Thursday, May 23, 2013

#461: Victory For Kathy

Today, I was a part of something beautiful. A woman's family and friends came together to honor and remember and celebrate her life with stories. They told about her love - fierce love, they called it - for her family. Her mother and her daughter both called her their best friend. We heard stories about her smile, and the way she made people feel. People spoke of the music that filled their house and their lives. Promises were made: to carry on. To look after one another. To remember.

I am always tempted to rise at these occasions. I never know if it is the prompting of the Holy Spirit, or my own ego calling me, so I usually resist. I resisted today. I didn't know Kathy. I only knew of her through my Coach... our Coach. Melissa described her as a woman of power and joy. And the person I met today, through the stories of her loved ones, was also a person of strength and courage.

Had I spoken... had God given me the words to speak... I hope I would have spoken comfort to Paul, Kathy's husband. After she passed, Paul had told a friend, grieving, "We didn't win." I wish I could have told him why I think he was wrong about that.

Kathy's doctor told us about her last hours in the hospital. She was suffering. She did not want to die. And her mind was on her family. Her last breaths were not spent on misery and despair; rather, they were spent on love, fierce love, love too strong for cancer to overcome.

Cancer doesn't come for your body. Not really. That's easy. Any germ can do it. It doesn't even want your life. Death is his own master and comes and goes as he pleases. No, what cancer wants is your broken heart. Cancer comes to kill your spirit, to steal your hope. That is what makes it so terrible. What cancer wants is for you to give up. Once you've done that, it doesn't really matter if you live or die. Cancer has won.

But not this woman. Not Kathy. She fought for her life, for her family, right to the end. When Death came for her, he found a heart intact, full of love, unwilling, but prepared for her next adventure.

We who remain, owe a debt to our sister. Though I did not know her, she taught me through her friends and family that life is for hope. For joy. For music. For laughter. For fierce, fierce love. Thank you, Kathy. You gave me a wonderful gift this morning. I look forward to meeting you when Jesus wraps me in the embrace that you are now experiencing. And I promise to carry on your legacy of love. Fierce love.

Requiem Aeternam dona eis, Domine
et lux perpetua luceat eis:
Requiescant in pace. Amen

Rest eternal grant her, Oh Lord,
And let light perperual shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.


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