Right, everything is a little bit exaggerated, but for me it’s difficult to keep secrets from her. Although I am sure she has a couple of secrets for me, but that’s alright. I think that’s what I know about her, that she’s keeping secrets for me. For our family.
When I enter the house my brother is walking to me. He’s adopted from Indonesia, just like me, only four years earlier. Only his posture let you think otherwise, the boy is gigantic. Especially for an Indonesian. I guess it’s also the amount of potatoes and other Dutch and Western food we got from our parents. However, it didn’t had that kind of effect with me. I am the tiniest person in this household and I was lucky to have a big brother like Stuart. That’s his name, Stuart. Also really international. He’s a real sports guy. Always busy with soccer, later boxing, he took a study in management and physical education to start his own gym. So we’re both nothing like our parents, that’s for sure, but they never expected that from us. They taught us everything we need to know to manage our own life and business. Me as a freelance reporter and my brother as personal instructor.
‘Hey sis.’ He wraps his arms around me and gives me a small lift. ‘How are you?’
‘Good. I guess. And you?’
‘I am fine.’ He caresses my arm. He is always been the strongest of both of us.
‘Where is dad?’ I ask as I walk in the living room.
‘In his study of course’, my mom answers. ‘Where else? He will be her soon. There are some clients in deep shit.’
‘What?’ I start laughing with my brother. ‘Come on mom!’ I put my bag and camera on the dinner table.
‘No seriously, you won’t believe how many businesses don’t have their own business together.’ She waves our hand.
‘They don’t have dad as their husband’, I tease.
‘Yeah that’s right’, my mom laughs.
‘Mom, what’s wrong?’ I ask her. ‘Tell me, I think I know, but I need you to say it.’
‘Like you are.’ She’s putting some cups for tea on the kitchen counter. ‘Well, they have found some metastases, again.’
‘I thought so.’ I bow my head. ‘Where?’
She gives a deep sigh. ‘My intestines and stomach. I can have radiation and chemo, again.’
I look at my brother and see he already knows. ‘You can do that?’
‘I have no choice.’ Finally she looks up. ‘I am not a grandmother yet.’
‘She always finds a reason to continue her treatment.’ My father finally enters the building. A big tall man with white-brown hair and big dark glasses. He kisses my cheek. ‘There you are. Did your assignment went well?’
‘I guess.’ Now I don’t care about any assignment anymore and I walk away. With my bag I walk to a seating place in the corner of the living room. This has alway been my place. Where I did my reading or study. I always was the quiet one. Everyone knows and they leave me alone until my mom finishes the drinks for all of us.
‘Lynn, tea is here.’ My mom puts the tea on our table. ‘Don’t be sad, my love’, she says when I sit next to her on the couch. ‘Everything will be fine. We will be fine.’
All I can do is nod and handle tea she has put on the table. Immediately I notice how tired she looks. I don’t even know how tired I look. Not because of my mom, but because of the difficult world around me. Starting your career is one thing, but starting your career while a loved one is fighting cancer is another. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with my career as a photographer. I just wished the world would make it easier sometimes.