Growing Pains by Arcel Cunanan, Part 1

I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was around 5:00 a.m. on the gloomy Monday morning of October 3, 2005 when my mom woke up with a terrible migraine. She was a tough cookie who was very stubborn when it came to her health, so instead of taking care of her pounding head, she decided to get ready for work. After getting out of the shower, she went up to my grandma who immediately knew something was seriously wrong.

My mom was extremely pale and began to gag as she complained about her head. Somehow my grandma was able to drag her up the narrow staircase and sit her on the edge of the couch. I woke to the frightening sound of my grandma barging in through my door, screaming in an unpleasant voice, “Arcel! Arcel! Wake up! Get up now!” The sound of the panic in her voice was all too familiar. Flashbacks flew through my mind of the morning my great grandma died.

I ran through my house assuming something happened to my grandpa, afraid I would find him dying on our couch just as my great grandma did. After all, ever since I was a kid, I always thought nothing could ever hurt my mom. She was young, smart, beautiful and strong. She was “superwoman.”

I was shocked to find her sitting on the couch, helpless and weak. At that second, I just lost it. Black eyeliner from the night before ran down my face as I cried in terror, panicking, not knowing what to do. All types of overwhelming emotions were running through me. I couldn’t help but expect the worse. My brother dialed 9-1-1 while my little sister held our mom, screaming and crying in confusion.

“I feel like my head is going to explode.” Those were the last words I thought I would ever hear my mom speak. Her eyes rolled all the way back into her head as she passed out on the couch. I grabbed her and yelled, “Mom! MOM! Wake up! Please wake up!” Nothing. No answer. No movement. I thought I had lost my mom and best friend forever. And just like that, without any warning, my life changed significantly.

To be continued…

The Guardsman