My childhood was all about happiness, love and togetherness with my family even though my father was not a part of it. In my home country, Eritrea, I remember holidays filled with the presence of my extended family. I was a happy, babbling child, enjoyed playing soccer and spending a lot of time with my family. Coffee was our center of attraction, the chit chats and laughter then followed in. My life was all fine until after my mom, my sister, and I moved to Kenya. Soon after, my childhood was coming to an end. Caring for my sick mom, running a household, and following through with our plans to move to the United States.
This event made my transition to adulthood. My mom was my most influential person in my life, she took care of my needs no matter what and shaped me to be respectful, humble and spiritual girl I am today. In her eyes I was always a baby ready to be cuddled. My mom, who was constantly falling sick, had been living with HIV for years. This had not stopped her from being the caring mother that she was who knew she had two girls to take care of and so she stayed strong, positive worked hard to provide for us. One day she discovered she had a blood clot on her leg.
We took her for a checkup and to our surprise she was diagnosed with a womb cancer, stage four. My sister and I had to take charge of our mom’s health, in a land far away from home where no family member was around. We had a mom to take care of and school to worry about. My sister stopped going to school and shortly I followed too. Several trips to the hospital with my mom, days in the hospital with her and serving the continuous flow of guests that came to visit. We held the fort down, paying bills, doing grocery shopping, cooking and most of all taking care of the most important person in our lives. After an attempt to do surgery failed, she was home until her next scheduled chemotherapy. She was home for 5 days; I remember it as if it happened yesterday.