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November 23, 2012

My dear Shawna...you are missed...


It is the day after Thanksgiving 2012. I learned my friend Shawna passed away today after battling colon cancer over the past year and a half. She was a shining example of how to walk this journey through cancer with grace and selflessness. I knew her time was short when hospice entered her life; yet was caught off guard by how quickly she passed. It was only a few days ago that she was hanging onto life and enjoying each moment with her husband and children. My heart aches. Shawna’s smile was intoxicating; I think she made everyone feel like they were special to her. I am relieved that Shawna is now free of cancer and no longer suffering.

Why then is my sorrow cutting deeply? The answer to my question is quite selfish. Shawna’s passing due to cancer, although cliché’, simply hits to close to home. This disease we call cancer is a cruel beast. I too am reminded of my dear friend Peggy Williams that passed from cancer when I was in my early 20’s; remembering it like it was yesterday. I watched cancer take her away … slowly…she fought and was devoted to endure whatever western medicine had to offer, despite the crushing blows to her physical body. Shawna too battled this beast and has departed this lifetime. I too am reminded of Carrie Deane’s battle with TNBC and her life being cut way to short. Shawna, Peggy, and Carrie’s, passing’s remind me of my diagnosis and the odds I too am facing. It is a reality check. There are many things I could be doing better – nutrition, positivity, and at a soul level. Secondly, my husband has a budding friendship with Shawna’s husband. I now have the opportunity to see how ones passing impacts their spouse and family, the pain, heartache, confusion, sadness, and loneliness. Followed by hope, life, peace, acceptance, and joy. 

As I sit in the corner of the hotel room and gaze at my family and their activities. My husband and two boys joyful play cards while my other son relaxes on the sofa listening to music while surfing the web. I wonder if the scene would look the same if I were no longer here. I catch myself thinking; do not put that into the universe. Yet I wonder. I remind myself of the words I shared with Shawna prior to her passing: your husband and kids will be okay my dear; it is okay to say enough is enough. It is true; my family will be okay in the event of my untimely absence. I turn my thoughts to thankfulness. I am blessed with an amazing husband and children that love me deeply. No one knows when their time on this earth may end. I believe I have been given a gift of a diagnosis that is allowing me to refocus, learn valuable lessons, and grow as a person. By the way, I am going to beat the odds of this diagnosis … you just watch! Yes, I am doing this journey my way, that is understood. 

When I find myself in low spot, I speak my mantra repeatedly. When I am fearful, I repeat my mantra. Countless times, I have fallen asleep as I speak my mantra into the universe.
My mind is strong.
My mind is telling my body to heal itself.
My body is healing itself.
My mind is strong.
My body is healthy.
My soul is at peace.
I am quite sure I will enter slumber repeating these words tonight as I weep. 

Thank you my soul sista’ Shawna, for entering my life and making a difference. I love you my dear. I see your smile when I think of you.

We all have the opportunity to love big, live life, and make a difference. I encourage everyone to reach out to those you love and let them know. Have a generous heart. Be compassionate. Live life without judgment. Live each day as though it were your last.  

Today, I am hopeful~