It was my Birthday yesterday, just turned 20 years old. It was just like any other day really. To be honest, all of my best birthdays were before I turned 13 because my Mom was the only one who truly wanted to celebrate and make a big fuss. She was my best friend. She cared for me and my brother so much and she'd always make time for us. She was a teacher's assisstant and loved to organize youth clubs. She'd always try and get me involved in doing new things, which I loved. She was quite to herself and I think she never wanted us to worry about her. She told me she wasn't well, that she had a Tumor. She said it was at the back of her head but I didn't really understand what it was. I wanted to believe it was nothing bad. In the back of my head I knew it was nothing normal and I asked her... She just said everything would be ok.
In 2004 during summer vacation me, my mom, older brother, Aunt and cousin went to stay at my Grandma's for a few weeks. My grandma's house always felt like home to everyone.
I remember we were in the kitchen and my Aunt had some suprising news to tell us... She was expecting a baby! She didn't want to tell us if it was a boy/ girl. I was really excited. My Mom and her Sister were talking all baby things but my Aunt had to leave a few days early.
The one night at my Grandma's we went in the attic and my Grandad showed us his old guitar from ages ago. I could play some simple easy songs already that I was showing my Mom.
My mom would sometimes get bad headaches and she sometimes felt dizzy.
The 22nd of August she was getting really bad head aches in the middle of the night and she was vomitting. My older borther and grandma were trying to help her but she was in a lot of pain. I had never been so scared for her. I didn't want to wake up my cousin and I remember getting up to see what was going on. They had to quickly call an ambulance. Mom was really sick and she could barely walk. My grandad had to carry her downstairs and I watched her leave. I remember I wanted to go with her but my Grandma said I could not and she went alone with her. I watched the ambulance leave from the window. I prayed that night and told myself everything was going to be ok.
As soon as I woke up the next morning I told my 7 year old cousin what had happened but he was too busy on his gameboy, he didn't really know. I couldn't do anything, all I wanted to do was see my mom and check she was ok. I kept asking my Grandad but no one could answer me. They said I could go see her later. My dad was working and my grandad told him what had happened so he left to go to the hospital. They all went but the kids had to stay at home. I couldn't stop thinking about Mom...
I remember them coming back home and all I could hear was both of my grandmas talking franticallly and crying. I didn't want to think about the worst but I could see it. I cried and cried and kept thinking why? My Grandma told me she was in no pain and she was in her sleep. The fact I didn't even get to say good bye hurt the most.
I remember shouting at my cousin because he didn't know what had happened. I would have never made my little cousin cry but I was so angry and upset. I think my Mom would of shouted at me for doing that.
My brother was in shock, he didn't speak to anyone. What did we have to say?
I stayed with my Grandma and my Granded started to make the dreaded phone calls to family. I started to think who was going to look after us? Me and my brother never really had a close relationship with our dad, we hardly saw or talked to him. He didn't know what to say. My grandma had to tell him to hug me and I just wanted to hug my Mom. From then I knew everything in my life was going to be different. I had to live without a mom and get to grips with it. I'd have to celebrate special events without her.
Following that year, my Aunt had a lovely healthy baby girl and I knew my Mom would have loved to see her. It was a tough time for all the family but I think the hardest for me, my brother and mother's side of the family. I think we were the closest people to her. My mom had an arranged marriage and I knew things were not perfect with my parents...
Three years ago my father decided to get re-married. He wanted an arranged marriage in India. I was so angry at the thought he wanted to get married again. I didn't understand. My Mom didn't leave on purpose. He told me he was going to get married the week he was leaving to go to India, so I didn't really have a say in it. His reason for getting married was that he would have no one once me and my brother left. I thought it was selfish but I couldn't stop him, It's his life. I knew it was happenening because secret phone calls were happening from India and my Dads sister ended up telling me before my own dad told me. I started to realise that my dad was the total opposite to my Mom. He wasn't that good at being a parent. He lost his dad quite young so I expected him to understand how I felt... but I don't think he did.
I think my dad's side of the family all thought I was too young to understand anything going on, when I totally did since I knew what my dad was like. No one has the same belief in me that my Mom had. That's what I find hard. Last year My dad told me his wife was expecting a baby and as much as I would have liked to celebrate... I cried. He didn't even comfort me, he didn't explain, he had nothing to say, he never did. I talked to my aunts about it and they said it wasn't fair. If his wife wanted a child, she could have one. I understood that but what about the baby and what about us? I thought my dad was too old to have another child, he's 47. He's not financially stable, not a great dad and his wife doesn't work or speak English. I was worried about the baby but my family thought I was only upset because of my Mom. My dad's family annoy me so much because they think they know what is right but they don't live my life, it's easy for them to say... Luckily his wife is really nice. It's strange having a younger sister who's 20 years younger than me. I pray that she'll be healthy and happy in life.
I would get upset a lot because of losing my Mom and the fact that my family didn't really understand me. For example one year on holiday I told them I wasn't feeling well but they didn't believe me until I started getting worse heatstroke symptoms. Times like that showed me Mother always knows best!
Sometimes I feel unconfident because I don't have many people I can ask for advice or trust. Most of my dads side of the family just make a joke about our family.
I try to change for the better as the years go on. I want to make my mom proud. I love kids and try to make sure they have someone to talk to.
My grandad got me a new guitar this month and I've started learning how to play it. I think it'll take me a few months/ years before I get any good at it. Having interests or hobbies are good. I like to do things that keep me calm and writing in a diary helped me a lot through years. Cancer can affect lives in so many ways. I hope more people survive cancer and families get through the hard times together.