I'm sad today. Very sad. Our family has seen 2 people we love, Uncle Mike (Ron's uncle) and my cousin Andrea lose their battles with a monster who plagues our families. It's called CANCER.
I hate it. Really hate it. It's a disease that has claimed too many in my life. First my father. Very young. 37 years young. Then my mom had it. She survived. My grandmother (mom's mother) died of it. An uncle died young of it. My brother has had it, Ron's family is riddled with it as well.
It's terrible. I honestly thought since my parents had it so young and the odds used to be 1 in 5 (now it's 1 in 3) and there were 5 of us kids one of us would be the one to get it young. It's a dark cloud on every birthday.
A worry. Although I am aware that heart disease kills more people than cancer and other things put together, for me cancer is my monster.
The first call came on Sunday. Uncle Mike had lost his battle. He was 86 and he chose to deny treatment. We knew he had decided this and was ready to go. Not easy but also a part of life, we all die eventually. We loved him, he was a wise cracker, wonderful man. A long full life he lived.
The second call- my cousin. Ohh. How hard. I had gotten a call on turkey day, telling me she was asking for me to come. And I went. Of course. My cohort in crime as kids, my friend, my cuz. Closest in age to me of her family of 3 sisters, our moms were close so often we were banded together to "entertain" each other.
Andrea was my buddy. I loved seeing her- always. We actually ended up with children who matched up perfectly, Camden and Kyle just days apart in age got along famously, as well as Kat and Jamie, who were only weeks apart in age. So our adult visits, although tamer in terms of us "mothers" were the fun revisited as kids by our children having a blast together.
So just when we were starting to behave ourselves and act like our mothers, I got word this friend of my heart and bloodline was battling the monster cancer- I was shocked. It wasn't good right from the start. But for 5 years she fought the fight, she wanted to live.
I am sooo thankful I went and saw her. It was hard. Not gonna lie. BUT when I walked in her room and she was laying down and I kissed her cheek and said "hi- isn't this a face to scare you when you open your eyes." She LIT up. Said "put me up." And she refused to succumb to the morphine fog any more than she had to, to visit with me.
She asked about the kids. I told her it was something rare to see me without them and did she want me to turn around to check if any were hanging on my back or to see if one was up my butt?? And she smiled. (She's used to my outrageous comments and expected them)
She followed this blog and my children, our growing family with love and acceptance for each addition we've gained.
I asked her if she was in pain. No. I asked her if there was anything she wanted to do before she went, anything she didn't get to do? (I knew she was 100% sure where she was going) And she said to me---
And I assured her- we were adopting Phoebe in her honor. We had her covered. She asked Phoebe's Chinese name. And I told her.
I helped her sign cards for her kids. For their weddings, their 18th birthdays, her sister's upcoming 40th birthday, her parents 50th wedding anniversary. All future events she will be "in on" from Heaven.
We weren't saying "give up the fight" -- no way-- we were just giving her peace in knowing if she had to go things were covered. Doing things that I would want done if I were in her shoes.
Her family celebrated Christmas Sat morning, because she wanted to make it to Christmas. And who says Christmas has to be December 25? I'm sure Jesus didn't mind that ONE BIT. So they gave her Christmas with her kids. And she was happy. She knew how loved she was.
And on Monday morning her fight ended. She became an angel. And the struggle continues in our hearts- how to accept she is gone.
How to comfort each other when there are no words to heal this. None. Finding acceptance that we have to go on without her and will see her again when our time comes. Seeing her sisters without HER.
My friend- my cuz Andrea, our uncle- funny man Uncle Mike, our losses are huge today. Our love for both these very special people will go on and on.
As well, we ask in honor of Andrea, a wonderful friend and my cousin, if you are thinking of adopting, thinking you will do it when you have- more time, more money, more space, more of whatever- DO NOT WAIT. Do it NOW.
JUST DO IT, in honor of an angel momma named Andrea, who wanted to but ran out of time:(