On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Some memories aren't good

I stayed up way too late last night and struggled to wake up this morning. Steve and I attended a funeral of someone he knew well and liked, someone I only knew as the mother of a participant in my cancer support group. The woman was old, in poor health and much loved, so her funeral was a celebration of a life well lived, certainly not a tragic death.

While dressing for the funeral I was remembering the last one I attended and that reminded me of the first funeral of my life. When I was six years old my ancient great-grandfather died at 95. I had only met him once, several months earlier, when he scolded me, a bored kid in an adult gathering, because I had pushed back some books in a bookcase instead of leaving them neatly lined to the very edge. So his death was not of someone I had known well, certainly not of someone I had loved.

The funeral was in a distant town so I was taken into the church with my parents. I wasn't engaged in the service, it was just words and more words, until I suddenly heard the minister boom out, "Each day brings each of us closer to our own death." Well! I was shocked and horrified. I didn't know death applied to me. I didn't know that time, which could not be stopped, was bringing me closer to my own doom.

Back home in our own town, our own home and in my own bed that night, I sobbed with the broken heart that only a small child can have. I made my first bargain with God. "Please bring him back, please, please, I'll be good, I'll pick up my toys, I promise!"

Today, during the service, I listened to every word spoken. I was comforted that I am still alive and this woman, who died later in years, was going to be remembered for a long time to come. I laughed at the funny stories told about her and appreciated her many contributions to our community. I also made a few sketches.

Later I drew this flower from a travel photograph.

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting write-up - of a topic I have covered in my memory paintings - my first attendance at a funeral at age 7 was also pretty horrifying.


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