My Mother Died 12 Hours After Being Diagnosed With Cancer



There is a scar that runs the entire length of my left arm, wide and treacherous at the elbow, then narrows to a thin white line as it cuts across my palm.

I was eight and running on the way to a baseball game with my father when I fell on some rocks in the parking lot. He slung me over his shoulder and carried me to the first aid station. It wasn’t until I watched him throw his blood-soaked jacket into a trash can and looked down at my arm, the bone popping out at the elbow, that I realized how hurt I was.

In October 2013, I was 30 years old, sitting on the floor of my room in my house in Portland, folding laundry, when my mother called to tell me she had pneumonia. I absent-mindedly folded a T-shirt while I asked her if she was drinking…

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