In the last few weeks, I've spent many nights staying up until 2 to 3 am in the morning working. I know I should be sleeping, but there is something about how the city seems quiet and designing almost feels like meditating. I just finished the Jane Austen Pink Ribbon print to honor my mom and I kept but think she's been there.
When I read Persuasion and found out that Anne Elliot's mother died at age 13, it struck me that my life also had drastically change at that age. That was the year that my mom had a stroke at her doctor's office and while she was in the hospital found out she had a lump in her breast that was cancerous. I remember that day all too well because my dad was supposed to pick me up from school and didn't.
The school was closing down for the night, and I had seen too many Lifetime movies to know that I shouldn't stay there all alone. I decided to walk home after waiting for a few hours and calling my house. All of the girls from softball practice were already gone and so my journey began walking along a busy street.
My house was a few miles away or for a 13-year-old it felt like it was. The good thing was that it was the time of year where Arizona was cooling off right before the winter hit. For the East Coast people, winter means something different. It wasn't until I moved to NYC that I realized that Arizona winters are fall and spring temperatures here.
When I finally made it at home, I still hadn't heard what happened and then my dad entered the house. First, he was mad at me for walking home and then he hit me with me with the news. I felt like I was punched in the gut a few times and I felt even worse when that lump turned out to be breast cancer.
The first time my mom had her breast removed, she was in so much pain and for the most part dealing with it as best as she could. The second time, when the cancer spread to her other breast, my dad was working out of state. Not having him around proved to be more difficult for her and the family.
Many times, my mom said that she had felt like dying and the reality hit that we could lose her. As a girl entering her teens, I envied the lives of my friends. My mind was burdened with worry for my mother, but looking back I wouldn't change the amount of time I spent with her.
My mother Ruby Dizon was strong for 26 long years as a breast cancer survivor, until she was sick with the flu and just couldn't fight anymore.
Rest In Peace My Beautiful Mama!