Last year I blogged about losing my grandmother. Today, I blogging about a friend and a co-worker who lost her battle over a year ago.
My friend, Donna, worked hard and long. She was divorced and a mother of two. In the years that she fought cancer she took care of her mother and dealt with many other trials. I learned in that time that even the strongest of wills can’t always beat cancer, neither can the drive to survive.
Donna beat a double mastectomy, but by then the cancer had spread into her lymph nodes and her stomach. She continued with chemo treatment, three different rounds of three different kinds before she decided to stop trying to fight. No suggested doctors treatments, pills or injections could get the cancer to release it’s hold on her. She chose to spend her last days enjoying time with her children and grandchild, before an infection spread in her arm, where fluid had pooled.
When she passed I was not in town. No, I was states away at the RT Writers Convention in New Orleans. I missed a chance to say goodbye, but my friends who passed on my goodbyes told me she understood. Because she knew how important writing was to me, how I was off pursuing my dreams. “She’d smiled and chuckled”, they told me. Then she left this world, bound for something greater.
I can’t, won’t, and refuse to remember the lessons her death taught me. That life is too short to hold grudges, to not smile or laugh, and to lose yourself in working without following dreams. That doing the right thing means more than the bottom line, then your free time, or spending a little extra gas to get someone to a doctor’s appointment. Finally, I will always remember that friendship should lift you up, not put you down, and being a friend means giving of yourself and never asking anything in return.
Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day, and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.