"Remember to hate cancer."
Those were the last words spoken by Sue Ellen before she left the hospital room last Friday to go make funeral arrangements for her daughter. My son and I were in that room to say goodbye.
Brennan was a force of nature. She blew into our lives last fall, made us fall in love with her, and left us all too soon. She was just nineteen years old but exhibited a grace and a strength that left me speechless with admiration.
Alex held Brennan's hand, told her she was beautiful, talked with her about heaven. I sat there awkwardly, only wanting to see Brennan's struggle end. I wanted her to get well; I still can't believe that cancer could take her away. Her cancer was rare and did not respond to chemo or radiation treatments. It attacked viciously and its evil spread with a speed that leaves me breathless.
Tonight we will participate in our first Relay for Life. Funds raised benefit the American Cancer Society. Bruce and Alex and I are the team captains for the Millbrook Presbyterian Church team. The activities tonight are something that I look forward to and dread at the same time. Brennan died less than a week ago; our hearts are still freshly broken. I don't mind grieving with friends but this event is too public and I'm afraid parts of it will be very difficult for me. Still, the living have to do just that--live. And loving others, hating cancer, joining in a community effort to show support for those who have been affected by this evil are significant and good things.
Remember to hate cancer. Do something for someone else today--show them that you love them and then tell them so.