cancer · death · mental health · self love


Growing up with divorced parents is hard enough. Especially when things seem to get torn apart. Once you get older the relationship changes especially with your mother. You notice that you have a lot of her mannerisms. Whether its you looking like twins or just being one of the same person. That how it was with my mom. Like any other mother and daughter relationship you fight and argue. But at the end of the day you hug it out and say how much you love each other. For the past year and 4 days my mom was battling leukemia. Then she contracted pneumonia.

She got admitted Thanksgiving of this year and I went down to be with her like I always do. She was doing good. She had shortness of breath but it wasn’t as bad as as we thought. My brother, nephew and his fiancé went to my brothers son’s championship game and we call her on Bluetooth just to talk about it. The last thing she said to all of us was “I love you all”. 4:34am 11/28/21 I got the worst phone call of my life

“Me- Hello?
MD- Hi is this Antoinette
Me- Yes it is. Is everything ok?
MD- Hi Antoinette this is Dr. Rivera with Shadyside Surgical ICU. I don’t have good news, Marianne is gone.
Me- Wait.. Wait do you mean???
MD- I’m sorry. But your mother passed away just a few minutes ago”

My silence was met with a scream I could only feel as my heart breaking. What do you mean she’s gone. We just talked to her earlier that night. What am I do to do now? I called my brother, dad, nephew, aunt, husband. Everyone I thought I had to call. I ended up speaking with the nurse that took care of my mom during that time and she said “Antoinette, Everything went so fast. She called out and said she wasn’t feeling too good so they agreed to put her on the bipap mask and when the nurse said “are you ready” She said my mom’s eyes went into the back of head and her heart stopped. My mom was a DNR with limited restrictions. So she did not want to be on a ventilator. The MD’s said she developed a rare lung disease and caught covid pneumonia. In my heart I feel it was something different than the covid but we have to wait until the autopsy results come back. We got to see her at the hospital. We had to gown up but she looked exactly like her self. It was so hard for me to leave her there. I never liked leaving her at all. I was always scared. The week leading up to the funeral was a complete overwhelming blur. But seeing all of the love from everyone that knew her I knew she was looking down saying “Oh we about to praise his name” and we did. The hardest thing to do was my siblings and nephew and aunt closed the casket. If I’m being honest I almost threw up right there.

Its been 2 weeks and my heart still feels shattered. I feel empty. I’ve tried to call her I don’t even know how many times because we talked so much. They say time heals all wounds. But this wound won’t ever be healed. I lost my best friend. We lost our matriarch and when you lose the glue of your family it makes the whole dynamic so off it doesn’t feel right. I ended up joining my mom’s home church. She’s been asking me for years to do it, I just never felt ready. But yesterday I did. I’m ready to see what she has in store for all of us and the teachings that we learned from her. If I have one request. If your mom is still alive and even if you two are fighting. FIX THAT SHIT NOW. Because I thought I would have able to call my mom the next morning but the only thing we could do is say “see you later”

Please pray from my entire family because this pain is so unbearable. But I made her a promise before we left her room and I promised her that I would not relapse. And as god sees fit me for to continue to live. I’m not taking one drink.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Always hug our family and tell them you love them no matter what.



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