Sunday, September 9, 2012

"There are no good-byes, where ever you'll be, you'll be in my heart." – Ghandi

I'm contemplating goodbyes today.

There are several ways to say goodbye.  So long.  Farewell. Godspeed. Adios. Cheerio. See ya later, alligator. Until we meet again. Aloha. Shalom. Bye-bye. Ciao. Adieu.

It all means the same thing.  We are parting.  The duration of our separation may be hours, days, years, or a lifetime and we may be either glad or sorrowful for it, but it means we will have to do with out someone or something.

I am thinking about goodbyes today because I have one looming in front of me. My dear cousin, Lisa, is about to say goodbye.  Lisa has been battling cancer for three years.  She was diagnosed while she was still breastfeeding her second child.  The lump she thought was a clogged milk duct proved to be something much more.  Once given the diagnosis, she was proactive.  She had surgery to cut away the malignancy, chemo to kill the cells, she ate healthy and exercised...but this didn't stop the enemy from moving  and regrouping in her body.
The cancer took up residency in her brain.  More surgery, more chemo, more sickness and stress.  Still she fought.  She fought for her children, her husband, and all the other people out there going through the same daily battle.  Some days were good and some days were not.  

She got good news, the tumors were shrinking, and no signs of regrowth. It seemed as if she would beat the odds and kick the butt of this disease.  We were all hopeful that she would be in that 83% survival rate.  Then came a second report.  The cancer caused tumors weren't growing in the brain because they had found another part of the body to lay siege to.  Her spine.  The survival rate dropped to 23%.  But she held on to that percentage.
Still more chemo, nausea, weakness, deterioration of the body...but not the soul.  Through all the trials and tribulations, she kept her faith.  She prayed that she would be be deemed worthy enough to be granted a reprieve from the disease, but if she couldn't beat it she knew she would find consolation in the arms of God.  I envy that strength of conviction.  

Through it all, there have been tears and laughtercurses and praise, let downs and joyous moments.  I will weep when she goes.  Not for her, she has her path planned and it is a comfort for her and her family.  I will weep for me; that although tied by blood and shared memories, I hardly knew her. I will weep for her children who will have a empty space in their future life that she would fit in so perfectly.   I will weep for her husband, who was blessed with her love for all too short a time.  I will weep for the hundreds and thousands of people who will never get the chance to hear her laugh, see her smile, or feel her caring hands.

I hope we will meet again.  Until then, she will have a spot to call home in my heart.


1 comment:

  1. The only good thing about someone passing is that they will no longer feel pain. The pain we feel at our loss is lessened by love and time.

    Rest in Peace, Lisa.