I remember the day my heart was broken. It was in the early morning hours of May 12th. Wearing the baggy pink sweatpants I purchased the night before, I sat in a stiff vinyl hospital chair. My body was curled up into a tight little ball and I watched my mother take her last breath. It still infuriates me that the barbaric double-mastectomy wasn’t enough; that her breast cancer had to spread and take her life, too. In some ways, it had taken portions of my life right along with it.
They say you never really get over the loss of a loved one, you just learn to cope with the empty hole that’s left in your heart. I tend to agree. Twelve years have passed and I’m not over it yet. These past twelve years I kept finding myself in scenarios where the empty hole aches its ugly reminder that it’s still here. Some scenarios arrived quickly, like the breast cancer awareness marathon. I signed up intending to walk in celebration of my mom being a breast cancer survivor. Instead, I walked in her memory.