Peter entered an essay contest at school. He was a runner up in the state. Here is his Essay…get your Kleenex.
“Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” Rabindranath Tagore
When I was ten my mom told me she had cancer. It was a scary realization. I know it sounds very cliche, but it is true when they say you never think it will happen to you. She soon had surgery to remove the cancer that was slowly inhabiting her body. They couldn’t remove it all safely, so she had to go through chemo therapy.
I remember the first day she came back with no hair. I didn’t even want to see her for the first couple of days because I was scared, scared of what might happen, scared of what was happening. I knew that seeing my bald mom just brought the nightmare into real life. I realized I was being selfish and that my mom needed me. She soon got a very nice wig though and that did help me cope, however, the journey was just beginning.
The chemo therapy started a whole new horror. The medication kills all fast progressing cells, which includes almost half the cells in your blood and immune system. My mom soon got very sick. She used to lay in bed for hours just coughing and moaning. She was stronger than I could ever hope to be. She fought, she wanted to fight, she knew she could give her all and make it through.
I would go into her room to see her. I couldn’t handle the constant reminder that she might not always be there, or the fact that she could barely leave the house for fear of germs. But she did. I could always see past the fake smile she plastered on. She worked through her pain to make sure we never saw her weak. We could always tell though. She did always have faith. She had faith not only to make us feel better, but to make herself feel better. Even in the darkest hour, when she felt the worst and fought tooth and nail just to still be here. Faith is what got her through. Faith is what got us through. Faith is the reason I still have a mother. Faith just is.
So that is the story. The story of a journey, of a battle, and of a faith-filled victory. That is why this quote means so much to me, because my mom, Michelle Hunter Gunnin, is that bird in my life. My mom is now cancer free and has been for four years now. We are lucky. There are few that win that fight, but those who do come out stronger. It may be embarrassing, but I can honestly say my mom is stronger than I will ever be. She amazes me more everyday.