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An Unbreakable Spirit by: Brittany Guy Standing

An Unbreakable Spirit by: Brittany Guy Standing

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Published by: brittanyjguy on Mar 17, 2010
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05/27/2010

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An Unbreakable SpiritBy: Brittany GuyStanding beside the man of my dreams in the perfect white gown withmy father reading our vows, I glance behind me to the crowd. I see anempty chair with a white rose on the front row. White is the color of remembrance. The empty chair is a reminder that someone significantenough for the front row was not there on the most important day of my life. Then, as the sun beamed down and reflected off the crystal blue waters of Lake Lure, I knew that she was there. She just didn’t take her seat. Thirteen years ago, on a typical Wednesday night, I jumped out of theDurango and ran across the parking lot towards the church doors. Before Imade it inside, I heard a piercing scream and turned to see my mother fall tothe pavement and begin to shake. I was only nine years old. I didn’tunderstand seizures, but I knew that something terrible had happened. Asmy aunt pulled me away, my father scrambled to recall the emergencynumber. Ambulances and first responders swarmed the church, and my auntand uncle rushed me and my sisters to the hospital. Mama was transportedto Wake Forest Baptist Hospital by helicopter.At that moment, everything in my world seemed to be crashing down.I remember wondering if my mama was going to survive and if my life wouldcontinue without her. As I sat with my sisters in the family waiting area, wetalked and played checkers. Different family members brought us food and
 
games because we spent all day at the hospital for a while. Surprisingly, Ihave happy memories of this time spent with my sisters. I can rememberhaving fun, playing with my grandmother, and walking downstairs to orderpizza from the pizzeria. Every evening, we would make the hour drive hometo Surry County to spend the night with my aunt and uncle. I used to hatethose drives. It was always dark, and no one really knew what to say. Myeyes would fixate on the shiny green sign that said “421-N Yadkinville. “In a few days, Mama was able to go home. She seemed fairly normalactually. We talked and laughed. She ate with us, and life seemed to beback in place. Then, as she began to receive radiation treatments, I couldtell that she was tired. Some days, she was Mama again, and on others, shewas barely conscious.I can still remember her tears when she began to lose her hair. Mymother had beautiful hair. It was full and blond, always styled, and fell justright. She was the perfect curvy, blond-haired, blue-eyed woman. However,as weeks passed, more and more of her beautiful blond locks came outleaving her bare skin showing on the left side of her head. She wasembarrassed and hurt. Looking back, I can only imagine how hard this musthave been for her. As a young woman, I cannot imagine losing my hair. Ittruly is a part of my identity. It broke my heart to see my mama cry.Mothers are not supposed to cry or be upset. They are supposed to hug andcomfort children when they are troubled.
 
Once she decided that she was not going to hide out from the world,she had a special wig made that closely resembled her old hair. She gotready in the mornings and lived her life as normally as possible. Mama wasa strong woman, who faced life’s toughest battles with very few breakdowns.I would have been crying every night, begging God for an answer to all myquestions. I would have been angry that I was chosen to carry this burden,but Mama stood up in church and thanked God for giving her the strength tofight this battle. I knew then that I was sure not like my mother.As months passed, life settled and became similar to the life we allknew. Heather and I played sports at school, and Mama came to everygame. She usually got a little upset with the referees when she thought theywere being unfair. In softball, she coached 1
st
base and told the girls when tostop or keep running. I was so happy that the beautiful, blond lady who mayhave looked a little different was still my mama. The doctors told her thatthe radiation treatment was successful and the tumor was vanished. Iremember being so thankful that God had given Mama back to me. It wouldnot have been fair for a little child to lose her mother.Now years passed by before my eyes. I had moved to Central MiddleSchool. I made the school teams in volleyball, basketball, and softball. Mylittle sister was still in elementary school, while Heather was in high school.My oldest sister, Sharia, was finishing her teaching degree and alreadymarried. Our family had definitely changed, but the changes were the

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