No matter how much you think you are prepared for it, the death of someone close to you will always come as a shock.
Unfortunately in the past few years cancer has affected M and I’s families and we have experienced this feeling.
My MIL (seen above with M on our wedding day) was an amazing woman. She was super sharp with a quirky sense of humour. She was probably the best gourmet chef I will ever know in person and every time I was over at the house I had the pleasure of trying some awesome homemade recipe. She would hold the spoon up and ask me what I thought and (not even in a kiss ass, daughter-in-law, kinda way, but totally truthfully) it would always taste amazing. I always felt very lucky to have her as my MIL – she wasn’t one to hold back her opinion (like the time I showed up with bleached blond hair…eeps) and every dinner convo at the house was at the very least a lively one.
She was gone in 4 weeks. From a string of doctors appointments until that last night in the hospital where we intro’d her to Glee (which, btw she thought was hilarious) it never felt real. To this day when we go to the house, standing in the kitchen seems strange and I sometimes find myself lowering the lights since she hated having them turned on full blast. Lung cancer.
You would think having more than 4 weeks to prepare would be better but I really don’t know. I have 6 Aunties on my Dad’s side. Growing up with so many females around who loved us and spoilt us was a blessing. Aunty S was by far the most outgoing with a sense of humour that was in turn outlandish and clever. She had a laugh that I will never forget – loud, lusty and full of life. She would come over to visit, borrow some Vogues and we would talk about whatever was going on – the easy, familiar talks that you have with someone you’ve known and who has known you your entire life. When I was barely a teen she would think nothing of bringing me along with the other aunties – late nights out at Future bakery and cafe downtown, my first club experience, fun karaoke outings. I just loved sitting around unobtrusively eating some pastry and listening to all the grown-up talk – Aunty S had the best stories EVER.
Aunty S had about a year. She endured the painful treatments and chemo like the amazing, strong woman she was. She kept that sense of humour and an unbelievably positive attitude throughout some of the most horrifying moments a person can go through. She fought. She was taken by inflammatory breast cancer – a rare and aggressive form of c.
You can’t really summarize what somebody means in a paragraph. Even pages and pages wouldn’t really be able to express what these people meant not only to me but to their children, spouses, and the rest of our families. These two amazing and beautiful women were a part of my life and meant so much to me – but so much more to others. They were mothers, wives, sisters, friends. And because of cancer they are gone well before their time. Whether it was 4 weeks or over a year – nothing can prepare you for it.
My SIL, Erin, is doing the Weekend to End Womens Cancer walk. I am determined to bring Baby H with me next year and do the walk but this year we will be on the sidelines cheering her on. It won’t bring either of the two back but it can help us towards a future where cancer isn’t such a familiar culprit and where maybe a few people won’t have to feel that horrible shock.
If you would like to support – your donation would be so very much appreciated here . Or just visit Erin’s page to read her story. I always feel like Fall is a tough time of year for our families but then you have something like this walk – I am so proud of Erin for doing this it inspires the rest of us to live a healthy life and to keep on fighting your own personal battles whatever those may be.