There was a time when I thought I was immune to the big C. Not really though, I am not so naive. I did feel I was blessed beyond measure since somehow, I had not been personally affected since my dear friend Patsy was diagnosed with cancer in 1982.
Patsy and I met in high school. We shared one class, bookkeeping. She had an accent. I was entertained and intrigued by her accent. We only spoke in class. I deemed her a nerd so I couldn’t hang with her throughout the day. She accepted that. Silly me.
Patsy and I became really good friends. She accepted me with my flaws and ignorance. I had no idea where she was from. We did not differentiate cultures and heritage we just connected and became bookkeeping besties. We graduated high school that was the end of our bookkeeping friendship. Patsy went straight to college, in Manhattan. I took a semester off and later enrolled in the local community college.
Six months later, guess who was enrolled in my classes? It was Pasty! Who knew we had a connection other than bookkeeping? In college, we bonded through dance. I no longer made fun of her accent. As it turned out she was a really smart Jamaican girl. Two years into our newfound friendship, which now lacked my ignorance, we were pals. We shared many meals, laughs, drinks, dance classes, and intellectual conversations. I went to visit Patsy, she shared she had been diagnosed with cancer. She was not afraid to die. I visited her often, before long she was gone. The events that led to her passing hit me like a ton of bricks. It was unfathomable how my dear friend was here and with what seemed like a sudden movement she was gone.
Fast forward to Thursday, January 9th, the big “C” made another appearance. One of our sisters fell ill. I was informed early November of her illness and with what seemed like a sudden movement, my friend Chana was gone. This too hit like a ton of bricks. I am fortunate to be in a circle of women who are intriguing, funny, smart, artistic, creative, beautiful, successful, supportive, and loving. We all stood to attention offering ourselves to comfort Chana’s family. SISTERHOOD!!! Chana and I were not the closest however I loved her nonetheless. The knowledge of her passing hurts. My heart aches for her family most of all for her daughter. I know the pain you are left with when you lose your mother. I know the empty hole that is in your heart and the aching that continues for years to come as you yearn to see and talk to your mother. I know all too well the pain never goes away. It is a pain that you force yourself to live with.
I will continue praying for the family. Praying they will find the strength needed to carry on, praying they will find relief in knowing our dear Chana is no longer suffering. Praying, her family will find solace knowing she will be with her Dad. Praying they find comfort in knowing that she poured her love into everyone she touched. Praying specifically for her daughter McKenzie. Praying McKenzie will find strength in the sisterhood and in knowing that her mother loved her with every inch of her being and is watching over her expecting nothing less than greatness. Push through little darling, push through!
In the loving gracious memory of Chana.
Love your people right now don’t wait, make amends today!
Give flowers while they can still enjoy them!