Stumbling thru life w/Grace

Friday, April 22, 2005

Part of my Family & my Friend.

My girlfriend, Kathy that I have written about last month, passed away this morning. I don't remember her exact age, although I remember her Birthday, she was somewhere between 45 and 48. She had a battle with cervical cancer the lasted for 4 years total. And gave up the battle this morning, after a brief conversation with her sister.

She struggled to walk to the bathroom stopping often to catch her breath, and turn her oxygen tank up as high as she could get it. By the time she struggled back to her bed, she was exausted. Exausted from the pain, and the lack of oxygen. She turned to her sister, and said, "Lena, I want to die." Lena said, "You can do that Kathy." Kathy's response:" I don't know how." Lena held her hand, and told Kathy to close her eyes, and not to worry about that part. God would take care of that for her. Trust him to handle it. Kathy closed her eyes, and peacefully passed away 10 minutes later.

This woman was truly an inspiration to all who loved her. I realize we often say this, about loved ones who pass on. In this case it was far more then true. Kathy had a devotion to her husband and children, not born just from a sense of responsiblity, and what was right. She enjoyed doing so, embraced it with a joy and fun loving spirit, that each task she tackled in life was fun, because it was part of living.

Three months prior to her death, she was carrying bags of cement to work on a home improvement project. Went to scrub down the boat that she and her husband loved going out on, spending time with their kids on the water. She served as the Secretary to the yacht club they belonged to. She sat in her wheelchair, directing a group of relatives that had come over to do her flower planting this early spring. Her garden always brought her great joy, and she spent much time every year, planting and cultivating a wide variety of flowers that she always took joy in.

While she continued to "live life" she would also go into the hospital every 6 weeks to have the fluid drained off of her lungs. She had lymphnodes removed. Chemotherapy was a regular part of her life the last year. As she was having it done regularly, on a maintenance basis. Just to hold the cancer at bay. She dealt with pain on a daily basis, and did so with more grace then I would have thought humanly possible.

And thru it all, she continued to live. With great spirit she tackled anything she wanted to try and do. Last month, she packed up her kids and her husband, because she wanted the family to go to Hawaii together. They went. And the rest of the family prayed for her, each and everyday, that God would grant her this one last vacation, to enjoy her kids and her husband. She went into heart failure the last day of their vacation and had to be flown back to the mainland immediately. But she got her vacation.

Three months ago, she had wanted to jet ski. My cousin bought her a jet ski, and she went out on it as many times as she could. She LIVED life, actively, happily, and with spirit. And clung to every possible means of staying alive. I don't believe much of it was born out of fear. Just out of a great love for living, and being with her kids and her husband. She had wanted to live long enough, to watch her 18 yr old son, graduate from high School in June. It wasn' t going to be.

As my family says goodbye to such a wonderful, love and spirit filled woman, we each have gone over our special and privately owned memories of her. We have cried off and on all day. It's hard, and sad to say goodbye to a loved one. There's somthing harder when this person is young with so much to offer and who gives freely of herself.

What breaks my heart, and had me angry for a little while today, was thinking of my cousin, and his great love for his wife. Thinking of their kids, losing mom, long before we think we will deal with this. Her daughter has one more year of H.S. her son, on the brink of grauduation. Her husband distraught, after spending all of his adult years with this devoted woman.

They will have to go thru the grieving process, with all of it's rough and emotionally draining stages. They will now have to work out life in its day to day, painfully aware of the gaping hole in it, created by her death. Missing the simplest of exchanges, the subtlest of touches.

I have my private memories of lunches together, gossiping and catching up on the different branches of our family. Conspiratorially sharing a glass of wine together minutes before noon, giggling at our "wickedness." These memories are now mine. To keep alive in my heart and my mind, when I think of Kathy.

And now whats left, is the prayers going up for a family that has lost their wife and their mom. I lift my prayers for Jim, and the kids. That God will blanket them in comfort and in peace. And an assurance that they will one day be reunited.

PRAYER:

Dear Lord, Help us to lift our hearts and minds above despair and doubt, thru prayer. Thank you for Your gift of life. And the love that surrounds us, in the families that you gave us.
Amen.

37 Comments:

  • oh 3T, I'm so sorry for your loss.

    This is a touching tribute to Kathy. My thoughts are with you and yours.

    By Anonymous Bitchitude a.k.a. GlassHoppah, at 3:48 AM  

  • My thoughts as well to you and yours 3T.

    DB

    By Anonymous D Brooks, at 3:52 AM  

  • Thank you B'tude and DB~
    I appreciate your condolences. She was a very special woman, that will be greatly missed.

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 4:03 AM  

  • "Thank You Friend I never came to you, my friend, and went away without some new enrichment of the heart; More faith and less of doubt, more courage in the days ahead. And often in great need coming to you, I went away comforted indeed. How can I find the shining word, the glowing phrase that tells all that your love has meant to me, all that your friendship spells? There is no word, no phrase for you on whom I so depend. All I can say to you is this, God bless you precious friend."
    Author: Grace Noll Crowell

    God bless you and give you peace

    By Blogger Agent 99, at 8:15 AM  

  • My thoughts and sympathies are with you. I also want to thank you for sharing this with us. Inspiration shines through the grief.

    By Anonymous Che, at 8:18 AM  

  • how sad. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    By Blogger Webmiztris, at 10:09 AM  

  • My sympathanies to you and everyone who knew her.

    By Blogger Blueyes, at 11:11 AM  

  • I am so sorry for your loss. Your tribite to her was wonderful. My thoughts are with her, and everyone whose lives she touched.

    By Blogger RagDoll, at 11:39 AM  

  • I'm so sorry for your loss. A good friend passed the following poem on to me when my Mom passed away. I'm still not sure who orginally wrote it. I liked it so much that I had it framed and it still sits with me today. Hopefully you can find some comfort in it as well:

    I’m Free

    Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
    I’m following the path God has laid you see.
    I took His hand when I heard him call
    I turned my back and left it all.
    I could not stay another day
    To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
    Tasks left undone must stay that way
    I found that peace at the close of day.
    If my parting has left a void
    Then fill it with remembered joy.
    A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
    Oh yes, these things I too will miss.
    Be not burdened with times of sorrow
    I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
    My life’s been full, I savored much
    Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
    Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
    Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
    Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
    God wanted me now; He set me free.

    By Anonymous Sassy, at 12:02 PM  

  • So sorry to hear, 3T. :(

    By Blogger Wench, at 12:20 PM  

  • A touching, moving and inspiring tribute. Your friends should serve as an inspiration to us all.

    By Blogger The G-man, at 12:36 PM  

  • What a truly beautiful post.

    I'm very sorry for your loss.

    :-(

    By Blogger Monkey, at 1:10 PM  

  • You love for your friend shows in you words, and she could ask for no better tribute than you have given her.

    "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them."


    -Laurence Robert Binyon

    By Anonymous k@os, at 2:20 PM  

  • As a loyal reader of your blog today was the first time I did not read all of your post. I read the first few lines and knew that I could not (at work) handle the sorrow within.

    At home now the first thing I did before taking my wife out for her birthday dinner was to read this post. I had been eagerly waiting to do so.

    You post fills me with happiness even as the sadness for your loss fills me.

    You've had good times that my family never allowed me to have and you were able remember the good and deal with the bad.

    I need to go and call my brothers and let them know that I do miss them.

    Thank you vor sharing this with us 3T. I feel blessed because of it. If there is anything I can do for you or your family. Please do not hesitate to ask.

    Your Friend,
    Rich

    By Blogger Rich, at 4:16 PM  

  • So sorry for your loss. Her story is heart wrenching and yet at the same time, I admire her love for life. I can only hope that I can live life to the fullest as she seemed to. Our prayers are with you, your family, her family & friends.

    By Blogger yayaempress, at 4:16 PM  

  • Celebrating her life in such a manner was touching and uplifting, thank you very much for sharing.

    By Anonymous r.h.s, at 5:26 PM  

  • Nicole~
    Thank you for that beautiful quote. And taking the time to leave it for me. :-)

    che~
    Thank you for your condolences. I appreciate you commenting.

    Webmizris~
    Thank you for your condolences. Kathy is out of pain. Part of me rejoices that her pain is gone.

    blueyes & ragdoll~
    Thank you for your sympathies, they are appreciated. And thank you for visiting my site.

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 6:07 PM  

  • Sassy~
    Your poem brought new tears. But hope as well. Thank you so much for sharing this poem! I wish I knew who wrote it. I did send this off via e-mail to my father as well.
    You're a wonderful person, and I'm happy to have met you here! And look forward to one day meeting you in person.
    Sincerely,
    3T

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 6:09 PM  

  • Priss, G-man, and Monkey~
    Thank you for your kind words. I consider the three of you my good blogger friends! And the amount of kindness the comes thru these blogs astounds me! What great people bloggers are!:-)
    Thanks again,
    3T

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 6:13 PM  

  • Rich~

    Thank you so much for your note! And for what I know is your heartfelt compassion. She is out of pain, and I'm happy for her in this since. For me this is a reminder, to not let time go by, without communicating my love and appreciation to the people in my life!
    Sincerely,
    3T

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 6:16 PM  

  • yayaempress~
    Thank you for your prayers empress! Especially for Kathy's family. I cannot completely imagine THEIR pain. And I covet all prayers for them as they go thru this tragic time!

    r.h.s.~
    Your very welcome. Writing this tribute, a mixture of my sorrow, and remembrance, was therapeutic for me. And I'm glad I got to share it with so many blogger friends!

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 6:21 PM  

  • I want to thank everyone who took the time to read this post, and then comment. You all hold a special spot with me! Looking at grief is not easy,fun or comfortable to do. And we all have our share in our lifetime. That to be able to share a part of someone else's grief willingly, makes you all very special!
    Once again, a heartfelt thank you. I hope everyone has a great week-end!
    3T

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 6:25 PM  

  • K@os~
    A special thank you for the quote you left! And for your encouraging words. You are definitely one of a kind, and I am finding it a complete delight, reading your blog, and in this sense getting to know you! Besides the fact that your humor has provided me with much fun laughter!
    Thank you:-)
    3T

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 6:32 PM  

  • Your post gave me goosebumps. This is never easy to deal with. It's been six months since I lost my step-dad to cancer and i'll still break out in tears at a memory that creeps in. I'm glad that your cousin has such a strong family support, as it really does make a huge difference. My thoughts are with you as you get through this upcoming especially difficult week.

    By Blogger Becky, at 10:00 PM  

  • I'm so very sorry for your loss.

    By Blogger golfwidow, at 7:01 AM  

  • Wow, that's a heck of a post. I feel for your loss, I am so sorry you and her family and friends had to endure such pain. I only hope you can all find peace in her being in a better place, not of this world but still in your hearts.

    By Blogger Eddie Beaver, at 7:18 AM  

  • 3T, I'm so sorry to hear about Kathy. I feel for her children, too, knowing how hard it's been for my son losing his dad.

    i want to take the opportunity to say:
    I HATE CANCER.

    It's mindblowing how many people are losing their battles with this horrible disease, at young ages. Hang in there...that was a lovely tribute to her.

    By Blogger panthergirl, at 9:54 AM  

  • 3T,
    You and yours are in my prayers. I know peace will find you all. I am so sorry. This was such a beautiful post. I cried the whole way through, and yet, felt joy for the life she led. She would be someone wonderful to know.

    By Blogger Jade, at 1:13 PM  

  • I know there aren't any words to make anyone feel better, but I am terribly sorry for your loss, and for the world's. It's sad to know that such a great woman was taken from us. I will be thinking of you, and of her grieving family in the coming days.

    By Blogger Jay, at 1:46 PM  

  • I'm sorry.

    By Blogger G-Man, at 7:49 PM  

  • I am sorry for your freinds family, you and your family. I am about to go through this loss, with my mom - pretty soon I am guessing, and I know I'm not ready for it......

    Thank you for letting us share with you your pain.

    By Blogger Andi, at 9:42 AM  

  • Becky~
    Thank you, for your encouraging words. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I'm sorry for your loss as well. Cancer is a nasty disease, that needs to be cured!

    golfwidow~
    Thank you for your condolences. And taking the time to comment.

    eddiebeaver~
    Thank you for your kind words. And I know all those that love her feel this way.

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 11:12 AM  

  • panthergirl~
    Thank you for your uplifting words! I know what you're saying about cancer, and those losing the battle with it. And I feel especially bad for kids who end up learning this harsh lesson in life so young. It is your son, and Kathy's two kids that I lift prayers up for. Thank you for commenting.

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 11:16 AM  

  • Jade,
    I especially thank you for your support. From the moment I got the phone call, until now. You are an awesome friend! :-)

    Jay~
    Thank you for your thoughtful words. I appreciate you taking the time to express them Jay. The world indeed lost a very special lady.

    g-man,
    Thank you...

    Andrea~
    Thank you for your condolences. I will pray for both you and your mom. I don't think anything truly prepares us, regardless of how long we "knew". Grief is a process that eases some with time. And death makes us aware of taking opportunities to tell those that we care about how much they mean to us.

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 11:24 AM  

  • I have learned something in my short life...

    that it is better to have loved and lossed to have never loved.

    that it is better to have lived a short life to it's fullest potential then have have lived a long life and acoomplished nothing.

    that it is better to have given children a strong loving foundation over a short amount of time them a weak one over a long period.

    Do these truths make loss easier? No they don't, but my hope in sharing them with you is that you know that although the life Kathy led was cut short it was none the less lived.

    Gloriously lived.

    I hope that can be said about my own life.

    By Blogger Brat, at 8:08 PM  

  • Brat~
    Thank you for your touching sentiments, and wise insights. I truly appreciate them. (((HUGS)))
    And I've no doubt, that you do indeed live life to the fullest.

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 11:42 PM  

  • By Blogger wdmtest, at 2:30 AM  

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