The bond between a mother and a daughter is one that is unbreakable. It is a bond that no one can understand unless they experience it themselves. I am one of those lucky daughters out there that had that type of bond with my mother. I was a complete “mommy’s girl”. As I started to grow up everywhere she went, I was right behind her, stepping on her heels along the way. I wanted to talk like her, act like her and even look like her. Sometimes she would catch me in the act of putting her makeup on. She wouldn’t be too happy with me at first, but then she couldn’t help but laugh seeing as how it was all over my face. Then one night something happened that changed all that for the worse and made me realize just how special life really is and to never take it for granted.
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This day started off as any normal day for me. I remember waking up and throwing the covers off as fast as I could so I could go running into my parents’ room to give them a rude awakening, just as any 5 year old kid would do. I sprinted from my bedroom to theirs and came flying around the corner jumping in midair, but instead of landing on their bodies I just landed on the empty bed.
Since I usually woke up before they did, I was a little confused as to why they weren’t there and started moseying my way through the house to find them. I was getting ready to walk into the living room when my nose caught a whiff of something that made me change my course of direction. I went into the kitchen eager to know what that mouthwatering smell was, when there was my mother standing in front of me with a plate of chocolate chip pancakes and bacon, my favorite!
She started to hand me a plate but stopped to tell me that after I finished my food there was a surprise waiting for me outside. Before she could even finish talking I had already grabbed the plate out of her hand, slammed it on the table and started stuffing my face full. She wasn’t even halfway done with her plate before I grabbed her arm and drug her outside. Once we got onto the porch she turned me around and covered my eyes with a brightly covered bandana. Being so excited about this surprise, I started to run and forgot that I couldn’t see because a second later I ran smack dab into the basketball
pole. I laid there for a second with my head throbbing and I could feel the tears about to fall until my bandana was pulled off. There in front of me was a beautiful black and white quarter horse. The pain magically went away and I was filled with happiness.
I stood in amazement as I admired every detail of the horse. His long shiny black tail that touched the ground. His body that went from mostly black with a few white spots to all white legs. His braided mane that looked like black and white stripes. And my favorite, his all black face with a little white spot in between its eyes that resembled a star. The more I looked at him the bigger my smile got.
Since I hadn’t said anything for a few minutes my mom bent down and said, “you realize this is yours right?” I started blushing at the thought that I now had my own horse and wouldn’t have to ride with my parents, which was not comfortable to begin with. I felt like a big girl and started strutting over to the horse when I realized I hadn’t named him yet. As soon as I started to think of all the possible names I could name him, one particular stuck out in my mind: Thumper. At the time, Bambi was my favorite movie and my favorite character was Thumper, the rabbit, so it seemed like a perfect name to me.
I pulled on my mom’s arm begging her to go on a ride with me that very second. She said not until later but said we could bake cookies instead. We went inside and made homemade chocolate cookies, and got out cookie cutters to make them into different shapes. I was obsessed with the star shaped one so of course half of them ended up being stars. Once we baked them and ate almost half it was finally time to go on a horse ride. I went back to my bedroom and put on my bright red boots with jeans, a red and black stripped button up shirt and of course my white hat. I was now feeling like a true cowgirl and was ready to go.
When I got outside my dad already had Thumper saddled up for me and ready to go. Even though Thumper was a quarter horse, which is half the size of regular horse, dad still had to help me up because I was a little on the short side for my age. It was just around sunset when we started off on our ride, which is the best time to go. It’s not too hot or too cold and the view of the sky is pretty with all of its different colors. We rode all around our pasture, up and down hills, through creeks, and had them galloping through the tall grass. We raced each other, which my mom won each time. We would also go slow with the horses and talk about anything and everything. We stood on top of a hill and watched the sun set behind the tall trees and then started making our way back home.
As we were riding back I could tell the look in my mom’s face had changed. It went from happy to a pale daze. As we got back to the house she started saying how she didn’t feel very well and thought she was coming down with the flu, which made sense why the look on her face changed. She gave me a kiss goodnight and started walking back to the bedroom when all of sudden she dropped to the floor and started shaking. Not knowing what was going on, dad rushed her to the hospital where they flew her to a bigger hospital in Columbia. There, doctors did multiple tests and x-rays to try to figure out what was going on. My dad and I waited for 5 hours until finally the doctor came and sat down by us to break the news. He told us that she had a rare case of liver cancer and that it was at its worse stage because she had it for years but didn’t even know it.
From that day forward my life changed drastically. I never had a moment like that again with my mom, which is why it is so important to me. The cancer wasn’t just something she had, it was something that completely took over her body. She changed from having this bubbly personality to barely ever talking and if she did you could hear the weakness in her voice. Even though she fought it for four years longer than they thought she would, each day was an even bigger struggle than the last. Watching her slowly drift away throughout those four years was one of the worst experiences I will ever have, but that is what taught me how special life really is. Don’t take anything for granted because you never know when a loved one’s time to go will come.