My Magnanimous Mother

When my mother was diagnosed with cancer in the Fall of 2009 I was a freshman and my brother was a senior, both very big years in our lives. I was the last to hear the news. I already knew, I could tell everyone had been crying. She said it, “Amy, Mommy had breast cancer.” I just hugged her and cried. Her next words were amazing. “I’m sorry,” she said. My mother was apologizing; she was sincerely worried that my life may be “inconvenienced” or changed. She told me it was not going to change anything. And she made sure every day that it didn’t. I still went to practice, I never missed a football game, she didn’t even let me miss school the day of her surgery, because she didn’t see the point in me sitting in a waiting room alone when I could be at school. She put my brother’s and my lives ahead of herself. Thankfully they caught it early, and after a double-mastectomy my mother was declared cancer-free. During her recovery, the only thing she could think about was returning to school. She felt bad about leaving her freshman English classes. When she was hospitalized for a blood clot after reconstructive surgery she was in tears because she felt she was too much trouble. My mother puts everyone in ahead of herself, when she could have spent her days feeling “woe is me.” No one would have held it against her! But she only thought of everyone else.

Amy Burton
Ware Shoals, SC

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