Monday, October 18, 2010

Privileged, beyond measure

I have been blog silent for a few weeks, not because of lack of things to post, simply because the words would not come.  This is what has been pacing back and forth across my brain the past few weeks. Hard things to grapple with, hard things to write about, important things to share...

On Friday October 1, 2010 a friend and I boarded a B.C. Ferry to head to Campbell River. Not a pleasure cruise by any stretch of the imagination, leave on an 8 am, return at 11:20pm, home after midnight.  Travel up island about 2 hours, attend the service, mingle, then return to the ferry terminal, journey home, it was a very long day in deed.   A very draining day, both emotionally and physically but a very privileged day.  A day to stand beside friends in their grief, to support, to love and hopefully by merely just being THERE encourage just a little.  A day I will not regret ever!

Cancer - oh how I hate you, oh how the mere mention of your name sends shivers down my spine, tears well up and my stomach knots.  As much as I hate to say it you won again... I have no choice, you stole precious life, sucked a mommy from her kids and a wife from the arms of her adoring husband.  The hurt is deep, the journey to recovery long.  When will you stop?  It has to stop! 

Cancer may have won this battle, but Victory was sweet in a life well lived, well loved and well blessed. I did not know Sandy that well face to face but learned to love her via her blog.  Her husband is a long ago friend from our college and career days at church, her brother & sister in law some of our dearest friends "aunt & uncle" to my kids.  Our paths did not cross often, but the connections are there, the connections are deep, the pain is there, the pain is deep.  Sandy and I were first diagnosed with in the same year, different forms, different areas of our bodies, very different treatment plans, sadly very different outcomes.  In all honesty I feel a little guilty, why do some survive and others succumb? So not fair.

An insert in the service bulletin asked us to write our first memory, or a fond memory of Sandy.  What a great idea, what a great treasure for her family for many years to come.  As I sat thinking of what to write, or even what my first memory was, I recalled... 

My first job out of high school was at a Christian book store in Burnaby, a 30 - 40 min bus ride from home.  Almost daily about 2/3 into my trip, a red headed girl would get on, we would smile and just recognize that we were route regulars.  For months, she would get on we would smile, I would go back to reading my book and she would pull out hers.  There is something comforting in the familiar.  Then one day at a college and career function there she was with her boyfriend... we looked at each other and smiled, then started to laugh - and introduced ourselves. Surprising those there with the instant connection. We now had names to put with the faces we saw almost daily.  That boyfriend became her husband several months later and they moved away.  It is a small world, one never quite knows how the pieces of the puzzle are going to fit together, or how many degree's of separation there truly are, and it never ceases to amaze me how it does. 

My heart broke as we sat and her 11 year old son's sobs could be heard through the 100' & 100's & 100's of guests present.  Then rejoiced as her 8 year old daughter got up and danced, then later sang with her grade 3 class songs about heaven.  Family, long time friends & students spoke of a life well lived, a heart that loved God above all and her family next to none. Of a woman who loved words, music and the arts but most of all loved to share a good meal and laugh with friends.  Privileged were those who knew her face to face, as well as I who have known her from afar.  Rest in peace Sandy.  May you enjoy many days of dancing and singing and much good food, free of pain, free of illness free to be you!  We know you are there getting the party ready for that day we are all there to enjoy it with you.

No comments: