Kate’s Thriver Story…….

Learning To Grow After Losing A Loved One……

When I was 10 years old, my parents, Bill and Chris, sat down my older brother Nathan and I to tell us that my mother had been diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancer. At 10 years old, there wasn’t much I could think of it; I knew nothing about cancer, except that it was bad. Soon enough my mom started going through radiation and chemotherapy, and it went on for years. There were years where we thought she might beat it but soon after, we learned more and more bad news; my mom slowly got weaker. On her sixth year of battling, the cancer had spread throughout her body, and she unfortunately did not survive.

Although I was in a state of denial for a period of time, losing my mom at 16 years old was incredibly difficult. I didn’t know how I should have been handling it and not having a woman to go to for teenage-girl advice was a struggle, yet it made me quick to mature. I did change as a person, but the way I carried myself became stronger than ever. I was angry and sad for a few years, but soon after came to accept that my mom was gone and wasn’t coming back.  

There have been plenty of nights where I cried myself to sleep, and car rides where a certain song came on and I broke down, but I never let any of that stop me from living my life the way I would have if she were still here. I kept looking forward because there was nothing I could do to change things, and sulking in my sorrow wasn’t going to get me anywhere. To this day, I have the very same mentality and it’s what gets me through all of my hard times. As easy as it is to feel sorry for yourself considering what you’ve been through, brooding in your own pity is one of the worst things you can do for yourself. If you have to tell yourself repeatedly that you’ll be okay, even if you don’t mean it, do it, because you will be okay eventually.

Everyone is unique and handles a crisis differently, however there is always something positive you can take away from any negative situation. In my case, I lost my mother at an age where I was just beginning to have relationships with boys, and therefore didn’t have a close female I felt comfortable approaching about it. Through the years and through the relationships I had, I was initially lost and didn’t know how a relationship was supposed to function, but I eventually became aware of my worth on my own and grew to be an independent, determined, and strong woman.

I personally think the key to getting through any hardship is having the appropriate mentality for it. It’s so easy to psych yourself out, to talk yourself out of something you’re scared to do, or to allow your sadness and fears to overcome any decision you make. Stay progressive in life and keep moving forward to pursue your dreams, no matter how out-of-reach they may seem. Using your past experiences as an excuse or as some kind of shelter from growing as a person, or maybe growing with a significant other is unhealthy and only creates more problems for you down the road. Take your rough past and use it as a learning experience to allow yourself to heal and find happiness, despite what you’ve been through.         


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