When I was 15 years old and about two weeks before I started my sophomore year of high school, my mother passed away from lung cancer. Unfortunately, leading up to her death, she never took the time, or the opportunity to talk to me, and to tell me what was happening. And for me, I struggled with that my entire life.
I can remember going to her one evening while she was laying in her bed. They had brought a hospital bed into my parents' bedroom by that point and there were large tubes of oxygen in the corner. I can remember my mother struggling and hating those two little oxygen tubes that she had to wear to help her breathe.
I tiptoed past my father's chair, because in order to get to my parent's bedroom, you had to go through the TV room. And as I tiptoed past my father's chair, so that he wouldn't see what I was about to do, I entered my mother's room. She greeted me with a smile so I had hope that things would go well.
When she asked me what was going on, I mustered up the courage and said to her "Well, I really need some answers."
That is when her face and her expression changed. She said, "Well?"
I asked her, "When are you going to get better?"
In that moment, I heard the TV in the other room go silent and heard something I had never heard before...I heard my father start to cry.
Through all of what my father had been through in his life, he had always remained strong. But when I heard him sobbing in the other room, I knew this wasn't going to end well.
That's when my mother said to me, "No one's talked to you?"
I got just a little bit angry and frustrated and said,
"NO ONE TELLS ME ANYTHING, EVER!"
I wish I could tell you in that moment that we had that Terms of Endearment movie moment where Debra Winger sits her two boys down and explains to them that she is just not going to be around for them as they grow up. That she is dying of cancer.
Unfortunately for me, and I don't know why, but my mother just wasn't strong enough to deliver that conversation. She shooed me away with her hand and I walked past my sobbing father and went to my room.
I've always struggled with the fact that she just never said goodbye. How could a parent not be willing, or have the courage to sit with their child, and let them know what was going to happen next? It wasn't until later in my life where I was able to reflect, look back, take that lemon from my life and turn it into lemonade.
I'm Michael Ponte and in My Course, I'm going to help you turn your life
LEMONS into LEMONADE!