a wedding. We come back out to where my mom is waiting for us to take her into the sanctuary. I walk forward. Oh no. Oh no, they didn’t. What did they do? Why? Why? Why? They closed her in the box. She won’t be able to breathe in there!!! I move forward I want to stop this from happening, but it’s starting to crack. No. I can’t breathe it hurts to bad, nothing has ever hurt so bad. My heart feels as if it’s been pierced by a scalding hot knife. Someone screams. It’s the most agonizing scream I’ve ever heard…it’s pitiful and full of mourning, it’s my voice—I am screaming. My mom is gone. My beautiful mom, my best friend, my safe place. My mom is gone. I am empty. I am broken. I fall to the ground.
I can recall a number of conversations between myself and my mom about the importance of a yearly mammogram. She refused to get one. There is a small part of me which is still angry at her for not going in and having a mammogram done. I look at my girls and know I will not miss a mammogram.