Saturday, October 11, 2008

I'm Aware

I didn't know that I would cry so much this month.

I lost my mentor and dear friend last Thanksgiving to breast cancer. I'd never known someone so brave.

I assumed that Thanksgiving would be difficult this year, thinking of Jacque. I didn't realize that the entire month of October would leave me crying puddles. Tearing up at the most unexpected times. At times, it feels so good to just let it out. Sometimes, I just get so sad.

It all started with Christina Applegate and Susan G. Komen's sister, Nancy, on Oprah. I don't usually watch, but did catch this episode. I didn't realize that I'd have to shut it off so that I could stop sobbing. I didn't know.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I have been able to support breast cancer research when a friend at school hosted Lee Denim Day. And when a cousin ran the Race for the Cure. It feels good to get involved, even if it's not directly.

I assume that I will know others in my life who are diagnosed with breast cancer. It could even be me. The thing to remember is the hope. The fight. The survivors.

I'm a better person for knowing Jacque. I want to be a better person in her loving memory. No one ever wants to lose a best friend. I'm so very glad to have had that friend.

Even if it leaves me in tears every October from now to the end.



LoriAnn said...

Breast cancer is the one thing that can bring women together - stay at home moms, working moms, young, old, black, white, rich and poor - we are all at risk. We will most likely ALL know someone who is touched by the disease, if not be touched by it ourselves. Do those monthly self-exams, talk to your doctor about changes to your breasts, get a baseline mammogram - be an advocate!

I know it's going to take a long time for the pain to get better now that Jacque is gone - I'm praying for you and her family.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely tribute, OM.

Just as an aside, breast cancer does affect men, too. Not to the extent that it plagues women, but the Painted Maypole's brother in law died of breast cancer this year.

Omaha Mama said...

Thanks for the reminder, SB. You are so right. I was astonished by the statistics recently, when reading up on BC. It affects everyone. And it excites me to think that a cure could be found in my lifetime.

Anna said...

My school hosted a Denim Day too.

Michelle said...

such a beautiful tribute to your best friend; I'm sorry she's no longer here with you.

Di said...

I know this has been a hard year for you without our sweet Jacque. I have felt lost without her in my life as well. I try to remember all the things that she taught us! What a legacy she left.
Keep doing what you are doing with your family and your students. YOU my dear are making Jacque very PROUD!!!
hugs, di

Mama said...

Your last comment is the one to cling to. No matter what happened, you are so blessed to have had Miss J in your life, if only for a short time. Death has a 100% success rate.

Midwest Beach Girl said...

Next year we shall do the walk together. Just pick a state and I will be there. This is going to be my annual event that I do from now on.

And now I must stop writing as I am once again overwhelmed by my memories too.

Love from Florida,

Aliki2006 said...

I'm so sorry you lost your friend--I remember this being hard for you last year as well. I'm thinking of you...

MidwestTwinGirl said...

I got to catch the start of the breast cancer walk on TV in Denver. They have one of the largest participation in the nation and they start the race by going around a looped freeway on ramp. The idea is that once the head of the line wraps around, they will look like one big pink ribbon from the sky. I was moved to tears by such a simple - yet grand gesture.

nikkis30by30 said...

I am crying. No. Sobbing. Stupid cancer. Stupid death. Stupid upcoming holidays.

They are here though. Right? If we keep talking, they are always here. WE are the ones that keep them alive. Let's keep talking. A LOT. Ok????

Must get kleenex. I love you.

Mimi said...

I'm so sorry for your loss: really, the holidays are hard enough, but more so when we can't celebrate them with those we love. Loss is a terrible thing.