To the average Penn State student, the fourth of September of 2018 was a day like any other. A Tuesday early in the semester, the weather in State College, Pennsylvania was perfect, and the buzz of a promising football season (coupled with a narrow victory the week before) permeated campus. It was around 2 o’clock in the afternoon when I received a call I had been dreading but, unfortunately, expecting.
My mother had died.
For the past four years, my mother, Cheryl, had battled stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Over the course of her illness, the disease had spread throughout her body, rendering her progressively weaker as time wore on. Always peaceful, those who did not know she was sick would later remark that they had no idea of the extent of her illness. So willing was her embrace of the Cross she was given that the priest who administered Viaticum to her remarked on his way out of the house that he “had never seen a soul so at peace.”