Erin Whitten is currently a junior in high school from Revere, Massachusetts. She has a strong passion for writing and is a blogger for Huffington Post! We were so happy that she shared her story with the Lori’s Hands community. Click here to read one of Erin's Huffington Post pieces.
When my mother died I was only eight. For a while, my life was a blur and I really didn’t know what to do. I was numb, and did not know how to function without the love of my nurturing mother.
It’s almost nine years later, and I still feel desolate. Now that I’m maturing, it’s hitting me harder than before. I am competing for colleges, taking rigorous classes, and I’m now realizing how much my mom’s death impacted my personality and the drive that I have today.
My high school experience has not been the best. I was a slacker freshman and sophomore year. I became determined that junior year would be different. I have kept my grades up and become focused on getting myself accepted into a college of choice. Seeing my mom battle MS and then cancer taught me that we are stronger than we think. I want to honor her memory, and make her proud.
I have many memories of me and my mom hanging out and being fools together. I remember one warm summer day, when we were at my brother’s little league game. My mom was very involved in our community, and that day she was working the concession stand. During the game, it began to massively storm outside. I remember as it began to pelt hail, my mom ushering me and my brother into the stand, and the three of us huddling inside the little shack together. I’m so thankful to have memories of her comfort, her strength, and her sense of humor.
Just as she had cared for us, we had the responsibility of taking care of her once she got really sick. Every day I would come home from school and take care of my dying mother. I’d help with her personal care, adjust her if she was uncomfortable, and make her as happy as she could be. My grandmother and my dad had the brunt of the caregiving responsibility, but my brother and I still attempted to help however we could. I like to think that the experience changed me, and that I’ve carried a piece of that sense of responsibility with me from a young age.
Just as we worked in those last months of her life to do everything in our power to bring her comfort, I live today with her always in the front of my mind – trying to shape a life she would be proud of, and that I can be proud of too.
Written by: Erin Whitten