Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Saying goodbye to loved ones

I debated posting this because it's not all roses around here and while the blog is focused on a lot of our happy highlights, I thought it might be equally important to share in some of the sad moments too.

Many of you were aware (through the prayer request post) of my Aunt Josie's declining health and ultimate passing. I am sad to report that my dear childhood friend, Resa, lost her mother, Kathy McLaughlin late Monday night to lung cancer. I'd love to say that we had enough time to grasp the concept of her losing this battle, but the reality is that within three short weeks, she went from going in to see about blood clots in her legs to being diagnosed with what must have been aggressive late stage lung cancer. The online journal her son, Chris, set up to keep friends and family up to date, started April 18. I believe this was the date the cancer was diagnosed. Within days, she went from a fighter, staying strong and positive to completely consumed by the cancer. Last Thursday Chris wrote in the journal, and one sentence he wrote just absolutely got me: 'I have never seen someone deteriorate so fast.' No e-mail alerts all weekend long. Even in prayer, my heart was preparing for the worst. Sunday rolled around and I thought to myself 'ok, I should just check into the website and see what the latest is' - turns out Chris had *just* updated the journal to include that she was too weak for chemotherapy and that she was given just six weeks to live and sent home on Hospice.
She died Monday evening at 11:15 p.m.

I am very sad for a lot of reasons. My friend, Resa, just lost her mother and I don't even have the words to express my sorrow for her. If I could take the anguish and heartache from her, I would. Her mom was just so incredibly generous - she was the "give you the shirt off her back" kind of generosity. She hosted the baby shower for me in her home when I was pregnant with Ashley and even let me borrow their family cradle for her. I'm sad because death has been very close to me in such a short time. It's hard to wrap my head around all of this. It's easier to ignore it all and not deal with it, but the reality is (when it *does* hit) life is short and it makes me miss the family members who are currently not in my life. I spoke with my mother-in-law on Monday about Kathy and she mentioned that it was a blessing in ways that she was declining so rapidly. A blessing for Kathy, but a total blindside for all those left behind. It's true that if you have to die of something so incredibly painful, that our merciful God will let you go quickly. The aftermath for her family is something they have to work out themselves. But I know He knows they are strong enough to do it. It's just hard wrap our heads around thinking about things like 'a month ago she was fine' or the fact that this Sunday is Mother's Day. It's surreal...that's for sure.

Here's to you Kathy Mac. You are loved. You will be missed.

{this was taken five days after Ashley was born, April 30, 1996}
Kathy is kneeling in the front, along with Shelvie and me in the back

{this is a picture of me with my great Aunt Josie (right) and my great Aunt Nicky (left)
with Ashley (four months old) in Waco on our way to Austin so I could finish my degree at UT}


Megan said...

I'm so sorry to read your post today. Your family and friend are in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

Martina said...

thanks. writing about it definitely helped. :)

Amelia said...

this is a beautiful post, thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry for your losses, things seem to happen all at once. I'll be thinking of you, your family, and your friend's family.

emily said...

My thoughts are with you... My best friend lost her mom to lung cancer two years ago, and it is still hard...
and NEVER apologize for getting serious and "real" in your blog posts. It is part of who you are.

Martina said...

thanks everyone for your kind words. hugs to every one of you! :)