• Jajuan Michael Harley

Death. Cancer. Dream.

Updated: May 16




The day my Daddy died, I became who he groomed me to be. The day my Mama became a breasts cancer patient, I did what a man would do. The day my dream began facing adversity, I realized what I was made of.

Death

Two days after my birthday in 2018, I received a call from my Mama saying, “He died.” My Daddy was a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Mechanic providing for his family when he contracted lung disease. It happened during a chemical explosion and he inhaled asbestos. The doctors tried pushing a transplant on him. The transplant didn't guarantee more than five years of life. For 17 years, he fought with oxygen tanks and medications. How did he do it? By not complaining, having a backbone, never giving up and keeping the faith. I bet you can see the resemblances.

Cancer

Within 10 months, my Mama lost Daddy after being married for 34 years, her oldest brother died and she is diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery to remove both breasts and is currently going through chemotherapy to kill the remaining cancerous cells. No, it's not easy on her but her beauty along with her strength are contagious. Mama’s spirit has a purpose. It whispers into my heart saying, “blessings will rain on to those who can praise in the dark.” My Mama is the sweetest lady. She’ll put others before her to make sure they are okay, especially her kids. She taught me how to put loved ones before myself. I did not hesitate to be there for her. As a man and son, it is my responsibility to put my mother first. There is no room to be selfish. What kind of son would I be if I chose my dream over my Mama? Many people will question my decision but remember “boys do what they want and men do what they have to.”

Dream

I would have never guessed that my life would be a big, scary and slow rollercoaster ride. I did not expect to go through hell. I had a heat stroke with two swollen kidneys, and I was told by coaches, “I am going to break you and you will play how I want you to play.” After I won Most Improved Player, I was told by coaches “you should’ve went to sleep last night,” although they knew my Daddy had been rushed to the hospital during the game. I can go on a spree, but here is not the place. Professionally, I have been paid $0, $75 or $181 per game. I love the game so much that I have no reason to complain. To this day, I look at my situation as sacrifices for success. What I face daily, does not stop me from believing greater is coming and working toward my goals. The adversity I face makes the journey to light so much sweeter. Stay encouraged!



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