My mother, Lisa Dubois, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in February of 2011; by July 2012 she had passed away. My mother was my best friend. She was the first person I wanted to call whenever anything important happened in my life and the person I called when I had 5 minutes to spare and just wanted to talk.
When things started to get bad for her, I was in my last semester of law school, preparing to take the bar. I had no idea just how bad my mother’s prognosis was because she stayed strong and positive for me the entire time.
The summer after I finished law school, before I took the bar, I decided to go home to spend time with my mother while I studied. That summer she was my rock, encouraging me with my studying, supporting me, and entertaining me when I needed study breaks.
Two weeks before I was set to take the bar, she asked me to take her to the hospital. That’s when I learned how bad things were and that she didn’t have much time left. I spent the last two weeks of studying in the hospital with my mother and even as she got progressively worse, she still fussed at me about studying and encouraged me to do my best and told me she loved me which was the best thing I could hear at the time.
She passed away during the first half of the first day of my bar exam. I was told that if I didn’t finish the test, I would have to wait until February to retake it. I knew that was something my mother wouldn’t want, so I finished that day and returned the next. When I found out a few months later that I had passed the bar, I couldn’t help but think of my mother, my angel, had a hand in that. I was blessed to be able to spend the last few months of my mother’s life with her.
When my mother first told me she had colon cancer, I was in shock. I, of course, immediately thought about what losing her would mean for my life. At the time, I was in my second year of law school and was away from home. I worried about my mother going through this alone. I went home for her first chemo treatment a few weeks after her diagnosis and that was the moment it all became real for me.
My mother always kept a positive outlook on life. I never felt like she had given up, even during those last two weeks she was in the hospital. During the weeks that followed her passing, I felt that I needed to be strong like she was so that was the part of her I carried with me and still do until this day.