I’m sorry for the way I acted when I was a teenager. I’m sorry for picking fights over nothing. I’m sorry for making you feel like I hated you.
There are many things that we argued about before I got diagnosed with cancer; minuscule things that don’t matter anymore and never should have.
I was a “normal” teenager and you were a “normal” mom.
As I look back on our “normal” lives, I think about how boring being “normal” was.
We have been through so much together. Two cancers, a bone marrow transplant and the aftermath of it all.
The last five years of our lives have been centered around me. “How can I make you feel better?” you asked. “Where does it hurt? Do you want me to hold you?”
There aren’t many daughters my age who can say that their mom is their best friend, their superhero and their motivation.
You helped me fight my battles when I thought I couldn’t do it anymore. You told me it wasn’t time yet when I said I wanted to fly with my friends who didn’t make it. You told me I could do anything and never to give up.
Now it’s my turn to make our lives about you. This is your day. A day dedicated to making you feel loved more than “normal” and appreciated more than “normal.”
In fact, every day should be dedicated to how exhilarating you are. The woman in my life who fought my battles with me and continues to do so today. The woman who is compassionate, yet fierce at the same time. The woman who doesn’t take “no” for an answer when her daughter is in pain. The woman who I am fortunate to call my mom.
You will never see cancer through my eyes, and I will never see cancer through yours. We are on opposite sides of the disease, but handle it in similar ways. Our different perspectives break the line between feeling apart. When one of us is feeling defeated, the other is there to raise her up.
We have come so far since our “normal” days. We have grown closer than ever before. We have listened to each other, instead of just hearing the words.
Thank you for showing me that sometimes being brave is our only option. Thank you for teaching me how to be loving and ferocious. Thank you for putting our “normal” lives behind us and embracing our new journey ahead.
And most of all, thank you for being my mom.
May this Mother’s Day be as special as you are, for there is no mother quite like you.
Written by Taylor Lieber
Taylor, 20, was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in October 2012. A little over two and a half years later, she was diagnosed with secondary high-risk AML. She is now in remission.