by Rachel , Grade 9
“We have to go to the pumpkin patch, it’s a tradition.” This is what my mom told me in October of 7th grade when we were leaving for our annual trip. While there, we got pumpkins and found our way through the corn maze. I probably would have never made it out if it hadn’t been for the intelligence of my mom! That weekend we went to my cousin’s birthday party. The small one level home was decked out for a 7 year old girl - pink streamers and princesses. We all had a fun time celebrating. My mom was talking and laughing with her sister - my aunt. She was so energetic. Life was going all as it should be. However, that week my mom started to get really sick. “I’m fine. I’ll get well soon,” she said. But she didn’t get better. My dad took her to the hospital multiple times that week but the doctors just gave her some medication and said she would start feeling better soon.
That Friday, Halloween, I didn’t have the best start to my day. I slept in past my alarm, I didn’t have time to get breakfast, and I was tired. I thought everything was about me being happy. I remembered that I would go trick-or-treating with my friends that night and I was excited. I wanted my day to get better after the rocky start. I didn’t bother to think about my mom or ask her how she was doing. My day did get better. School went well, trick-or-treating was really fun, and I got tons of candy. I was happy. I didn’t imagine anything would be wrong.
When my friend dropped me off at home, my parents were gone but my brother was there. “Look how much candy I got!” I said as I happily showed off my loot. “Dad’s on the phone,” was his only reply as he walked into the kitchen. In an instance my enthusiasm dropped and thoughts of bragging about my candy slipped from my mind. I realized something was not right. I followed him nervously and took the phone. I knew something was wrong and I was scared to find out. That was when I got the news. My dad informed me that my mom was diagnosed with leukemia. I started to feel dizzy and confused. How could my mom be perfectly healthy just the week before? It came out of nowhere. My mom had no health issues that would have caused this and the doctors said it was simply stroke of bad luck.
The next day I went with my family to visit my mom in the hospital. I was nervous and scared, but I was surprised by my mom’s ability to stay calm. She told me everything would be alright and comforted me, despite the fear she must have been feeling. It was then that I realized that she understood the most important thing - that our family was together. We had to make every moment count, even when we were sitting in the hospital room. She knew that despite our circumstances the most important thing was loving each other. I realized everything isn’t about me, it’s about others. It’s about loving the people around us and making the most of every moment with them.
Through all the cancer treatments and hospital visits, my mom never complained. When people came to visit her, even if she was in a hospital bed or getting blood, she made sure it was quality time. She never focused on herself and made sure everyone knew how much she loved them. Whenever anyone would leave she would always hug them and say goodbye. She didn’t know if she would see them again.
I have learned from my mom’s life not to take anything for granted. No one knows when something unexpected is about to happen. You have to make the most of every moment you share with the people you love, and make sure they know how much you love them. There’s no point in getting caught up in arguments and grudges. Whether it’s baking cookies for a neighbor, giving a friend a hug, or simply forgiving someone you have been mad at, it is important to always show your love to others. You have to make the most of every moment.