Celia Bates

In Memorial


Everyone always says to themselves not us that couldn’t happen to our family and it’s pretty understandable.But the truth and fact of matter is it can, and sometimes will. It will take you and your family and completely flip the world upside down…what I mean is one day you’ll go from everyone being okay and then from night to morning everything is ugly, scary, and unbelievable. I’ll never forget when I first heard the news about my mom being sick. I can’t explain the shock and disbelief of it all. I honestly locked myself in the bathroom and remained there for the next 3 months coming out only to clean, cook, and of course if anyone needed to use the restroom. Why the bathroom? I don’t know. When it came time for my mom to go for her biopsy my family and I went, we were very supportive and never missed any appointments. Then the day came when it was confirmed that yes my mom had inflammatory breast cancer and that was the worst day of my life. Yet, for some odd apparent reason, I can’t explain the courage that comes over the person who has the cancer. They still manage to walk around with a smile and carry themselves with grace and their heads held up high, it’s amazing. The time came when my mom had to go to her chemo and the doctors had decided that they would try to attack the cancer aggressively and administer double doses for a week.  When the first chemo was over my mom walked into the house and laid down, something she didn’t like to do, and there she remained. I returned the next day to check up on her and so I went up to the house knocked on the door and my dad answered and let me in. I remember that when I walked in I had asked him, “where is mom?” He said she was in the shower. I turned to look towards the shower and I suddenly felt like my breath was taken away and, for a quick second, I felt a panicked feeling of “omg please don’t let me do the wrong thing.” The water turned off and a couple minutes later she came out of the shower and she looked at me. I said, “Hi mom, how are you?” She said, “well”, and then she touched the top of her head and I said, “Momma don’t worry, it’s okay.” I couldn’t believe how fast her hair had came off and with only one treatment! Months passed and one ugly, rainy morning as I was on my way to work, I remember walking to the bus stop and just as I was going to sit at the bus bench my phone rings. I look and it was my sister, which for me is unexpected because we hardly call each other, so I answer and when she says, “Celi.” I just knew that what she was about to tell me something we had all feared. My mom had been admitted to the hospital the night before. When we arrived to the hospital I remember going to the back in the emergency room and as me and my sister open the curtain my mom sat there and all she could do was smile as she always did. She shrugged her shoulders and told us that she was going to be okay. I asked if she was sure and even though she replied, “yeah, don’t worry.” I felt the worst lump in my throat form. Then she said that she had to use the bathroom so my sister accompanied her to the bathroom when they were walking back I noticed my mom’s breathing was similar to that of a person who had just ran a marathon. I asked her if there was anything wrong and she reassured me that there wasn’t, but I wasn’t content with that answer I knew something definitely had to be wrong. My mom only lasted not even a full week after that, the day before Christmas Eve she was gone. I remember the night she passed everyone had went to visit her at the hospital and was going home except my sister because she had wanted to stay with mom. As we made it to my uncles I had made sure that he was settled in, and then I proceeded to go home. Before I did though, I decided to call my sister to ask how she was doing. When she answered all I could hear was the ugly sound of silence and suddenly she said it’s time and I said, “no wait!” I dropped the phone and ran and I just kept running to the hospital crying and yelling, “mom wait wait mom wait!” when I got there I remember just walking in and dropping to my knees and just burying my face on the bed next to her legs. She was a very amazing woman, so graceful and brave, so full of life, and never ever scared of anything.