Cancer Sucks

Please see my favorite Memorial Day post here.

In keeping with a promise I made on another blog, today my post will instead be to help a fellow blogger.

When I was nine years old, I had a best friend named Tae. Shontae Brown. She was the prettiest little girl in our neighborhood. She was really fragile and I think that made her seem ultra-feminine even at such a young age. When we used to play house together, I was always the one that had to be the boy. But, even Beyonce Knowles would feel like a boy next to Tae. Tae would play the mommy and I would play the daddy and her little sister would be the baby. And I’d say, “How come I never get to be the mommy, Tae?” And I swear, I never knew how she did it, but she’d talk me into being the daddy every time. If we had thought to bottle what she knew about the powers of persuasion then, I’d be richer than Oprah now. She even had the block bully wrapped around her little finger. Kept me from getting beat up lots.

I remember the picture my grandmother kept of her. She had on blue and she was wearing a scarf. And she was still the prettiest girl anyone had ever seen. Then, when she started wearing her hair out again, it was much shorter and it was an afro. But still, she was the prettiest, little thing. You couldn’t help but love her. Nobody could. We all loved her to pieces.

I remember her being the one who introduced me to lip glosses. Strawberry colored lip glosses. To this day, I still love lip gloss. I remember that in kindergarten, we used to giggle all day and get red x’s all over our test papers because we had no idea what we were supposed to be doing with them anyway. And I remember how to say the name of the boyfriend she had in kindergarten, “Kee-vest.” I thought that was an odd name…

And I remember that she would get sick. A lot. She would spike these really high fevers and her mother would come in and say, “Sweat it out, Tae. Just sweat it out.” I remember the last time we played house. I was the daddy, as usual. Tae was curled up on the couch, sweating her fever out, and ordering me and her sister around. Her family. Her fantasy.

Our time that day had to be cut shorter than usual because she just looked pretty bad. That day, I went home and lived life as usual.

Some time later…not sure anymore if it was a week or more…my mom answered the telephone. We had those really heavy, bell telephones then. They seemed to only come in two colors. Ugly mustard yellow and ugly camouflage green. When my mom hung up the phone, she said to me, “Stace…….Tae didn’t make it.” And I had no clue what she meant. I think I just looked at her funny because she said it again, “She didn’t make it.” I asked her what did she mean. What she said next was something I wasn’t prepared to hear.

“You know how Tae always gets sick?”
I said, “Yes.”
“Well, she didn’t make it this time.”
“I don’t understand what you’re saying.”
“Tae died, Stace.”
“What do you mean she died?”
“She had leukemia. She passed away today.”

I don’t think I remember anything else that she said. All I remember is feeling a lot of pain and crying very loudly for a very long time. I think it was the hardest, longest cry I had ever had up until that point. This was the first person I had ever known in my then short life that had died and it was my best friend. It hurt a lot.

I always wonder how things would’ve been if she had been around longer. I have seen friends where you never see one without the other. Frick-n-frack types. She was mine and while I’ve had friends come and go (some closer than others), I’ve never had a friendship like that since. I wonder if I would have still been a loner had I not lost my best friend.

I see her family from time to time. I don’t see them that often. But when I do, it’s all good. Her family is my family now. No matter how much I lost, I know that they lost even more. At Tae’s funeral, I remember her mom and grandmom having to be carried away from her casket. It was heartbreaking.

I had no clue that she had anything called leukemia. I didn’t even know what it was. And I don’t know that at that time they had treatments like chemotherapy. I wonder if she had been treated at all, and if not, would she still be here? Was it an insurance issue or a lack of treatments in the field, or was she so weak that her body couldn’t take it? To this day when someone says the word ‘leukemia’ I get a little on edge.

I wrote all of this to say that I hope that you will help one mother to win the fight against cancer for her child who was recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Please contact the author of the Manic Mother Blog here, to hear about her struggle, and find out how you can help her in this difficult time. Then, search your heart, and if you are able to help, please do so.

R.I.P., Tae.


~ by babystace on May 25, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: