Life doesn’t come with a manual and no one ever tells you how to process death. Grief looks different on everyone. The emotional toll that a terminal disease has on a family is immense. I watched my mother take her last breath. I held her hand as she transitioned from this physical realm. And although it has been 10 years, today, the heartache still feels new. For a long time, I felt guilty for being away.

My mother was diagnosed with TNF breast cancer after I left for college. I can still feel the words echoing in my ear and the way my stomach dropped as the family informed me over the phone. I had just started my freshman year and was dealing with my own personal issues and heartbreak. I was away from my family and trying to maintain my grades in the midst of the most influential time in a teenager’s life. I didn’t know how to process it; and I was forced to ‘grow up’ at a young age.

I feel like I never got to ease into adulthood. I was violently thrown into it. I didn’t know how to have fun and live my best college experience. I was depressed. And angry. Always. I was mad at God. Mad because all these procedures and treatments never made her better. Mad because she no longer wanted to suffer. And I watched her fade away from a distance. All while I was learning how to be an adult. I felt guilty for having fun; for making good grades and being on the Dean’s list; for making friends; for making a future for myself and my career.

I watched the disease ravage her body, her mind, and her spirit. She became sad and somber. Less hopeful. She told me a few times that she was tired. And when she called to tell me that her doctors were moving her to hospice, it shook me to my core. But I noticed a sort of relief come over her. How could such a beautiful and vibrant person just decline so quickly? I was sad. I watched someone, who was passionate about life, about educating and learning, someone who went to work during treatment and still manage to give her students and family her all, fade away.

She loved us. I could tell when I came to her classroom and everyone knew me and my accomplishments. I could feel the love when she spoke about me and how all my pictures, drawings, and other personal belongings were scattered around her classroom. But she was tired. And I was angry at her. We agreed we would fight this! She was so strong. How could she do this to me? But she fought a good fight. Three years and endless rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and a double mastectomy later, she had finally won. 10 years ago, today, I looked into my mother’s eyes and told her how incredibly proud of her I was as our souls said their final goodbyes. I still see her face—her eyes looking right through me. I want to be that strong. To surrender completely, unafraid of the other side.

I think often about the time I wasted feeling angry or guilty. About the time I could never get back and about all the great moments and memories that she will never be a part of. And it makes me sad. Life is fleeting. Love transcends physical boundaries. It is like the glue that keeps our souls bound for all eternity. I want to love as fiercely as I live. My mom would want that. My only wish is that we had more time.

That is why Magic City Farms is committed to the fight against Breast Cancer and utilizing our brand to help strengthen our communities through research and education. We strive to make all our users’ experiences better with our oils and products. We share our personal experiences about this devastating disease to show how dedicated we are. Today, we stand in solidarity to celebrate the lives of all those who have fought the good fight.