Saturday, June 19, 2010

In Memory of Brenda

Almost two years ago I posted about a friend of mine from my volunteer days at the humane society who had been diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer. Last Sunday, my friend Brenda passed away after fighting this horrible disease for the last 22 months. This morning her memorial service was held in her hometown of Eudora.

Brenda's diagnosis came at age 47, which is three years before she was was even supposed to have her first screening for colon cancer. The doctor said the amount that it had spread would indicate her cancer had been growing for many years before it was detected. How do you even explain that? How was she supposed to have a clue that something was so terribly wrong when she was still so young? She wasn't overweight, didn't have an unhealthy lifestyle, and many of her family members have lived extremely long and healthy lives. In fact, when I met a bunch of her family members a couple of months ago at a gathering they held for her before she went to MD Anderson, I was struck by how many of her elderly family members--both parents, aunts and uncles--are still going strong. I can't imagine how hard this must be for her parents and her older brother.

Brenda had the most amazing attitude about her diagnosis and throughout her treatment; I can only hope that I would display the same grace when faced with a terminal illness. From the very beginning, she was completely matter of fact about the news that her cancer wasn't curable. She never complained and was never bitter or negative about the challenges she was facing--she just went on living her life with the same humor and determination that she always had. She was really an incredible person, and I know she will be missed by so many.

Brenda being interviewed on the radio at Mutt 'n Strut in 2007

It's so hard to understand why Brenda had to leave this earth so soon, and I'm sure we won't know the answers completely until we get to heaven and can see the bigger picture. I found this poem in the program from her memorial service very moving and comforting though, so I wanted to share it here.

God Saw
God saw you were getting tired,
And a cure was not to be,
So He put His arm around you
And whispered, "Come to Me."
With tearful eyes we watched you
And saw you fade away,
And though we loved you dearly
We could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands at rest
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best.

Rest in peace, my friend.


cw said...

Very sad. I did like the poem.

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

I am sorry to hear this. She sounded like a wonderful lady.

-I like your new header-

CaraBrown said...

What a nice tribute to a woman who sounded courageous and positive! That's a force to be reckoned with!