Love, Riley | A letter to my eight year old self

Riley Wilson, Print Editor in Chief

Your mom will buy you a book and gather your sister and you into the living room with only a hint of worry on her face. She will pull both you onto her lap as she pulls out the book, preparing to read. The book will have a purple embroidered title that reads “Our Mom Has Cancer.”

You will not fully understand the situation, no matter how many times you will read the book hoping to find a loophole that will magically cure your mom. But the title of the book remains etched into the mind of 18 year old you.

After the diagnosis, your mom will tell you how things will get worse. However, she made sure to not let you worry too much, reassuring you and herself that she would survive. This year will seem to drag by slowly as your mom progressively grew sicker, spending more days in bed than the last few years combined.

Your mom will ask you to tell her stories, as you brush through her hair, soft red locks falling into your hands and onto the floor as the chemotherapy wore her thin. She will take you with her when she decides to get her head shaved, while your sister and you sat crying as the mean lady got rid of all of your mom’s hair.

She will take you to the store after, letting you thoroughly examine all of the wigs in the store before deciding on the one you thought your mom would like best. You placed it upon her head like a crown. “Long live the Queen,” you whispered.

Good days and bad days are ahead. The good will tend to outweigh the bad, but the bad days will always scare you. How could little 8 year old you imagine a world without her mom?

A firm believer that hugs will make your mom better, you will spend entire days cuddled up by her side. She will never tell you how sick she really is, how she will spend most nights crying herself to sleep, how the other reason she is still hanging on is because she knows that her little girls need her.

Clouds of rain will soon be replaced by rays of sunshine as the chemotherapy and radiation will defeat the cancer and make your mom healthy again. The battle was long and the suffering was longer, but your mom will survive.

Your mom will come home from one of her last doctor’s visits and gather you and your sister onto her lap in the living room like she did in the beginning. However, instead of the scared look on her face, a bright smile will dominate. She will hug both of you tightly and say, “I’m cancer free.”