The Promise

My mother was the only person who really understood me. All my moods, what I like, what I want to do, she understood all of it. I didn’t have to explain to her, just our glances, eye contacts, body language, that was all that’s needed for us to understood each other. She was my safe haven. She meant everything to me. Then that fateful afternoon.
In 2005,she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent operation straightaway. After surgery, she went through chemotherapy and radiation therapy at the same time. She was so strong that I didn’t hear her complained of anything during the tedious process of those treatments. She had smiles ready to give away to everyone that come to see her. She was a picture of courage and hope.
Me? I was the great pretender. I never showed her how I was slowly dying ahead of her. I kept all the pain inside. I never showed her ( she told me from the beginning never to lose hope and that I must not show my sibling if ever I will cry) my true emotion.

One year after all she had finished all the therapy sessions, the cancer metastasize, this time in her liver. Again, all those appointments to see her oncologist and have her lungs drained of water that made her hard to breathe. From the beginning, I was her constant companion going to the hospital,for my father wasn’t that brave.

All these routines,and pretending that I am strong as how my mother wanted me to be, hearing from the doctors,firsthand , all the bad news and what should be the next step, all these were like shards of glasses being sewn around my heart. There were no other load much bigger than that to carry on one’s shoulder. To know that her case was hopeless, giving her false hope was all I could think of to ease the pain and sadness I know she felt then.

Then after few months,she passed away. All my siblings were there beside her death bed. Hapless, crying. It was unbearable. I wanted to scream. Like them, I wanted to cry and express my mourning. But  there I was, numbed, couldn’t believe that infront of me was the still warm body of mother, her eyes had just shut and then she shed her last tears. Did I cry? No, I cant. I want to honor the promise I made  to mother, I won’t show them my tears. I won’t show them that I am weak…that I will be strong for them.

The longer she’s gone, the more I miss her. And if I couldn’t help but cry I have to make sure I’m on my own or in private, without anyone to see me shed my tears. This is what mother made me promise. To be strong for my siblings and to my late father.

Sorry mother if I couldn’t help crying,but I will always make sure they won’t see.

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