For the last seven+ years my Aunt faced a battle against breast cancer as strongly and as with as much determination as anyone I have ever known. A couple of weeks ago, she lost that battle. Today, friends and family will gather to celebrate her life. I hope you will celebrate with me and continue to pray for a cure for the evil beast that is cancer.
There is a lot that can be said of my Aunt Susan. And considering her propensity to talk – a lot should be said about her. But if I can only share one thing about her, then let it be that she was a fighter.
While we wept for her shattered bones, her tumor riddled organs and her ailing condition – she battled like a true warrior. She didn’t know how to give up. And she didn’t.
I love that even in her last days she mirrored her father’s determination to travel. She wanted to visit her daughter — across the country — to see where she lives, works and plays more than anything. And she wasn’t going to let the scheduling of a necessary procedure stop her. She went. She rejoiced in going. And she spent her last days doing what she wanted to do — visiting her daughter.
She didn’t let the cancer win. She took control and she won.
Even when taken to the hospital in Arizona, she talked not of her illness of how sick she had become. As much as she could, she kept that to herself. Instead she lamented the hospital’s failing architectural design. She did not approve. That was my Aunt. Always opinionated and always with something to say about that opinion.
She saw things differently than most of us, and she never lost her artistic self. When commenting on photos I posted of my girls or pictures they sent to her, it wasn’t just a cute picture or a nice drawing. She analyzed the composition and the design elements — even those done by small children. And compliment from her about those elements was of the highest caliber.
The past few years have been a continuing string of sickness, emergency room visits and health battles. And now there is silence. The unimaginable pain Aunt Susie suffered daily has finally ceased. While we are left to mourn the void in our lives, we must take comfort in knowing that her pain is no more.
She is missed fiercely by all who knew her, but by none more than her sister and her daughter who are left to walk without her in their lives. And while I am saddened by her loss, I grieve most for the whole that cannot be filled for them. Aunt Susie lived and loved passionately and her kind heart left a lasting impression on all of those who knew her. Including my young girls who have never known a birthday or holiday not celebrated alongside their great aunt.
I pray that we all remember that first and foremost she was a fighter. She wouldn’t want to leave us with sadness in their hearts. She would instead want us to see the beauty around us and to keep fighting our battles with as much gusto as she would on our behalf.