Friday, October 17, 2008

Life goes on

Yes, life goes on, some times even when we don't know why or how. Brain cells don't always help, just a thick layer of bubble wrap.

A dear friend of mine fought cancer for nearly three years, and I do mean fought. She wasn't the first, just the latest, who left friends and family behind. As I attended her memorial service Tuesday night, I remembered the last time I visited with her.

Judy had gone to stay with her daughter in south Texas. She was unable to care for herself, and of Judy's four children, Jonna was the one who was able to be with her.

I called about a month ago, and Jonna held the phone to Judy's ear. Some moans and struggling sounds were all I could hear because my friend couldn't talk. However I told her I loved her and I said my goodbye's, telling her I'd see her again some day. Jonna told me that Judy smiled and understood me and that she tried to talk so badly. I cried that day for my friend, knowing I'd never be able to talk to her again or see her again, at least on this earth.

Judy held on for three weeks, unable to eat, most of the time in a comma. Her daughter and son-in-law went to bed each night expecting to see her gone when they awoke each morning. The morning before Judy died, Jonna went to her room and, as always, asked, "How are you, Mom."

Judy smiled and answered, "I'm fine." Her first words in such a long time. For the rest of the day, she was without pain. In the wee hours of the next day, she no longer felt pain of any kind.

At the memorial, I held Judy's youngest two daughters as they cried. Justina, the next to the youngest, introduced me as her second mother. Tonnie, the wife of Judy's only son, gave me a beautiful embroidred hanky, created by her to give to the special people in Judy's life.

I sit here crying again, but even though I'll miss her, I know she's fine now. Life goes on for her family and friends, just missing an important component. But Judy's smile and laugh will be with us forever.

Judy was my friend and always will be. I'll be fine, too, just don't want to lose any more friends. True friends are few and far between.


Holly Jahangiri said...

((hugs)) I'm so sorry; it hurts to lose a friend. It doesn't matter that you've known this moment was coming; it still hurts. I do hope you feel better - both emotionally and physically - soon.

L.J. Sellers said...

I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I've lost two sisters to cancer in the last three years, so I know your pain. But you're right, you have to keep living and be happy when you can. Take care.

Vivian Zabel said...

Thanks, Holly and LJ. I felt a need to write today, and this post is what came from my heart, head, and fingers.

Life is so short, and we never know when ours or someone else's will be gone. I want to make sure I never forget the importance of each person in my life and let them know while I can.

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Vivian, I can feel your pain. I've had many family members pass away in the last two years and it hurts knowing you won't hear them, won't see them.

I am very sorry for your loss. Prayers and thoughts coming your way.

Vivian Zabel said...

Thank you, Lea. It seems everyone I know that gets cancer, doesn't survive. No, that's wrong, too. Out of the seven people I knew who had cancer, one survived and is doing well. Of course she never smoked, and that seems to help a person's survival rate.

I appreciate prayers.

Jewel Sample said...

My deepest condolences to you Vivian. The comfort I found when I lost several family members over a 7 year period was to remember the Psalm that says,"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." (Ps. 126:5-6) and "The Lord is near to those who have a brokenheart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit." (Ps. 34:18.

May His peace surround you and kindness visit you on your grief journey,

Rena said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Vivian, as well as with Judy's family.

As sad as your news was, your post was very inspiring. I love how you know you will be reunited with your loved ones again. Without faith, we have nothing.

Feel better soon and God bless.

Vivian Zabel said...

I appreciate the scripture you shared, Jewel. It's so true.

Rena, faith is what keeps me going, faith and prayers.

zhadi said...

Vivian, I am so sorry for your loss. My mom lost her best friend to brain cancer three years ago and it was after a valiant fight to stay with her family and friends. My thought are with you.

Maryann Miller said...

So sorry about your loss, Vivian. It is so hard to lose someone you love, but sharing does help in the grieving process. We need to express our feelings, and you did so quite eloquently.

Vivian Zabel said...

Thanks, Dana and Maryann, for your kind words and thoughts.