When my mother Barbara Chierici was first diagnosed with cancer in 1988, her first concern wasn’t for herself. After telling my dad they must have been reading the results wrong, she looked at the doctor and said, “I have to be ok. My daughter is getting married.” She had a lumpectomy and radiation, and all was well.
Her second diagnosis came 17 years later—the year that her only two children were due to have their first two children. The cancer had recurred in the same breast. She said, “I have to be ok. We’re expecting two grandchildren this year! We’ve waited so long.” Two months later, she had a mastectomy, and all was well.
Her third diagnosis came five years later in April of 2010. This time, she didn’t say those things. She cried, I think, because she knew. She just said, “It’s in the Lord’s hands. What will be, will be.”
She passed away four weeks later.
My mother was in no hurry to leave this earth or her loving husband and best friend of 55 years. She didn’t want to leave her two children and their spouses whom she loved so much. And she certainly wanted to stay here to watch the grandchildren whom she adored, continue to grow.
The day she died, all of our worlds changed in a way that’s difficult to describe. Although I know where she is and that she is no longer in pain, it’s just hard to wrap my head around the fact that I live in a world where she doesn’t.
I once read that after your mother dies, there’s nobody on the earth that really cares what you had for dinner or if your sore knee, that you totally forgot about, feels any better. That’s so true. And, I really hate that.
Michele Chierici, Surviving Daughter