I was 12 at the time. I was watching TV at home when my uncle Rosemond walked in the house and went straight to his room. I knew there was nothing wrong because as usual when he got home that is what he did. But wait, “Did he say hi to me?” I asked myself. I just remembered he did not say a word to me when he walked in the house, and that is when I realized something went awry. “What is going on?” I asked. Where is my mother? My uncle looked wishy-washy. His face was red, and he was stuttering. “Come on now, take a deep breath Rosemond, and tell me what happened,” I said. “He said, Christine woke up this morning, and she did not feel well, and she is uh… dead.”
My mom, died of cancer, an insidious disease which began in her breast when she was 31, allowed her five years of cancer free living and then manifested itself again, first in her other breast, then her bones, then her liver. Although my mom lived with cancer for nine years, I don't think we ever actually said the word "cancer" out loud. It was the era of "what you don't know can't hurt you" medicine. We knew she was sick, but I don't think any of us fully understood the extent of her illness or her pain. When she complained of back pain, we convinced ourselves that it was from a fall rather than the disease ravaging her bones. When my mom could not bear the pain anymore, my uncle Rosemond took her to a voodoo priest nearby named Eddy Lazaro who was well-known for his work. He was a black, tall, ugly-looking priest, and would always wear dirty clothes. He failed to restore my mother’s health back, and that is when I said to myself, “I guess he was not that good if he could not give my mother’s life back.” Months after my mother’s death, the voodoo priest’s death had followed.
My older sister, Gurlaine came home from a 3 hours state exam that she had to take. She did not know yet. When I told her, she yelled at me, “Tell me you are lying!” she broke down in a flood of tears and it was the saddest thing to see her crying for the first time. It was one of the most tender moments ever shared in my family, and one of the most heartbreaking.
My mother’s death affected me in many and different ways. She was not perfect, and she did not always do the right thing. But she was my right hand. She was more than a mother to me, and she did not deserve to die. It was really hectic after Christine died. I could not even get out of bed. I could hear her voice calling me every night when I went to sleep. I tried to sleep, but I could not. My head would spin like I was in a long airplane trip. I, Gurlaine, my two nieces, Stephanie and Daphnie, and my uncle Rosemond would be in a circle every night praying together. There was one night we got together to pray, and drops of water were falling from my eyes. My uncle said, “Come here son, I know exactly what you are going through.” “I missed her uncle, I missed her so much,” I said. Christine’s death brought us closer as a family. We never hugged before, but now we do sometimes. Also, every night before I go to bed, I walk into my sister’s and uncle’s room and kisses goodnight. At first, I thought that was not necessary, but now I kind of understand because you never know if you may not see someone you love again. My mother’s death made me a little bit more open and nice to people, and it made me appreciate everyone around me. My uncle’ mind-set is that if we have something, even if it is not a lot, we have to share it with somebody who does not. They used to have to make me share, but now I kind of like giving to people.
If I could turn back the hands of time just to get my mother back, I would. But unfortunately, everything that happened, happened for a reason. And maybe if my mother did not die, I would not change to the person that I am today. I am grateful for everything God has done for me so far, I keep my faith strong, and I do not take life for granted. At any point of my life, I can be gone. I cherish the memories I have of my mom. I went through all the stages of grief, and all the stages of acting out. I am grateful to the people who helped me in the transition. But most of all I am grateful to my mom for letting me know how much she loved me. Christine was a great, beautiful mother, I loved her so much, and she loved me. She will always be remembered in my heart.