I was sitting at my desk just staring at the wall which is covered with pictures and quotes and documents that are important to me. I keep the program from my mother's memorial service on my wall but facing backwards. The back of the program holds a poem that I wrote in the final days of my mother's life. It was an attempt to find peace with knowing that she would soon leave this world and I didnt want to spend our final days with anger over her illness so I wrote this poem. Initially I was very angry with cancer for coming into our lives and changing everything for all of us. Little did I know that cancer would do so much for my family that I had to make peace with her illness if for no other reason than because she had already done so. My mother spent the last month of her life doing things she always wanted to do and I had no idea at the time she seemed to be checking off a bucket list. My family had been through so much prior to my mom being sick with arguments and sibling fall outs and parents separating, drugs, jail, me moving out at 15, and then some. Cancer truely changed the dynamics of my family and we are now such a strong unit that I am grateful.
Aside from losing her and telling my siblings that this time the cancer was terminal, this was probably one of the most difficult things I've had to do in life so far. It was so challenging to still put on a pretty smile and stand at the podium and read my poem to all the people who attended the ceremony in honor of my mother. I made a joke before reading it to get some energy to push through it but it wasn't long before the tears started and I got choked up. Joined by my baby sister on stage and now I believe also joined by my God, I found the courage to read this:
My Friend Cancer…
I don't hate you, I actually love you.
You gave me something I never thought I’d get back.
You gave me my family back with lots of beautiful additions.
You gave my mom an amazing voice that touched all who heard.
You showed my mom how to love open heartedly and express emotions.
You inspired my mom to motivate others and bring purpose to their life.
You took away my selfishness to allow me to be at her beck and call, as only a Queen like she deserved.
You taught me that life is too short and not to sweat the small stuff.
You’ve shown me that beauty is really skin deep. (Even without the hair and perfect smile, my Tia Clarke could still give any Diva a run for their money)
You showed me that in times of pain and sorrow, a little prayer never hurts.
You gave me faith to believe in myself and know that all happens for a reason and with passion and determination such as hers, I can get through anything in life and this too shall pass!
I thank you for giving my mother all of you on November 18, 2008 and finally giving her the peace that she needed. My mother will forever be with you so take good care of her…
My Friend Cancer!
Tia J Clarke 3.15.54-11.18.08
Just felt like sharing today. It may be a little challenging or twisted for some to understand, but when you have life (and death) experiences such as I have, you too will understand. Peace yall!