memories of 10/06/03
Some people are lucky enough to have both parents, some have one, and some grow up with neither. I fall into the middle category. The only parent I've ever known was my mother. I grew up an only child and my mother did everything in her power to raise me correctly. I got into trouble like all boys do, but overall I have always had enough sense and good enough morals thanks to mom. Due to the fact that she had to work two jobs when I was younger, I gained a sense of independence and self-reliance quicker than most kids my age, which would help me in the future
Fast forward to after I graduated highschool. I immediately decided to live on my own. My mom moved moved to NY to get her PHD in Criminal Justice. After a year I moved to NY with my mom. She had developed pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a painful thing to have and I know second hand, the person I watched learn first hand happened to be the most important person in my life. At 19 I began to watch my mother suffer from random attacks of pain due to the cancer. She was always a strong person and could hide pain very well from me, so I knew it must have been unbearable when she couldn't hide it from me. Many days I would watch my mom as she suffered in these pain attacks and it was slowly eating away at me. Every kid has there superman in life and she was mine. Many different treatments were attempted and all failed. For the first time in a long time I become sincerely religious. I prayed for any way to free my mom from this pain, even for some miraculous way of transfering it to me. This was the hardest thing I've ever had to go through and I feel selfish for saying that because it wasn't me actually going through it.
Almost a year later is when things turned for the extreme worst. My mother was hospitalized for a week. A few months before turning 20 and I got to find out what it's like to be losing the most important person in your life. Besides my mom, the only other person I've lived with and recognized as a parent was my grandfather, he died in July of 2003. And the day my mother got out of the hospital was the day I had to tell her. Those were the hardest words I've ever had to say to anyone in my life. I knew she was already going through more than she needed to but she had to know this. Of her and her 3 other siblings, she was the closest to him. A large piece of her died that day, I could tell, and a large piece of me died with it. He meant a lot to me also, like I said, he was my only father figure.
A month after we bury my grandfather, my mother decided we should move back to MD to be with the entire family. Apparently she knew something that my young mind was ready to recognize, she was dying and she knew it. Deep down I knew it was a good possiblity but I honestly believed my superwoman could beat this like she could beat anything. Within weeks of being back in MD the cancer hit her hard. The first time I really pored out tears was when I heard the doctor say she didn't have long to live. I continued to tell myself that she could beat it up until that point in time. I honestly died a little more right there and then.
My mom was placed on home hospice care with her sister. A turmor was beginning to grow within her stomach and she was to weak from treatments and the all around effects of the cancer to survive the surgery needed. On October 6th 2003, I woke up to a phone call from my aunt. All she said was "get over here". I immediately jumped in the car and started driving. First time in life I've driven without listening to music if I had the option. I kept telling myself that it was something else besides what I already knew it was. As I pulled up in front of my aunts house I saw the ambulance. The front door was open and I rushed in, ran past the the paramedics and my aunt to see my mother.......my now deceased mother. I've always heard about out of body experiences but I never believed them to be true until then. I sunk into the corner. I closed my eyes and as I opened them, I could see myself. I was still in the room but it was more like I was floating above the room. I could see my aunt crying, I could see my mom, and I could see myself, huddled in the corner crying. In this moment it was as if I wasn't me, I was another person that felt sorrow for the lil boy who just lost his world.
I sat in that corner as family and friends came by, as the paramedics took her out, as the hours flew by. Not a thought ran though my mind except thoughts of my mother. Everything blurred by, I remember people walking up to me, hugging me, saying stuff to me but I couldn't differentiate any of it. Nothing mattered anymore. I sat there for hours and thought of all that was lost. A mother that would never get to meet her daughter in law, have grandchildren, or even see 50. A good woman with no enemies, who's life was ended to early. She was not just my mother, but one of my best friends. I was one of the few teenagers that had no problem walking the malls with my mom, had no problem telling her my business, had no problem hanging out with her everynow and then like I do other friends. This was now the first time in life I felt alone. R.I.P. Julianna Rosemary Benjamin