So I’m sure you’re familiar with those color rubber bracelets made infamous years ago by the Livestrong Campaign. We all know “Pinktober” is breast cancer awareness month. But have you heard of “Wear Grey in May?” Ya, I hadn’t either until one of my favorite bloggers Song of Style, promoted it last year. Who knew that in addition to our shared love of fashion, and blogging we were also part of the same club. The club that nobody wants to be a part of and I wouldn’t wish membership on to even my worse enemy. It’s the “I’ve lost someone who fought a battle against brain tumors” club. 11 years ago as of April 24th, my mom passed away. It wasn’t the tumors that killed her but rather the pain killers she was prescribed to try and treat the pain caused from them. Fentanyl, a powerful pain patch accidentally leaked and instead of having a potency of 1 or 2, had a potency of 20. One potency alone is supposedly 80 times that of morphine. Or so I hear.
The memories of that day are horrible. Lots of tears, and lots of begging my mom to come back. “I’ll be good!” I cried out as I just sobbed over her lifeless body. Nobody should ever have to endure that kind of pain. But by that time, she was already called to heaven. The sky was so pink that day. Not surprising since that was her favorite color. She would be the type of angel to make an entrance. There was a Cheshire Cat moon that night too. Like she was smiling down on us. She wasn’t in pain anymore.
And that was the silver lining in losing her. But see she never let us, her children see her in pain. She still woke up every day and put her makeup on. She still religiously watched Oprah, and her “Soaps.” She was always talking about “Sonny” like he was our next door neighbor. The character of Robin, or maybe that was her real name I don’t really remember actually was our neighbor for a few years and yes my mom asked her to be our baby sitter. “Mom, she’s a movie star, why would she want to be our baby sitter?” I questioned her. She was the kind of person to always push boundaries. Fearless in every sense of the word. The only time I ever saw her cry was after one of her surgeries. They had to shave part of her head. My mom wasn’t like Rihanna or Demi Lovato. Shaving half your head was not really a trendy thing. And for someone who found confidence in her appearance (like Mother like daughter) it was heart breaking for her to endure and equally heart breaking for me to watch. But she figured out how to rock it. She was my mom she had the answers to everything. So when passed away I had a really hard time adjusting to figuring life out on my own. It was 2 weeks before my 18th birthday when she passed away. I didn’t have a drivers license, I was still waiting on my acceptance letter from college. Literally a few days after she died I finally got that “Congratulatory” letter of acceptance from Cal State Fullerton. And that’s when I knew, she left me wise and strong, just like her.
Just like all the other campaigns this one comes with a cool bracelet. I got mine from choose hope.com. I’m proud it says “Fight like a girl.” Nobody fought harder than my mom. She never complained to us about the pain. Although there was one time she said she was going to go postal because me and my sister were arguing loudly, but I think that would have even gotten to a perfectly healthy person. She always put her family first. And even our friends. I can’t tell you how many times she took in one of my friends and treated them as her own. She even scolded them like her own. Me and one of my best friends Tracy still laugh till this day about the time she drove us to school and asked us for lip liner. We both failed to produce such a cosmetic product and all but got the 3rd degree on how we were “raised better than that.”
Brain tumors, whether their cancerous or benign are not fun. I imagine no ailment is fun. But watching someone fight to live a normal life despite the pain and agony they endure on a daily basis is almost just as painful. Towards the end her head aches were so bad she couldn’t endure even the faintest light. We would be on small shopping adventures (her favorite form of cardio) and she would feel like she was going to collapse. I always felt helpless but again she always fought through it. Fight like a girl seems appropriate. Because there was nobody stronger than my mom. So while others are looking for that perfect mothers day gift, and rightfully so, I will pay tribute to my angel up in heaven by wearing grey.