How I Dealt With The Loss Of My Parents

Growing up, most people think their parents will always be present to take care of them. Nobody ever really thinks about what would happen if their parents were actually gone. Unfortunately, that was a recurring theme in my life. My parents divorced before I could even remember, and my dad left my life. He started a different family with someone else, and basically forgot I existed. However, the fact that he left never hurt me because I was too young to remember it happening. When I saw children with their dads at the park, I never felt like I was missing anything because I had a strong, independent mother who provided more than what two parents would.

My mother put my three sisters and me through private school all by herself. Of course, she had the occasional help from my grandmother, another inspirational woman in my family. She was always up at the crack of dawn making sure everything was ready for me to start my day, and was always there to read me a book before bed or to help me with my homework.

Despite how loving and caring my mother was, she could also be a tough cookie. For example, when I was learning to write, she would make me erase everything if it was not neat enough. She would make me clean my room again if it was not clean enough. Her insistence helped me develop the mentality that I can always do better and that I should not settle for something that is "alright." Honestly, as shocking as it sounds, her military way of parenting even helped me develop a love for things like cleaning and doing laundry.

It was not always like I was living with a sergeant though. She would take me shopping and dress me in the best outfits. No awkward elementary school outfits for me! She inspired my love for things like Chanel, traveling the world and all the other finer things in life. For parent conference nights, my mom would dress up in her designer clothes, while all the other parents came in sweats. I would hold her hand and hold my head high because of what a boss my mom was. And after school, she would take me out for shaved ice or gelato. She was the most giving person I have ever known. She spent her time feeding children in Indonesia, which left me in awe. She was completely and utterly perfect. She was my Wonder Woman before I even knew who the character was.

However, at the age of 13, my mom sat my sisters and me down to let us know that she wasn’t invincible. She had stage 4 thyroid cancer which eventually developed to breast, lung and liver cancer. The night she told us, I cried, but I also held the mentality that if anyone was going to beat it, it would be my mom. My mom was told she only had three months to live, but of course, she was not going to have any of that. She turned three months into three years. During those three years, I helped my mother go to several chemotherapy appointments and took care of her with my two sisters. The strong woman I once knew was slowly deteriorating, but she kept a brave face the entire time. It was scary and beyond depressing to see the strongest woman in my life slowly go away. But she raised my sisters and I to be strong.

She died when I was 15 during the last week of summer break, but I was at peace knowing that my mother was no longer suffering. I was mortified that I had no parents, but I found solace knowing that I had two other fierce independent women to look up to; my sisters. Of course, there would not be a day when I would not miss my mom, but for our entire lives, she prepared us to be strong. She served as an inspiration that we did not need a man in our lives. After all, she had been raised by a matriarch who had her own business, and bossed more people around than Judge Judy. It was the toughest situation I have ever experienced, but my sisters and I banded together and were there for each other through it all.