The sun’s rays glisten across the water as my family and I lie on the golden sands of the beach to relax. Seagulls and other families are scattered around us along the length of the beach. My mom, my sister, and I lie next to each other, listening to the waves crashing against the ocean bank.
I remember the day the horrible news arrived. I stood in the kitchen waiting for my father to arrive home from work.
Once he arrived, he and Mother sat me down and hesitated, “Your mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Several things around here will be changing. They will be changing very fast due to the aggressive treatment she will be going through.”
Tears filled my eyes as I wondered, Why is ...view middle of the document...
Then Mother spoke quickly, “They can stay; I want them to be here.”
We all gathered around her bed feeling so happy just to see her and to know she will be getting better soon. My brother and I took turns refilling her ice packs or watching movies with her while she had to stay in bed. We treasured every minute of our time with her.
When my brother and my father returned to the shore we sat on the large quilt my mother had brought to enjoy some snacks and play a card game under the shade of the umbrella. The seagulls gathered around us like vultures wanting road kill, but there was already a fox that had reached it first. The image of circling vultures called to mind my mother’s chemotherapy treatments. The treatments were horrifying. She would leave early in the morning. Usually before anyone of us children were awake and travel to the chemo center. She would sit there for hours as the medicine entered her body. She never complained once about the pain or the struggles of everyday life that she had to endure. When she would come home she would go straight to bed because the medicine seemed to suck the energy out of her. My siblings and I would do all the chores for that day and take care of the animals. When Father would call to ask how Mother was and to say that he was on his way home we would begin to make dinner. When Father arrived home, we would tell Mother that dinner was ready and sit down and have a family meal together.
The seagulls soon disperse because we have consumed all of the food. My parents continue to sit on the blanket as my sister and I began to build a sandcastle. We brought just enough tools to create the most wonderful sandcastle! We fill bucket after bucket of sand and began to lay out the foundation when my brother joins us. He, the architect of the family, began to show us the proper way to build our castle. He was so fascinating to watch as he would measure so much sand out and then place it on the level surface he had made with the shovel. We heard a whistle from the far left and saw a volleyball game that must have just started. All of the players were females and there was one in particular that caught my eye. She has long, auburn hair that sways with her every move, just as my mother’s did before her chemotherapy. Mother had hair that was long, curly, and was kissed with an auburn glow. Then one day it suddenly began to fall out in chunks. She was devastated. She began to cry and called my father on the phone and said, “Tonight will be the night that it has to go.”
When my father got home, he set up a chair outside on our porch and got his clippers. Mother sat in the chair with an old towel around her shoulders as Father shaved her hair to a short inch. Her eyes were swelled with tears and they began to run down her face. Father began to tear up as he shaved away one of her prides.
Mother wept, “It’s gone.”
My siblings and I gathered around her and held...