i lost a friend this week. i had known her for several years, looked up to her, and admired her strength.
i knew her before she was sick. got to see the sparkle in her eye as she asked "y'ont to?" the answer was always yes. her smile could not be resisted.
i knew her when she was diagnosed. very sad day. fourth of july weekend 2004. it's amazing how quickly things can change completely. yet she faced it with unexpected grace and courage.
treatment was bad. it made her extremely ill. incapable of eating anything. i would make her soup and dumplings to try to entice her. and through all the pain, she smiled.
then a blissful word: remission.
not even one year later it was back. more treatment. more trials and pain. still smiling. even when it had stripped her of everything--her hair, her job, her ability to do the things she loved--still she smiled.
i found out on monday that she succumbed to her illness. needless to say, i was heartbroken. she was one of the most caring, gentle souls i have ever known. her loss has had a profound impact on me. and i'm sure on all of those she has touched.
because i am no poet, i think it best to let the great john donne do the speaking for me:
holy sonnet x
death, be not proud, though some have callèd thee
mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
for those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
from rest and sleep, which yet thy pictures be,
much pleasure, then from thee much more, must low
and soonest our best men with thee do go,
rest of their bones and soul's delivery.
thou art slave to fate, chance, kings and desperate men
and dost with poison, war and sickness dwell,
and poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
and better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then ?
one short sleep past, we wake eternally,
and death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
edie--you will be sorely missed, but know that you have influenced and inspired so many with your unfailing courage and positive outlook. you were one of the greatest people i have ever known, and i am truly honored to have been able to call you my friend.
farwell dear friend, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.