My Hero who had the Courage to Shine
By Ashley Rogalske
Courage gets you anywhere. I’m going to tell you about someone I knew who had a lot of courage. This person didn’t only give courage to herself, she gave courage to so many other people around the world. This special person is my very own mother. In 2007, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Let me tell you, it’s been a rough 5 years. She battled through chemo therapy, radiation, surgeries, and so much more. However, throughout it all, God was shining through her.
My mom had a shirt that represented her courage. It was orange with a bright sun in the middle of it. It also had black words that said “Courage to Shine” across the front. Our friends created that t-shirt for us, and the reason why they chose the words “Courage to Shine” is because before my mom went into her first surgery, she posted on her blog, “Put on your sun glasses because God is going to shine brightly through me!” She was right. God shined through her. I could definitely see Him.
One night, I went to go visit my mom in Hospice. My dad wanted me to say a final goodbye to her before she went to be with Jesus. The first instant I saw her, my heart took one giant leap. She looked very sick and miserable. She did not look like herself anymore. I went closer to her, and the instant she saw me, she gave me the biggest smile of the day. Her eyes gleamed as they looked into mine. I could see Jesus shining right through them. She was halfway to Heaven. She was so close to running into Jesus’s arms. I was not allowed to cry, because I did not want to make her cry. She was content, and I wanted her to stay that way. The last good-bye I said to her would have broken the heart of the worlds toughest criminal. I ran out of the room into my dads arms and bawled. Just imagine walking out of glass doors, knowing that you will never see your mother again until the day you walk into Heaven. It seems tough just to imagine, but it’s even tougher experiencing it.
Every year, there is an event called “Relay for Life” at the West Ottawa High school track. It is an event where you walk laps around the track to find a cure for cancer. There are so many teams there, and they try to raise money to find a cure for cancer. I have gone every year for the past 4 years. Last year, I walked seven teen miles for my mom because I promised her that I would. At the time, she was in hospice. Knowing that she was there, I wanted to walk so much for her, I knew that she could not be cured, but that didn’t stop me from walking. At around 9:00 at “Relay for Life”, there is a walk called “The Candlelight Walk.” It is where everybody writes the name of either cancer survivors, or of people whose lives have been taken away from cancer. Then, we put candles in them and place them all around the track. After that’s all done, everyone walks around the track and remembers everyone who has passed away, and say prayers for the people who currently have cancer. As I was walking around the track, my mom passed away in Hospice. I didn’t know at the time, but later I learned. I will never forget the moment when my dad came up to me and said “She’s gone.” I felt like the whole world had just caved in on me. I will always remember my mom because she always had the courage to shine by just giving me a little smile. Mom, your my hero, and I want to dedicate this whole paper to you. I love you, miss you, and I’ll see you soon.