It's More Than Just a Definition

October 20, 2015

Awaken from my long and peaceful nap, feeling drowsy and light headed. I stretched out like a cat awaking from its slumber. Shivers start to trickle down my spine, as the whispering breeze came in from the draft of the open window. I borrowed myself into my purple fleece blanket. I sighed, and then took a deep breath in.
It was only a dream” I say to myself. I stare emotionless at my ceiling fan. I began to recall my dream. I dreamed of a better time, a more innocent time. I was in a jungle of little thorns and greenery, because I was on the hunt for magical red raspberries. They were known for their delicious taste and healing powers. My brother and I knew that if we were going to survive we had to consume the lot of them. So we would run down the towering bushes, row after row eating the raspberries. Bare foot, with the sun shining down on our smiling faces. We were happy and we were free. Our mom called us in from the kitchen window, telling us that it was lunch time and to come eat. Daniel and I looked at each other and laughed because we were already full from all the raspberries that we have already consumed.
Then I woke up. I woke up to a darker reality. My dream wasn’t even a dream, it was a painful memory. It was the memories that always killed me. So did the pictures of the cheesy faces on the walls that stared back into my colorless eyes. The pictures mock me, they continue to remind me that things were different now. My mom’s bell rang from her bedroom, “ring, ring” My presence was being beckoned for. I thought about the other kids at school, the ones with both their parents coming to their soccer games and musical concerts. It made me feel sick that I was here, in this dark, little house, playing the role of home nurse to my mom. I heard the ringing again.
I’m coming mom,” I quickly hasten myself to my mom’s room. I open the door to the sight of my mom’s weak but sweet smile looking back at me.
“Hey mom, I heard your bell, what do you need?” I asked, she smiled weakly again.
“Thank you Lisa for coming” she told me with great gratitude, I sighed.
“Well of course mom, always” She pointed at her water on her dresser.
“I can’t reach it and I’m really thirsty” I nodded and walked over to her water and brought it to her. She tried to open it but couldn’t, I could tell she was really tired today. She always was extremely tired, but especially when she was hooked up to her morphine bag, so I wasn’t surprised. I opened her water for her, then helped her sit up a bit. I held the water bottle to her lips like a mother holds a bottle for their newborn babe. She only wanted a couple of sips. After three gulps she was satisfied. I then proceeded to close the lid and place it back on the dresser and helped her lay back down.
“Anything else mom?” I asked, because I always knew there was something.
“Hey Lisa are you okay?” I blink a few times and look back at my friend Alex across the table from me.
“Yeah, I’m alright, I was just spacing out.”
I looked down at my blank piece of paper, I was suppose to be drawing in art class, but I just didn’t have it in me today. I picked up the black carbon pencil and began to sketch out an eye, a happy smiling eye. Then I drew a pair of eyes, keeping attention to detail. I shaded the shadows around the nose and mouth. Once I finished my drawing, I didn’t recognize the woman I drew. I drew my mom. I drew her before she was a living corpse. When her eyes use to sparkle when she laughed. When her hair would be be down pass her shoulders, and she would wear in in beautiful waves. I drew her when she had full rosy cheeks.
My art teacher peeked over my shoulder.
“She’s beautiful Lisa, nicely done.”
“Yeah, She was.”
“Was”, I thought about the word for a second and realized it’s very melancholy when you get used to referring to someone in past tense. That was the reality of my life now, having a mom was a thing of the past.
-the disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. That’s the definition you will find when you look it up in a dictionary.
What you don’t find in the dictionary, is the pain and suffering it causes to the victim and the ones around them. Everyone becomes a victim to cancer, even though I have never experience the battle myself, I have had to watch my mom battle a disease so deadly for a dreary ten years. That was ten years of my life taken from me because of some abnormal cell growth. The dictionary won’t tell you about the effects of chemotherapy, or the side effects to the prescription drugs. They won’t tell you what the smell of a decaying body smells like before it dies. The typed print, won’t tell you the truth of the last goodbye.
Goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end, but mom I will miss you until we meet again.
Lisa Lewis