I’ll never forget it. I was hanging out by the pool one afternoon when my mom called me and hit me with with the infamous “do you have a second to talk.” Now we all know when a conversation starts that way it can’t be good, right? As we began talking I immediately recognized the concern in my moms voice. For those who have had the privilege of meeting my Mama Chi, know she has never been one to show much weakness, even when things are not going so great.
As we began talking she mentioned that she hadn’t been feeling well lately, and had a few medical tests done but was awaiting the results. At this moment, for those who know me, know that my mind was running wild with every possible scenario. I began asking question after question just looking for an answer to calm my nerves, but my mom was clearly trying her best not to worry me. I’ve always been one to wear my emotions on my sleeve, and my mom knew this about me all too well. During the conversation she kept reiterating that everything would be fine and there was nothing to worry about.
Looking back, I realized motherly instincts never fade because even in her times of need she was still trying her best to take care of me. After a week of worrying and concern, my worst nightmare had been revealed. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I think at that moment every possible emotion one can feel, I felt. I felt trapped and couldn’t express myself the way I wanted or needed to at the time. I’ve never been in quick sand before but I imagine that’s exactly how it would feel. I was sinking and fast! Even while writing this I felt myself rambling on and on (forgive me). The is partially due to me recently coming to grips with my emotions and wanting to help others get through similar situations because I know so many people can benefit from sharing our stories. Not to mention expressing my feelings is a VERY new thing for me. My fellas can feel me on that one.
In the weeks after getting the news, I completely went into a hole. I got a ton of “hey Rohan how are you holding up” or “you doing good” and my answer was always yes. I was scared to admit to myself that this was even real. In my mind my mom was surely going to be cured and that was that. Looking back, I realized the best thing I could of done for her and myself was accept the truth and face it head on. Now this definitely doesn’t mean to give up because we all live on some sort of faith, belief or hope which is truly necessary. But the truth for me at the moment was; that my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, this is real and your family needs your support. Had I ran with that as the truth more joy and love would of been present on our journey of beating this battle. Acceptance would have allowed my relationship with my Mother to become stronger in her time of need. The time I spent avoiding the situation, could have been valuable time spent making more more memories. Like the great Beenie Man once said “memories don’t live like people do-they always remember you- whether things are good or bad- it’s just the memories that you had.”
I can go on and on and I will in the future, but for now anyone struggling with this battle just remember that
you are not alone and the fight is best fought together.
Accept the truth and create a space for you and your family to adjust to the new challenges, as well as cope with the pain. There are so many circumstances, whether it be financial or just members of your family having differing opinions, that can cause so much divide. I know everyone has a different story and the journey is different, but one thing should remain constant. Love and unity. Show more love and stick together and whatever the outcome is destined to be you will find in the end that it was all worth it.
Love you Ma.
Contributed by: Rohan - Vice President, Project Qimo Foundation, Inc.