I Did Not Know Her
As I was scrolling through Facebook today, I came across a post from the husband of a young woman who passed away from breast cancer just yesterday. Months ago, just seeing this post, not even reading the details, would have sent me into a spiral of anxiety and panic. But today, I let myself go deeper into her story. And I let myself feel without being afraid. I sat alone in my home and cried as I discovered more about this brave, young woman. This post is in honor of her memory and all the mothers who have left this earth too early because of this terrible disease.
I did not know her. But I know she was a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend, and a fighter. And I know she was far too young.
I did not know her. But I know she was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer while she was pregnant with her first child. I know her little girl was born in October of 2017. Just like my son. They both turned two a month ago.
I did not know her. But I cried for her. Hard. Because I know two years as a mother is not enough. I know fighting for her baby gave her motivation, but it also raised the stakes. I know that it wasn’t her life that flashed before her eyes, it was her daughter’s.
I did not know her. But I know she loved her baby. And I know she worried about her growing up without a mother. I know she had to face the cruel reality that her daughter will not remember her. I know all of this made it painful to even look at her sometimes.
I did not know her. But I know she watched her toddler every day; wondering where her baby went; grieving for both the moments that passed and the loss of witnessing her future.
I did not know her. But I know she took many happy photos so when her daughter sees her face, it’s always with a smile.
I did not know this girl. But I know this nightmare. Because I have envisioned it for myself. And I know the agony and fear I felt was only a fraction of what she must have experienced.
I did not know her. But I know I’ll always remember her.