I bought the first book I ever read, “The Story of Oceans,” with my own money.
And it turned out to be one of the best reads I’ve ever read.
And that is probably because of my mom.
I was 14 when I first heard of her death from cancer.
My mother died at age 43, at the age of 66.
She died from lung cancer.
She had been on chemotherapy for almost two years.
My mom died of lung cancer in 2015.
I was eight years old.
I had been in and out of the hospital since age 13 and was in and OUT of hospitals before that.
I remember getting home one day and finding my mother’s body, which had been moved from her room to the dining room.
And the first thing I did was go into the living room, and the next thing I knew, I was in bed, with my mom, with the whole family, with everything.
My mother had been diagnosed with lymphoma at age 34, but she survived it.
She was a beautiful woman.
She didn’t have a car.
She wasn’t a glamorous model, but I remember seeing her once and I just knew that she had a beautiful soul, a beautiful mind, a very beautiful heart, and that she was a great person.
My grandmother passed away at age 55.
I don’t remember much about her.
I knew she was frail.
She just kind of looked like a ghost, in the way she always looked.
She would come to our house at the end of the day, but my mother would come in.
My grandmother always had her hands in her pockets, her feet in the sand, and she would just be staring at the ground and she’d smile, like, I think, at me.
And I would look at her.
She looked beautiful.
She always had those big, big eyes, like a baby.
I mean, she looked like her, and I would just love to see her face.
I remember when she died, I cried in front of the family and everyone, and it was really hard for me to watch her, because I had so much to do and I had to go to school.
And my mother, she was really strong, she had her arms around my father.
She wanted me to know that she loved me and she was so proud of me.
And I just thought, “I don’t know how she is, but you know, I’m going to go see her, she’ll be here with me.”
I just felt so happy to see.
And she was just amazing.
And she was one of those people who was a kind person, and her kindness was amazing.
She took me out to the park once, just a short distance away, and said, “You know, you look so happy, you should be wearing a sweater.”
I said, okay.
And then I got a sweater.
And so she just always smiled and said she loved my sweater.
I’m still wearing my sweater now.
I’m not an expert on cancer.
But I think the first time I saw her, I remember her being so sad, and we were talking about it, and then she said, well, I guess you’re going to die, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
And her eyes just kind-of closed and she just said, you know?
I remember seeing a picture on the wall of my grandfather, and my grandfather was a Marine.
My grandfather fought in World War II, and he died a few years after my mom did.
And he died of cancer, but he was a loving person and I always wanted to be a Marine someday.
And this is the picture that was hanging in my grandmother’s room when she was dying, in a box, and as I looked at it, I just cried.
And this is what I remember.
And when my mom died, it was so sad.
And as I started reading, I kept thinking, oh my God, what did she do?
What was she doing?
And then it hit me.
I think my mother was reading her own story, and this is her story.
And then I started to read it again, and suddenly it hit home.
And there was this moment where she’s reading her story, the only time that she really gets to hear it.
I just started crying.
And so that moment is still with me, and when I see it, it just hits me.
It was a very important moment for me.
So I think that’s why I was so happy when I saw the picture, and you know how it was.
My father, John, was in the Marine Corps and I think he died in World Wars I and II.
I got to go home for Christmas.
I wasn’t allowed to stay.
I went back to my hometown of New Orleans and my father’s place, and they were all out on the town, and so I stayed with them and we got to see them