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I Want to Tell You Guys a Story

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Sherb, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Sherb

    Sherb Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    I've only made a couple of threads so far in 2019, and I've been a lot less active than I have been in past year. Life gets in the way. But I felt it an appropriate time to tell a story about when I was growing up.

    I went to a very small school from age 12 until I graduated high school and started college. It was a public school, low budget, little blue building nestled in the middle of nowhere in the Carolina mountains. The high school was 200 kids, and the elementary and middle schools (ages 4-12) were another 200.

    My mom, who passed from cancer a few years back, was the fifth grade teacher. Not a, the. The only one, that's how small this place was. I started there in sixth grade, so I never had the privilege of having her as my teacher. But she was incredible. And I feel bad for those other kids who only got to have her for one year, because she taught me so much for 26 years.

    High school was a strange time of growth and acceptance for me. When I started, I was a nerdy, hideous looking 14-year old who was underweight and lacked many social skills. By the time I graduated four years later, I was the first two-time student government president, was dating the most popular girl in school (who is now my wife), got along with virtually everyone, and had a nice list of accolades.

    Through all of these changes, I would always ride into school with Mom early in the morning, and ride home with her after the day was over. It was 15 minutes twice a day where we could just chat. Most of it was meaningless, but looking back I am so glad that I had that time.

    I owe a lot to that small school in the middle of nowhere. But my greatest experience from those days was something I wasn't even there to witness.

    Mom was diagnosed in mid 2008. The day that they dropped me off for college she had a mammogram, and the next day I got a very rough phone call that they found cancer. A lot of it. At the time, I had no idea what "Stage 4 Triple Negative" meant. I do recall doing a ton of teary-eyed research immediately after and seeing a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent. They gave mom six months to a year to live, and I was two hours away at college without the means to travel back and forth. I remember thinking to myself "Why her?" To this day, I still ask this.

    She walked right past that six month mark, and then the year mark. Here is a post I made in a short thread in August 2016:

    She died a month after I wrote that, missing my sister's wedding by one week. But the adventures she got to take, and the experiences she got to live through in those eight years...

    Ten years ago last week was early spring in 2009. I was in college. My wife was a senior at that school. My sister was a sophomore. Everyone at that place loved Mom, both as a teacher and as a person. The messages and phone calls and letters I received with condolences when they learned of her diagnosis were overwhelming and emotional.

    And if there was one thing that tiny little low budget school knew how to do well, it was come together. Mom walked into the gym one morning thinking she was going to an assembly about not driving drunk or something to that effect.

    Imagine her surprise to walk in to see every single student and teacher covering up both sides of the bleachers, and all of them wearing pink with messages of support for Mom's fight. From what I was retold, it was like something out of a movie, where the whole place bands together for a cause. Except it was real.

    There was a good hour and a half of people passing a microphone around telling Mom how much she meant to them. My Dad was there, and he was almost able to get a full sentence out before he broke down. Everyone wore their pink shirts all day that day, custom made with messages that all said "We Love You". The local newspaper picked it up, and she was a headline.

    The ten year anniversary of that event last week got a nice memorial blurb. A piece of it read: "...in a supportive effort to remind her that she is not alone in her fight against breast cancer." And she really wasn't. I will never forget her happiness that weekend when I went home as she told me all about it.

    And that Friday evening she realized she forgot a stack of papers she had to grade, so I drove her to that small blue building and we had our very last on-the-way chat. We talked about life and mortality. She told me she was proud of me, and as I parked the car in our driveway after coming home she said "You've done great, John. I'm so glad I was around for it all." Spring 2009 was nine months post-diagnosis, so in her head, she surely thought time was closing in.

    Fast forward through another seven and a half wonderful years of ups and downs and turmoil and absolute adventure. Mom is on a hospital bed, finally coming to terms with this actually being it. It was her 53rd birthday, and she was adamant that she wanted to get through the day. That night she become unresponsive save for some hand squeezes. We spent the whole next day with our extended family at bedside. Eventually, we each got a chance to say goodbye.

    The last thing I said to her was "You've done great, Mom. I'm so glad I was around for it all."

    She was wearing her pink shirt they gave her that day that said "We Love You". And we sure did. She passed that night, and ever since I have had this massive piece missing from my heart. But so many of the best moments of her life, and of my life, can be attributed to that tiny, poor little school in the mountains. The place where I never thought I would fit in. The place I grew up in. And the place that, no matter where I end up, I will always refer to as home.
     
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  2. mhtro

    mhtro Supreme Member

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    I am sorry for your loss. This made me appreciate my mother more, you never know what you have until you lose it.
    Going to give her a call right now.
     
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  3. Walahen

    Walahen BANNED BANNED

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    Internet is a Friend
     
  4. high mike

    high mike Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thank you for sharing.

    I am also going to pickup the phone!
     
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  5. Infinite Dream

    Infinite Dream Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks for sharing Sherb, it must have been tough writing this.
    Suddenly I have this desire to call my mom now.
     
  6. SteinsDG

    SteinsDG Newbie

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    You've done great, Sherb. Thanks for all your contributions to BHW. We're sorry for your loss.
     
  7. almir2015

    almir2015 Registered Member

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    This cancer thing is following me whole day. Earlier this morning, I found out my fist cousin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and prognosis for that bastard are pretty bad.

    I'm sorry for your loss mate, my wife is breast cancer patient too, but it thankfully, looks good. 5 years and no problems so far.
     
  8. John4life2017

    John4life2017 Supreme Member

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    Written from the heart. Sorry about your mom's loss.
     
  9. Heiko

    Heiko Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hope you are doing fine, man - Sometimes life just hits you with a brick in the head and oh well, i guess life hit you with a brick this time.
    Recover soon, if you need someone to talk to then feel free to hit me up! Otherwise RIP for your mother and take care!
     
  10. thescrrr

    thescrrr Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This was incredibly emotional, sorry for your loss :(
     
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  11. TheVigilante

    TheVigilante Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I know how it feels man lost my father in 2016 start and came as a shocker to everyone.
     
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  12. sofiamaria

    sofiamaria Newbie

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    Your story is so sad and emotional, It is so heartless, God bless you, Don't worried.
     
  13. LightningKing

    LightningKing BANNED BANNED

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    Amazing story, thank you for sharing this.

    My eyes are in tears right now and it makes me feel extremely grateful for this beautiful life.
     
  14. Sherb

    Sherb Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Appreciate the well wishes, but no need for condolences. It's been quite a long time since all of this happened. Instead, here were a few other memories from that little blue school:
    • Freshman year the biggest guy in our class had been bullying the smallest guy in our class, until one day in gym class when the small guy got sick of it and punched him right in the face. Problem was, it was a super weak punch and his wrist just kinda bent and brushed against his nose. However, the bully was knocked out of balance and proceeded to fall backwards at a weird angle and break his leg. Sounded like a bat hitting a baseball, the crack just echoed through the gym. Small guy was transferred to the larger high school in the area. But his look of satisfaction as the bully wailed for minutes as everyone crowded around seemed like it was enough.
    • My favorite teacher was our calculus teacher. He didn't like many of the other teachers, and preferred the classroom that was in the makeshift mobile home behind the school. He was the closest thing there to a college professor in the way he taught. This man was incredibly intelligent, and would get through the required class material in 20 of the 55 minutes. For the remainder of the time, he would teach us astronomy, physics, and more earth science than we received in actual earth science. I sent him an invite to my wedding and his only question was "Can I wear jeans?"
    • I was the set drummer in our ragtag, bring-your-own-instrument high school band. I used a drum set that was left to decay in a back closet, as I didn't have one of my own. I was alright on the drums. Nothing special, but I picked up on things very quickly. Our very last performance senior year, me and another member had a drum battle that took place in the middle of the song "Wipe Out". It was a back and forth type battle, and on my first fill one of my sticks hit the snare rim and snapped in half. I tried to grab it and ended up with some good cuts in my hand. 300 people were watching, so I just tossed the other stick and played using my hands for the rest of the battle. Got blood all over the drum heads, but also got a standing ovation at the end.
    • Every year like clockwork, two of the 200 students would get in terrible car accidents on the windy mountain road leading to the school. No more, no less. I was one of those 200 my senior year, flipping my brand new car and totaling it good. One of my classmates was the first responder on scene. One of the teachers was the volunteer fireman. It was a very small community. Three years later, my sister was one of the 200 as well, flipping six times and landing upside down in a creek bed beside the road in a little Honda Fit.
    • Early on in my high school years there was a senior kid who was even more "redneck" than most of my other classmates. One day, people were all excited because there was a bald eagle perched on top of one of the few power poles bringing electricity to the building. This kid proceeds to walk over to his ratty old truck, grab a gun from the gun rack inside on the back window, and shoot and kill this bald eagle. It landed on the roof of someone's Civic. He didn't even get over to it before the student resource officer kneed him right in the spine and held him on the ground. He was 18, so got some time for firing a gun on school property, bringing a gun onto school property, and killing a very endangered species. What an idiot.
    • I ran track. Our school was too poor for an actual track to practice on, so we used our gravel parking lot. We didn't have a long jump pit, so we just jumped the first base line on the baseball field. We had to take turns with one shotput and one discus. We didn't even have hurdles, so the three of us who participated in that event would practice by jumping over homemade PVC pipe hurdles. We rode a dilapidated old short bus to meets, and sat in the sun with our faded uniforms while many competing schools rolled up in tour buses with huge tents and a plan of action. We still did pretty well. The last 220 hurdles race senior year we ended up in three of the top five positions, and our fastest guy broke the state record in the 400m dash.
    • I also ran cross country. After practice, a lot of times there were four of us who would be sitting around waiting to go home. This was around 2006 or so, when "parkour" was starting to get popular a little bit. So we would do that all over the tiny little campus. Until one day one of them got their hand stuck in a grate while trying to launch over a railing and snapped their wrist. There was no cell signal and all the teachers had left except Mom, so we had to sit there while he whimpered and wait for his Dad to roll up.
    • My first kiss came on the last day of sophomore year. There was this girl I had been friends with since the day I started at that school at 12 years old. As time passed and puberty hit, we got more and more flirty with each other. On the last day of school that year, they brought a fire truck onto the soccer field and let us all have a massive slip n slide on the hill by the field. When it was all over, they played Alice Cooper's "School's Out" on the intercom, and that was it. Most people cleared out immediately. That girl walked up to me out of nowhere, gave me the most amazing kiss, and told me to wait for her until school started again. Being the idiot I am, I went off to a month long summer camp and strolled out of there with a girlfriend that I had known for all of three days and then never saw again. School started again and she was not thrilled. Messed up on that one. Her family moved to Kentucky a couple months later. She's got two kids now and seems very happy.
    • Our computer class was a joke. We learned a little bit of HTML, and the rest of it was basically "Here is how to use PowerPoint and Excel". The teacher was good, though. She was very laid back and let us get away with a lot. Remember, poor forgotten public school, so our computers were incredibly old and outdated, even by 2007's standards. Eventually, I figured out a way around the blocks and downloaded the trial of Age of Empires II with one map onto our shared drive. It became a race to see who the first eight would be to log in and have a massive death match style battle. One day some person joined with a username I didn't recognize and just decimated all of us. Afterwards we looked around confused to see the teacher smirking at us from her desk.
    I'll post some more up next time I take a break from content writing and yard work.
     
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  15. Aluminium

    Aluminium Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Who's cutting onions? Going to go and call my mom now..
     
  16. zigzagzig

    zigzagzig Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I'm crying.
     
  17. deal with it

    deal with it Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    on the other hand, my mom is complete drama :D
    its okay
     
  18. SpezzNacci

    SpezzNacci Senior Member

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    I'm so sorry for your loss man :/ This actually made me cry and realise that I need to value more my time with my parents. I just went downstairs to hug my parents. Thank you for the share and once again,I'm truly sorry for your loss.
     
  19. Pro-Hustler

    Pro-Hustler Regular Member

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    The only person who doesn't talk shit behind you. A fragment of what we are... Mum:)
     
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  20. Geasy

    Geasy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I am sure this will be the thread that I will never forget for the rest of my life from this great forum. I am so glad that we have people like you in this tiny space area of the Internet.

    I am not a very emotional person, but tbh I was very touched while reading it.

    She's watching you at the moment proudly.
     
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