About 2 months ago I found out that my Mama had lung cancer. It wasn’t good, it was Stage 4, and uncurable, unremovable, basically unfixable. They gave her anywhere from 6 months to 5 years to live. She has now started on a round of chemotherapy, had her first treatment of chemo last week, and has yet to lose all her hair. Finding out that my Mama has an even more limited time on this Earth than I thought has been the hardest thing I have ever had to cope with. I’m still not okay with it, I break down frequently, and it scares me to death knowing she won’t be there for me most of my life. Growing up, I was thisclose with my Grandma Pulido (mom’s side). I would spend summers traveling with my Grandparents all over Arizona, countless hours with the family playing our family card game of Euchre, and the traditions we had every Christmas. I know for a fact that I would not be the woman I am today if I hadn’t had the support of my Grandma. She was an amazing woman, and she just thought the world of me. She was always proud of me, and always made me feel like I was the most special granddaughter in the whole world! It breaks my heart knowing that my kids won’t be able to have that type of relationship with their grandmother. But, what kills me even more is that for years now, all my Mama has wanted was a grandbaby. My brother and I are both at ages where it would be 100% fine to start having kids. I’m 25, he’s 31. But neither of us are particularly close to that goal. And since high school, I have always wanted to have kids. When I found out I was pregnant last November, my Mama was ecstatic! But shortly after, I miscarried, which ended up being for the better in the long run. But that was only 7 months ago… I am still dealing with the emotional leftover from that experience. The worst part of it is though that my Mama won’t get the grandbaby she always has wanted. I was so happy to give her that, and she almost started buying everything for my baby, that’s how excited she was! And while there is a chance the Doctor’s could all be wrong, and she could live past 5 years, into 15 years or 30 more years, the possibility of that, is, admittingly low. I’m not trying to be pessimistic, just realistic. It breaks my heart, and gives me a pain that I can actually feel, to know that there is a good chance that my Mama could be laying on her death bed, and never ever have bonded with a grandbaby, or even seen one. I feel guilty. I know what it would feel like if I knew I was going to be passing away in the next few years. I would be so regretful, for the things I never did… not getting married yet, or not having kids yet. I feel that terror everyday actually. I am terrified that my life will end without me getting to fulfill my most intimate of dreams. Sure, law school and my career are dreams I have, but in the end, that won’t matter. Family is what will matter. The relationships I have with my family members now, and the family that I am able to create, to marry into. Love, that is what will matter. Money, jobs, careers, cars, houses…. none of that will be there for me when I am sick in the hospital, or suddently hit by another car. So can I say that marriage and family and kids are my ultimate and only goal? Absolutely. Without fail. I understand that not a lot of people can share this outlook, my boyfriend being one of them. And I can’t get mad at that. But that is how I feel. So I take what dying without all of that, all of my dreams, would feel like, and I now know that is what my Mama is going to feel. She may never experience her dreams, and that is my fault. It lies solely on my shoulders. And sometimes I think, maybe I should be spending time finding a man who is ready for those things now, and not in the future. For not only me, but for my Mama. I can’t say that I won’t be just a little resentful at my boyfriend if my Mama passes away without her being able to witness these milestones for her daughter. I guess in my head, I see it as, if you love me and want to marry me someday, then why not just do it early, so my dying mother can be apart of it? Is that really, truly a lot to ask? In the scheme of things, in the long run, 45 years into our marriage, is it really going to matter if we did it a year early? I don’t think so… but I do think it will matter in 45 years from now if we didn’t do it early, and wasted that time my Mama was around. I do know though that the kid thing is a bust. Even if I had a kid right now, that would only be by the Doctor’s estimates 4 years that my baby would know his grandma. I will forever blame myself for not giving this to my Mama. And every night, when I go to bed, I feel this sting of regret, and blame in my heart. It’s hard. I feel selfish. I feel anger. I feel a lot of resentment. And regret. I feel mad at my Mama for doing this to herself, and now she won’t be around when my kids want to go to Seaworld or Disneyland for the first time with their grandma. I won’t have anyone to call when my baby won’t stop crying from teething, or has a temperature. But all that isn’t even compared to the fact that my Mama will never, ever, in her lifetime, experience being a Grandma. Cause even though I haven’t had kids yet, I will one day, and it’s gonna take longer than I wanted, but I will still get to experience it. She won’t. And that’s all. on. me.
One of the saddest things my Mama has said to me since this all began was when she first found out, we were crying together in the hospital, and she said to me: “Lizzy, if I had known this was going to happen… if I had known it was so easy to quit, it only took a tiny amount of time compared to what I’m going to lose…. If I had known I wouldn’t have done this to you, I’m so sorry”
Those of you who choose to do this to yourselves, stop being so selfish. If there are others who care about you, and whom you claim to love, don’t do this anymore. The pain I’m going through now, and am going to have to deal with the rest of my life, and am going to have to explain to my kids…. there are no words for it. Yes, my Mama would have died eventually, of course. And who knows, maybe she would’ve died at the same time in her life no matter what, but knowing she had a choice to not do this to herself… and that she was too scared to try and quit…. It’s a shame what this drug does to people, and their loved ones.
I got this tattoo to signify that no matter what, me, my mama, and my little sister are interlinked for infinity, for forever. That shape is known as the infinity symbol, and it has my Mama’s, mine, and my little sister’s birthdays in roman numerals. I love you Mama.