On life and death

A friend of mine passed away yesterday. Her name is Andrea, and she was a very good person. She and her husband were good friends of Sweet Babou’s before we were married, and I was acquainted with them and liked them both. We all have a lot of mutual friends. Even though we didn’t see them often, they were people who retained the place of friends in our hearts.

Andrea was diagnosed with cancer eight years ago. They gave her six months to live. But she fought like hell because there was so much to fight for. She had a busy life as a teacher with many friends. She loved her husband very much and knew he would be bereft. And most importantly, her daughter, Lorelei, was just a few months old. So instead of going gently into that goodnight, Andrea battled the Grim Reaper with all of her valiant heart. When the cancer spread to her brain, she fought it. When it spread to her spine, she fought it. When it popped up in her lungs, she fought it. The doctors kept saying, “she cannot last long” but she always did.

I think we had all come to count on the idea of her beating the odds.

Finally, her body stopped responding to chemo. There was a massive tumor growing in her neck, pressing on her artery. Even Andrea could no longer beat the odds.

Her husband is, understandably, devastated. Her little girl is only in the third grade. But she will be able to remember her Mommy. Andrea’s fight was not in vain. Her daughter will always know her Mommy loved her more than anything. However, that is not much comfort to Lorelei right now. I don’t think anything is much comfort right now.

Tomorrow Lorelei and her Daddy have to put Andrea into the ground, and say goodbye. My heart just breaks for them.

About Betty Fokker

I'm a stay-at-home feminist mom.
This entry was posted in I've been thinking too much. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to On life and death

  1. My heart breaks for you all. There are no good words, only love. Thank you for sharing Andrea’s story.

  2. Carol says:

    Much love and prayers for Lorelei and her Daddy. To you and Sweet Babou, too.

  3. I am so very sorry. Sending prayers and hugs to all of you.

  4. Nan says:

    So sorry, Fokker–I’m right there with you. Our lake friend, John, died on Wednesday–heart attack, but he was only 68 years old. Funeral is on Tuesday. Feels like 2012 is starting with a lot of people dying…your friend Andrea is #4 that I’ve heard about this week. Son’s friend lost his sister on Wednesday and my own sister lost a friend on Monday. This truly sucks!

  5. BarbN says:

    Oh, Fokker, I’m so sorry. It just breaks your heart, doesn’t it? My friend who was recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor is also named Andrea. I hope she will be able to carry on for as along and as valiantly as your friend.

  6. robenagrant says:

    Hugs, Fokker. Big hugs.

  7. My husband’s mother suffered something like this when we were both in high school & dating. She’d battled breast cancer for almost his entire life, beating the odds time and time again until it spread to her organs and brain, & eventually killed her our 11th grade year. The fact that he watched her slowly die in the end was not a blessing to him, but something that left him scarred. I’m glad your friend’s daughter is young enough to remember her mom and possibly not the struggle. I’m sorry that you have to remember both. :( I’m sorry for your loss. Cancer is just a nasty disease that needs a cure ASAP!

  8. Bethany says:

    I’m so sorry for you and Nan. You both have my prayers and love for your beloved’s families.

  9. sheri says:

    I’m so sorry- our family has skated way too close to that edge several times- this last time we almost didn’t make it out with daddy.
    Our thoughts are with you and your friends- and I need to go hug my husband till he gasps now…

  10. londonmabel says:

    Condolences and fgbvs to you and your friend’s family. :-( THough she couldn’t beat it forever, those years she was able to give her daughter were no doubt invaluable.

    And that’s one of my favorite poems, because I think it expresses that fiery will to live in all beings:

    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  11. lunarmom says:

    Once again, I’ll just sit here and cry with you.

    Here, I’ll even bring my new quilt with, so we can both wrap up in it. And sob.

  12. Robin S. says:

    Sooo sorry for your loss. {{{HUGS}}} to everyone.

  13. Kate George says:

    My heart breaks for them too. : (

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