With God, I Am Truely My Brother's Keeper

Friday, March 24, 2017




I was nineteen years old when I received the most devastating news of my life. I still remember it as if it happened yesterday. It was February 2,2002 and I remember it was a very cold, gloomy and rainy day. My mother and I had to go to her doctor's office to get the results of her biopsy. The ride to the doctor's office was silent. I know my mother was worried because she was silent to. Which was strange because she wasn't a very quiet woman unless she was in deep thought. For several months my mother kept telling her regular doctor that she was worried about the lump she had in her right breast. Her doctor would brush it off and say to her. Ms. Acoff you're to young to have breast cancer. My mother had a gut feeling that she had breast cancer and it was confirmed on that dreadful day in February. When the doctor said those four words that would change the course of my life forever, "you have breast cancer", my heart sunk. As soon as I heard those words, I ran outside into the parking lot with tears running down my face. Two of the doctor's nurses had to console me. While another nurse consoled my mother. I was in such a daze. It felt as if I had gotten struck by a car. My body was numb and I felt lifeless. After my mother's diagnosis, she immediately started taking chemo treatments. My mother's chemotherapy treatments would last a few hours. I wasn't able to stay with her during her full treatments. Because I would have to make sure that I was at home, when my little brother Max's school bus arrived. I immediately became my mother's and brother's caregiver. Two years prior to my mothers cancer diagnosis, my brother Max was diagnosed with autism. So I had a lot on my hands. I was a freshman in college at the time of my mother's diagnosis. I tried my best to stay focused on school. But it was hard. So I had to drop out of college and take care of my mother and brother. I was the only person who would take care of them and I owed my mother. She took care of me when I had the chicken pox, colds, the flu, a broken heart and any form of pain. I no longer had a social life and I never experienced the college life like most people do. At the time I didn't care. My main focus was to get my mother back healthy again. She did everything that her doctor would tell her to do. Some of the medicines that she took, made her very sick and I would feel so bad for her. My mother became so sick to the point where she developed neuropathy in her legs. At this point she became temporarily paralyzed and bed ridden I would have to bathe her two to three times a day. And I had to make sure I turned her so that she wouldn't develop bed sores. She even had a catheter and a urine bag. I still would have to take Max to his doctors appointments and go to his school for any special events. Not only was my brother Max autistic, he was diagnosed with ADHD as well. When my mother became permanently paralyzed from her waist down. We were baffled, even her doctor was. After her doctor ran tests, my mother was diagnosed with Guillian-Barre Syndrome. Its when your immune system attacks your nerves. My mother was at peace with it and she continued to take chemotherapy. Whenever I would ask her "why was she allowing her doctor to pump her up with all of this medicine that wasn't working?" She would say "I want to be here for you and your brother." After two years of her cancer diagnosis. She passed away while on a ventilator in ICU. Before she passed that day, I held her hand while she was in a coma attached to the ventilator, and I sang "His Eye Is On The Sparrow". She loved to hear me sing that song. And I remember on that day my relationship with God became stronger and better. My mother had prepared me for the world just in case she passed away. She taught me how to cook, clean, pay bills, work, be independent,balance a check book and to be an adult. But I wasn't prepared to live my life without her. My brother was eight years old when our mother passed and I was twenty-one. Its been thirteen years and it has not been easy. Especially raising a brother with special needs. There have been times where my brother has acted up when he was in school out of frustration from him being autistic. One day he told me he hated being different. I sat on the bed next to him and I held him and I cried. It hurts me to know that he will not live a normal life like people his age.




He has dreams of going to college and working someday. I believe he can accomplish those things, but he will need special training which is hard to obtain in a city where there is limited resources for people with disabilities. For the past thirteen years, I have made sure my brother and I have what we need. Especially a roof over our head. We have one family member, who has been in our lives heavily since we were born and he is our uncle. I have been labeled as being an inspiration to many by my testimony. We still struggle with not having our mother here on a daily basis. I can look at Max and see a piece of him died with my mother and I feel the same way with me. If it wasn't for my faith in God. I don't know where I would be. There were times where I struggled to pay bills. I struggled to feed myself and my brother. There were times where I wanted to give up. But I had to remember what my mother taught me. She taught me to trust God and to have strong and high faith. So many people have told me that they would have lost their minds if they were in my shoes. I have had several setbacks, but they only made me stronger. But I simply tell them that God won't let me give up. My hope is to inspire and uplift those who have lost a parent or a loved one who has made an impact on their lives in a major way. I want them to know that no matter how hurt you are. Just remember that God is your strength. I am not where I want to be one hundred percent, but I am heading in the right direction.

1 comment :

  1. Awesomeness. The way of having faith makes things just a little bit easier

    ReplyDelete

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