Monday, April 16, 2007

Cancer Sucks.

In the words of a sweet 13-year-old girl, Abby, "Cancer sucks." And I agree with her. I've never seen such a hideous, sneaky, insidious disease like cancer and I will never understand it or why wonderful people seem to die so young.

On Good Friday, just a little over a week ago, Abby's lost her father to a malignant melanoma that developed on his leg. It reoccurred after being dormant for around 10 years and had come back with a horrid vengeance what seemed like just a short time ago. Courtney was only 39. His parents, David and Penny, and my parents are best friends. So while I didn't know him well personally (he was the youngest of three boys and still several years older than I was growing up), I just adore his parents and I am in such pain over their grief and the grief of their entire family.

Interestingly, Courtney and his family own one of the largest funeral homes in our town and just within the last year or so came to run the family business. As you can imagine, with a history of serving so many families, his own funeral was amazingly poignant and beautiful. He had definate ideas of what he wanted and he planned his passing like he lived his life - with purpose, with passion and with courage.

An avid cyclist, he felt a real connection to Lance Armstrong and he and his family wore Lance's yellow "Live Strong" armbands through out his fight. He had U2 and Cowboy Mouth played alonside secular music for his service - in an Episcopal Cathedral - and everyone smiled as they heard it. He had a love for spicy foods, especially Tabasco sauce, so his pallbearers all wore Tabasco ties and there were small bottles of it tied into his floral spray. So when the family was allowed to select flowers from the spray, his daughter picked a beautiful red Gerbera daisy, but Luke, his 9-year-old son, picked a bottle of Tabasco.

His funeral was attended by hundreds - the Cathedral was packed. As the motorcade finally arrived at Cave Hill, it was met with a horse-drawn glass hearse that was there to take his body to it's final destination. The entire congregation got out of their vehicles and followed behind the carriage on foot. And as we came to the top of the hill he was to be buried on, we could hear the bagpipe playing strains of "Amazing Grace." It was a most beautiful moment, fitting of his beautiful life.
And right now, I can't stop thinking about a sweet friend of mine I've met online through scrapbooking, Jen Gallacher, and her family, especially her Joey, who are in this terrible battle right now. I pray for a miracle for them daily and struggle to find rhyme or reason to why this disease exists and the only thing I can come up with is yes, indeed,


(Thank you so much, Tracey, for sending those buttons with that sentiment. I'll make sure Abby and Luke get them.)


Mirjam said...


Ingrid said...

I agree with you and Abby...cancer does suck! It is a terrible disease.

Unknown said...

I agree. CAncer SUCKS. So sorry for your loss.

Jana said...

Yes, cancer does indeed suck. I pray that some smart soul out there finds a cure.....soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for this family. My family has been through this also. Malignant melanoma is one of the most insidious and little talked about forms of cancers. My Dad's returned 3 years later and within 6 weeks he passed away.

Theresa Tyree said...

Yes, cancer does suck. It took my dad away from me 4 months before Connor was born. I miss him so much. Thanks for sharing beautiful photos of a beautiful ceremony. It gave me chills to read this.

Joanna Bolick said...

I totally agree. Hate, hate, hate cancer.

Anonymous said...

I lost my 20-year-old sister last year.She had a very rare cancer.

and hell yeah. CANCER SUCKS.