And while I was stitching, I was remembering.
Cancer has taken two more people from my life this past week.
Sweet Mary--Mary Edens--was the first person to greet me and to make me feel welcome when I joined both EGA and ANG twenty plus years ago. She was a lovely lady in every sense of the word, yet she had a wicked sense of humor. I loved sitting next to her at guild meetings, since her dry and wry comments often enlivened some long business meetings. She loved her needlework. She enjoyed traveling and her eyes sparkled when she talked of her experiences in the UK and Europe. She was a voracious reader--it was not unusual to run into her at a bookstore or one of the branches of the public library--and she could always recommend a good read.
We've been concerned about her for months--she just wasn't herself--but she said she'd had a bout of flu that she just couldn't kick. Unfortunately, it wasn't a lingering case of the flu. It was pancreatic cancer and it took her just a few weeks after her diagnosis as it so often does.
Walking into a guild meeting and not seeing her is going to be difficult.
Another friend of mine whom I would not have known had it not been for our shared love of needlework lost her husband a few days before Mary left us. Larry was given only months to live when he was diagnosed with cancer, but he defied the predictions and lived for almost ten years longer than the doctors said. He and Liz dealt with the treatments and the side effects and the roller coaster of emotions with so much grace. They were a team and they stayed a team until the end. In many ways, they still are, and a more beautiful example of facing adversity cannot be found.
Cancer is such a vicious disease. I may not be able to do the research to defeat it, but I'm writing a check to the American Cancer Society to help those who can.