The many ways we say goodbye

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This week has been a week of events. It started off by receiving word that a friend I met in middle school is getting a divorce. We got married a month apart. I even wore her wedding dress on my wedding day. I used many of her wedding decorations at our reception. We had our first children less than a week apart. Though I had not spoken to her for quite a while I some how have wondered if there was something wrong in her marriage for a while. I wish them both the best, that the Lord will guide them as the road a head is so difficult.

Then today I received word that a woman I knew has passed away after her third case of cancer. Cathy Burger. Cathy was 69 years old. She died this evening, finding out this summer that the cancer was terminal. She had such a smile and a desire to overcome. I will miss her. I first met her in the Corvallis 1st ward. Her husband and her had just joined the church. I soon moved away. It was five or so years later, that I learned she moved into my ward. We didn't talk much then, and she didn't attend church much either. It was not until 2005, when my calling sent me to her house. She had just returned from Seattle with a three month battle with the surgery due from bladder cancer. It was at this time that I really got to know her. We visited often, some times weekly depending on how she was doing. She love my kids and they love her. I loved our chats, but most of all her beautiful smile. She was so optimistic. About three years ago she and her husband moved to Seattle, to be with the doctors she trusted so much, as she was then battling lung cancer. She over came yet another time. It was not until June that I learned there was again cancer. Lung again, but this time it had spread beyond and was not curable as was the first two. The Seattle Cancer Care center has a patient blog that is private, that she invited me to be part of her support group. It was was hard hearing how quickly the cancer took her life from her, yet I cherish these last moments with her. I just wished I was closer to giver her a hug. She posted when she found out she had only months to live. She posted when she tried chemo pills and then had to stop, because she was too ill. She had great days and lots of not so great. The last month, a lady named Julie wrote all her entries for her and read her the comments she received. I wished I had posted more. I just did not know what to say. It is hard to know the right words when life is being ripped away right before her eyes. One doesn't know what to make of the word months. Does that mean 6 or 18 or in this case less than three months to live? I just wish I had reached out more.

Well with all my ramble. I can say I care for both of these women. I am so much better having known them. They are remarkable. May the Lord take care of them both now as they have very different journeys ahead of them. I know the Lord is watching over both of them



Amanda Davis August 28, 2009 at 10:53 AM  

This is such a sweet posting. It is hard to watch those we love suffer and be lost... My heart goes out to all of you!