I was in my sophomore year of high school. It was biology, and we were going over cancer, its nature, its physiology, its grip on our society. My mother was in the hospital that day for a double mastectomy.
I sat in the front of the class, I couldn’t breathe. The fear I had tried to suppress all morning came bubbling up and I felt like I was drowning. All I could hear were her words.
After class she pulled me aside. She was a mother too. She knew something was wrong.
I remember her kind knowing eyes.
I remember her pulling me into her warm embrace, like she was my own mother, and holding me as I sobbed uncontrollably.
I was too shy to ever thank her for that. For the difference she made for me that day, for the difference she made for the remainder of the fight, and for the rest of my life.
Her kindness will stay with me forever.