Lesson 2 — ‘That Horrible Word.’

Even though this is the second lesson, this course has already helped me really look deep withinΒ myself and reflect what is really important in my life. This is a short post compared to my first and an emotional one to write. Again, feedback and critiques are welcome. Enjoy πŸ™‚

That Horrible Word.

There are times during my life where I can vividly remember certain experiences, one of those was when it was my 8th birthday and after a long day, a fun party and presents I just wanted to have some daddy, daughter time. My small pale hands were cradled in my daddy’s large tanned hands, while my little bare feet carefully balanced on top of my father’sΒ brown fraying slippers as we dancedΒ with the songΒ My Eyes Adored You, by Frankie Valli Four Seasons, played in the background. Then, there are those times when dates or days become fuzzy around the edges because of the emotions that come with them, yet in those specific times, I can remember where I was and how I felt,Β in that exact moment and this was one of ‘those’ times.

The sky had shed it’s azure blanket, with white cotton candy clouds in favor for an inklike canvas speckled with faraway winking stars. My ex-husband was driving our car and I, watched rows of stately green leaf laden trees whiz by my window. We were traveling to pick up our two little girls from my parents home after a weekend of preparing, sorting and planning. My mind was still swimming with thoughts of what I needed to organize for my ex- husbands seven week trip to America, in which he’d find living arrangements for when we moved there and for himself, a job. Amongst those thoughts were the underlying ones of, how was I going to manage being 30 weeks pregnant with a four year old and a two year old, keeping the house in perfect condition for prospective buyers, sort out what little possessions we could take and pack them into six suitcase’s. That was when my mobile phone rang… I was glad for the distraction.

β€œHi Helen.”

β€œOh, hi mam.”

β€œYou nearly here?”

I reached across and turned the music down, β€œWe’re about thirty minutes away. Are the girl’s alright?”

β€œThe girls are playing and excited you’re on the way to get them.”

β€œSo, did you need me to pick you anything up from the store?” I asked.

β€œNo, I don’t need anything from the store, thank you.”

β€œOkay.” I waited for my mother to speak, but all I heard was her sighing. β€œYou okay mam?”

β€œWell, you know I mentioned, I went to the doctor a while back?”

β€œUm… Yeah.”

My mother sighed again and I began to get that nauseous feeling stirring in the pit of my stomach, my heart began to beat a little faster as I waited for the impending words to flow.

β€œI went for some tests at the hospital and…”

I heard a quiet sniff, β€œMam, what’s wrong?”

β€œMy tests came back positive and I… I… Have breast cancer.”

My pregnant belly constricted, I felt sick. I couldn’t internalize what my mother had just told me. My mother had just said ‘that horrible word’, Cancer! My mother has breast cancer? No, that can’t be so. I croaked out a whimpering, β€œMam!” As tears welled and my hands shook uncontrollably.

β€œHelen, I’ll be alright.”

How was my mother staying so calm, why wasn’t she crying along with me. I couldn’t understand what was happening. My mobile phone was resting against my ear, no words came and I continued to look out the car window, only now all I saw was a blur of trees through my tears.

My mother carried on talking,Β β€œIt’s an aggressive type of cancer and it’s spread to my lymph glands and I’m scheduled to have surgery in a couple of weeks. I’ll be alright and we’ll all get through this. Don’t worry about me, you need to focus on that little baby in your belly and stay healthy. You understand what I’m saying, Helen.”

How can she be worrying about me at a time like this, my mother had Cancer and she was worrying about me? I didn’t want to believe that this was happening, after all that our family had gone through… Now this! I could feel my throat constricting, I tried to swallow that feeling of a lump in my throat. I said, β€œYeah, mam. I understand.”

β€œDaddy is calling, so I best go and see what’s going on.”

β€œOkay.” Was all I could say. I could hear my mother telling my dad she’ll be there in a minute.

β€œI’ll see you a little bit then. Cheer up, it’s not the end of the world and Helen… I love you.”

My hands trembled as I answered, β€œI love you too, mam.”

My mother hung up the phone and all I could do was sit there as my world came crashing down around me. I dropped the phone into my lap, buried my face in my hands and sobbed.

Copyright 2014 Freckles. All Rights Reserved.

About freckles

I'm a redheaded Welsh lass from Wales - Great Britian. The past 10 years I have lived in the US and at the moment live in Wisconsin while my hubby is getting his masters. I am trying to finish my 1st draft of a novel while running around after my 4yr old and 2 yr old as well as doing this course :) I love cooking, writing, crafts, movies and music. I have 7 children & 2 granddaughters! Now, lets get writing.
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24 Responses to Lesson 2 — ‘That Horrible Word.’

  1. Laura says:

    What amazing emotions portrayed in this piece great job. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

    • freckles says:

      Thank you Laura. Boy writing these memoirs are harder than I expected, however they do lend themselves to being a good therapy session, with willing eyes and ears who are going through similar experiences. πŸ™‚

  2. lmcmahon says:

    Very well told! Very emotional……I went through a similar experience with my dad, so I know how hard it was to tell ! Well done !

    • freckles says:

      Thank you πŸ™‚ I think at some point in a person’s life, we have to deal with that ‘horrible’ word Cancer, whether it be like your father, me, my mother or another member of a family or even a best friend. It is a hard, extremely hard pill to swallow. Writing about my conversation with my mother was hard, but also therapeutic.

  3. smyrnami says:

    Great writing, very emotional. Sounds like you have a lot of experiences to write about. I look forward to reading more.

    • freckles says:

      Thank you for your lovely comments:) You know when I first got the email about this course, I doubted that I wanted to do it. Thoughts like, who would want to read about my life! Or I don’t have anything to write about. However, you are right, my life has had many ups and quite a few Big whopping lows. This is what molds and makes us into what or who we are today. I do have plenty of personal experience from my life to write about. I’d best get cracking πŸ™‚

  4. susieshy says:

    I would love to read more. Memoirs are therapeutic and sometimes they take us to parts of our brain we have shut out for ever because we never want to visit there again. But bringing those skeletons out of their closets can be cathartic.

  5. Gary says:

    Bravely told Helen. Well done πŸ™‚

    Sounds like that period was rich in emotional discord and must have been a difficult one to put down. Keep it up !

    • freckles says:

      Thank you Gary πŸ™‚ Yes, it was. Also, having those pregnant emotions added to the heaviness of the whole situation. But hey, I got it written down. onto the next memoir now! Decisions, decisions lol.

      • Gary says:

        I will make an effort to do the next one! Old conversations are so not like old water….well not the one I e-mailed you at least. Not sure I dare put that up

        • freckles says:

          I hear you loud and clear with a silent understanding πŸ™‚ True, old conversations, so not like Old water.

          • Gary says:

            That reminds me of a chalkboard that has become a fixture on my ipad…. Not sure who sent me that crafty piece of work πŸ˜‰

          • freckles says:

            How lucky you are to have someone to send you a crafty piece of chalkboard art πŸ˜‰ and that it has now become a fixture on your iPad… They must be pretty amazing and it doesn’t have anything to do with Water does it πŸ™‚

      • Gary says:

        Very lucky…a most amazing person indeed lol
        And water, yes…however did you know that πŸ˜‰

  6. caseltine6 says:

    I just had to tell you that you have tears running down my face. IMO that is one of the best compliments a writer can be paid. You had me feeling th emotions of the moment. Well done.

    • freckles says:

      Thank you so much! Tears ran down my cheeks as well, while I wrote it. Yes, you’re right… When the reader experiences the same emotions you felt in that time… Then yes, we have done our job. Although, I still have plenty to learn πŸ™‚ and hear in back from other budding and veteran writers help me to become better at this craft πŸ™‚

  7. Hana says:

    You know Freckles, the emotions I felt were because your writing brought me into the car with you that night. I didn’t feel like an outsider looking in but part of the scene – feeling the shock, fear, and concern about the future “first-hand-like”. This was good.

    • freckles says:

      Thank you so much Hana. I am glad I was able to portray my feelings and emotions well enough so that you the readers – you guys πŸ™‚ felt like you were riding in the car with me. Thank you for your wonderful comments.

  8. Thank you for sharing this episode. It is amazing how the more posts I read the more memories jump out of the depths and beg to be told. What a great course!

    • freckles says:

      I agree, this is a wonderful course. Thank you for commenting on my post, now to delve deep into next week’s lesson assignment πŸ™‚

  9. moonwriter says:

    Wow, what an emotional moment for you to write about. I could feel the pain along with you as I was reading. I have lost several wonderful women in my life due to that horrible word. One was my lifelong best friend’s mother who was a second mom to me. I still get emotional about her so I can’t even imagine what it was like, going through whatever came next, with your own mom. I (anxiously) look forward to hearing more if you can bare it. You write so beautifully. Thank you for sharing.

    • freckles says:

      Thank you for your comment πŸ™‚ I think it’s hard which ever way you deal with, ‘that horrible word’ whether it be our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, other family members or best friends of their mothers. Hard no matter what!

      What came next…. A whirlwind of emotions to say the least and hard seeing as I was moving to another country in the October! All seem surreal now. Funny you ask, if I can, bare to write more, I can visualize my mother sitting across from me, saying “See, I told you, you can write.” πŸ™‚

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