I've tried to think of something clever, funny, or witty to write this month. But, the truth is I'm not feeling any of those emotions right now. The truth is I'm really sad. Cancer has once again struck my family, and there was no happy ending this time.
My beloved Aunt lost her battle with cancer last month. I can't describe the pain I feel. About five years ago I watched my mother fight breast cancer with every fiber in her body. I am happy to say she is in remission, but I have to tell you it was hard watching my mom go through it. The cancer took away her beautiful brown hair, her strength, and energy. But, like my Aunt it never took away her smile, her joy, or her willingness to live life to the fullest. And, that is what lingers with me, the one thing both my Aunt and Mother asked of me as cancer threatened their lives was to live like there's no tomorrow. I still remember the conversation I had with my mother about it.
We were cleaning out my closet, putting clothes into piles to take to Goodwill. "Gosh that's a pretty dress Lauren. I don't think I've ever seen you wear that," my mom said grabbing a pretty pink halter dress.
"Oh Mom, I'm saving that for a special occasion, or whenever I lose this high school weight," I said laughing.
My mom's face got serious. "What if that special occasion never comes?"
I looked back at her puzzled, gazing at her now bald head, and tired eyes.
"Cancer has taught me you may not get tomorrow, and that's why you have to live for today," my mother said, tears now coming down her face.
I wiped the tears from my eyes, and made a promise to stop waiting for the special occasions, or just the right circumstances to start living. My dear Aunt Doris asked the same thing of me, three weeks before she died. She asked me to live boldly, proudly, and enjoy the preciousness of life.
While I'm so broken-hearted my Aunt won't be around for my wedding day, future babies, or big anchor job, I am grateful for the time we spent, and the time I still have to make her proud by living like there's no tomorrow.
Dedicated to my amazing, wonderful Aunt Doris, I love you more than words can say.