Today is Mother’s Day, and this marks the second year in a row that I’m not home to celebrate it with my mom. This is due to the fact that I’m based in France for work, as I’ve been for the past four years. Considering that my job doesn’t wrap up until the end of August, it won’t be until summer time that I can return to the U.S. to see my family again.
In any case, this year’s Mother’s Day is a bit different. Just a few weeks ago, I’d received news from my dad and sister that my mom had been admitted to the ER– she’d been feeling dizzy and nauseous, and it wasn’t until she arrived at the hospital that the doctors took a look at her and found out that she had tumors in her brain, which explained why she’d been feeling dizzy and having headaches. There was also the scare of a hemorrhage in her brain, and she’s since had to stay at the hospital and be closely-monitored 24/7.
The news shocked me: I had just talked to her via Skype the week before, and she seemed fine. My mom, who’s been a breast/lung cancer survivor since 2013, hadn’t been quite the same since chemo nearly six years ago, as I did detect her being “out of it” at times. But I didn’t completely expect it to be because of tumors in her brain. Hearing the news greatly upset me, as I was thousands of miles away and unable to physically be there for her. Didn’t come at a good time, either, as I was just about wrapping up teaching that semester and also preparing for my long trip to Eastern Europe.
Perhaps it’s just a matter of getting older, or just more sensitive, but I admit that I shed tears a few times in the days that followed the not-so-good news. I had talked to my mom on Skype a few days after the news happened, while she was in the hospital, and it was a struggle not to cry while doing so– it wasn’t until we ended the video call that the tears followed. It’s unbelievable that this happened all so suddenly, and that I wasn’t there to support her (and my dad and sister) more.
That said, this sudden news has greatly changed my goals for the upcoming year. Whereas I’d hoped to stay in France a bit longer for work, I realize that it’s more important that I return to the U.S. to be with my mom. Job or no job, I need to take care of her. As much as I’d love to stay in France, my life abroad can wait: I can always return to France some day. Indefinite as it sounds, family comes first, and I need to be an adult and care for my mom– after all, she’s raised me to have this freedom, and I need to return the favor. Unconditionally, of course.
Mother’s Day this year has really had me step back and reflect on the importance of mothers. I’m blessed to have one who’s still here on this Earth, still fighting this god-awful cancer, and I pray she continues to stay alive and well. I’ve already booked to return in the summer, and I hope to see her then. Surgery’s been made for her, and afterwards, it’s months of rehab. As long as she’s still here, alive and healthy, I am eternally grateful for this situation of life, living, and love.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll update you soon.
— The Finicky Cynic
Check me out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/thefinickycynic