You and I

October 20, 2009

Dear Mom,
Because of you it only takes that one word to hit me hard. Cancer. It stops the blood running through my veins. It stops the world that’s going on around me. I stop to concentrate on what this word means to me, to you, and to others. Yet I do not have a definition of it in my head. Is it some kind of sickness that could ruin us? Or is it something that will be healed like my broken nose during soccer season?
I Googled the word Cancer for days, checked it out on health sites, but still I don’t have a clear understanding of what it is. The dictionary tells me: a disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. But I think cancer has many more meanings than the counts of cells in your body. Cancer means the number of soccer games you’ll actually be able to attend this year, how many nights you’ll be up with me helping me fix our damn printer for a school project due the next day yet again, or even how many more lectures I’ll receive from you this year about what’s right and what’s wrong.
It’s been just a near 5 months since you’ve been diagnosed with Cancer, and not once have we talked about it. I push it aside, like its no big deal and you’ll get through with it, like you do with everything else. I’m in denial to put it the simple way.
Talking about problems that I’m dealing with or facing has never been the easiest. I’ve always been a bigger help when we discussed what color shoes you should wear to your function that night, rather than the subject of Cancer. I can’t comfort you and tell you everything’s ok, because its not. And I sure as hell can’t tell you what I’m thinking because I can’t even control my own thoughts anymore.
When you left your clumps of beautiful golden hair on the bathroom counter I simply got a Kleenex tissue and covered them up, and went on to doing my own business. When people would ask me where my mom was today, I put a smile on my face and told them ‘The Hospital’ with no further explanation just like everything was peachy.
Every night, when reality hits, I cry for you. Sometimes hard waking up to a puffy face, but sometimes little tears. In my own selfish matter I think about myself sometimes. I ask myself the big question: What’s going to happen to me if something bad happens to you?
If we were your average family we could tell everyone that I’ll be just fine, living with my dad and my siblings, continuing to live life without you, but we’re not. We’re a family of two, just you and I. Don’t get me wrong and think I’m blaming you for the summer love you shared with a man in Istanbul, Turkey. I wouldn’t have asked for life any other way than just the two of us. Although it still comes down to the question: What’s going to happen to me? Am I going to live with my Grandma who’s soon reaching 80? Am I being shipped off to my “Dad” that I have no recollection of? Will I live with my aunt who loves her dogs more than anyone else she knows? Or will I be stuck living with my other aunt that already has 2 kids and struggles to keep her house and almost lost it a numerous amount of times?
I hope this decision will never have to be made, and the answer will always be YOU. You’re the one I will live with. You’re the one that will get through this and live to tell the story. You’ll be the one that will help me with my heartbreaks soon to come. You’ll teach me everything I need to know about these next 4 years of high school. Although no matter what happens I know one place you’ll always be. My heart.
Alexandra Loistl