I am an only child to young parents. They were barely 20 years old when they had me, which led to an extended family living situation so I grew up beside them, while my grandparents served as my second pair of parents until I went to boarding school at the young age of 13.
Before my ʻūniki 1.5 years ago, my mom called me in tears. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and she was scared. Over the course of the next 6 months, I would fly up to Honolulu, meeting my parents halfway, to attend the slew of doctors’ appointments, which coincided with her chemotherapy treatments. After chemotherapy, she underwent a double mastectomy and a stint of radiation. When she came through everything, we were told to hang tight for 6 months to make sure she was was out of the woods and being that my mom has been an avid runner for a long time, we were optimistic, but during recent check-ups, tests revealed that cancer had shown up in her liver and this time, there was less to be optimistic about. Unlike her last round of treatment, chemotherapy this time would merely slow down the process, but ultimately, there was no way of “beating it”.
Last year, it seemed much easier to stay strong for my parents. They could rely on me and we could be cautiously optimistic together. Now, days feel numbered and finality is much closer than I’ve ever imagined. I am reminded that in getting older, so too are my parents and that I am not a child anymore, but to my parents, I always be. Time is precious and waiting until “later” is no longer a luxury we have.
My mom has overcome so much over the course of her life, being a young parent and the many illnesses she’s endured, but she’s always been positive and always made sure people around her were at ease. I admire her for making the best out of her life, but mostly, I admire her for serving as my role model, encouraging me to be the best person I can be, all the time.
Find us on social media outlets and get to know the Holoholo Girls better!