One year ago, my cousin, Stephanie, died of breast cancer. We had no idea that she had it, no idea that she was ill. It spread from her breast to her liver and there were so many complications so quickly that she got worse and ended up in a medically-induced coma. I remember holding her hand and talking to her like she could hear everything that I said but I don’t know if she could, really. I’m assuming that she heard me when I told her, comically, that it was the first time that I could talk without her interrupting me and that, if she could, I wouldn’t be able to finish a sentence without her laughing with that contagious laugh of hers or her interrupting me before I finished the story.
I remember a lot from those hours in the hospital. It was very difficult for me and I won’t go into much about that part of it because this is for Steph. I’m remembering her. When I was about 2-years-old, my older sister got really ill at 4-years-old. For the next six years, she spent quite a lot of time (with my mother by her side) in hospitals, medical centers, and the like. She passed away at the age of 10 and there is quite a lot to be said about that; however, seeing my little cousin (about 42-years-old?) in a hospital bed in a coma with numerous I.V’s and tubes and bruises and all, well, it brought back a lot of memories and it made me feel like vomiting even though I pushed on and tried to be strong.
My parents and I went to visit her. My cousin, (her sister), had called and told me that if we wanted to see her, we’d better make the trip and come. I could tell in her voice that she meant, “Come now”. So, we did. It was really hard to be an adult even though I’m nearly fifty now. I guess that whenever we are with our parents and older relatives, we tend to fall back into our role and I felt like a little kid going into the hospital. But, I tried to be cool and quiet for everyone else.
I couldn’t believe when someone told me the other day that it had been a whole year since Steph died. This year went very, very quickly. The week after Steph passed away, my neighbor (who I considered a friend), passed away from breast cancer, too. So, it was kind of a double-whammy for me. Both gone for almost a year now.
Life goes so quickly. Don’t take any moment for granted. Experience things you never thought you would. Try new things that you were always afraid of because you never know until you try. I’m going to try three new things and write about them here. Why don’t you do the same. Think of things that you always wanted to do but never took the time…imagine getting over a silly fear by doing something that you never have…Allow yourself some freedom and some joy and try something that you remember as being a joyful experience when you were young and then do it again.
Let me know if you do these things. I will get back to you all in three later posts. Always wanted to do, overcoming a silly fear and doing it, and allowing myself to experience true joy again… What a thought.
Can you do these three things? Will you post back to me afterward? Time is passing… Will you try?
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss
I imagine that this makes sense… I will try to internalize it. Thank you, Dr. Seuss!