Today We Will Talk About Hope And The CaringBridge

28 02 2008

I’m not going to write about my mom today. I’ve done that before. Today is the tenth anniversary of the death of my mother. For me to go into any detail of this day, which is significant in the life of my family, I would just say it means a lot to us and I’m trying to figure out what to do on a personal level that would have some significance for myself about today. It’s a private thing that runs as deep as the Mississippi River. It’s hard to put those feelings into words.

To say I feel sort of lost and insignificant is an understatement.


No, this morning, I want to talk about life and survival and one woman who I have so much respect and admiration for that it’s hard to put into words.

Katrina has been in my life on either the periphery or as a friend for about 15 years. She is a savvy businesswoman and is head of programming at our local PBS affiliate. If you knew Katrina, you’d know she is an amazing person. She is also one of the kindest people you will ever meet. Her eyes sparkle with such amusement and intelligence that you could fall into them. To give you a feel for him, she’s married to a wonderful man, has a daughter who looks at her in a way that I imagine I used to look at my mother.

We have worked on some things throughout the years and I’ve always been somewhat in awe of her.

When we were working on the Stewman Benefit together which was a magical, infuriatingly busy time, she would casually mention that she was seeing some doctors. She was the glue and fiber that held that benefit together, believe me.

The day after the benefit was kind of emotional to me over some stuff that happened that I’m not going into here. I went to her office and she gave me a few minutes to just vent. She listened and validated me that day. I owe her so much for the friendship that was moving into a new arena. Man, I can’t tell you how much I like Katrina, but I digress.The next day, I talked to her on the phone.

She told me she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. During the last five weeks, she has had tests, endured a mastectomy and will begin her chemotherapy and radiation after that.

Last week, she started a journal at a critical illness survivor online organization that I wanted to point out today because it’s a wonderful thing. I’ve read not only her journal, but have looked around this community and I have thought to myself that I wish my mother would have had something like this while she was in her battle with this rotten disease.

I didn’t want to link to her journal without her permission so I asked her if it would be all right. I didn’t want to violate her privacy. We talked about it earlier this week and she gave me the okay to let you take a look into her world because she thought it might also help other people.

Here is the link to CaringBridge where she talks in detail about her family, her disease and how she is coping.

She writes:

My first memories are of my mother and I taking my father’s parents to doctor’s appointments — my grandfather died of throat cancer when I was three.My mother’s mother fought lymph cancer for years — she died when I was nine.

My daughter has survived two brain tumors.

When I saw the mammogram films I knew it was my turn.

I wrote recently over at Music City Bloggers about the different online communities that are available to people. CaringBridge is free for people battling critical illness. You can leave messages for people on a guestbook, you can donate to organizations in honor of your ill friend and people who post there have an outlet that is save and comforting.

In the ten years since my mother passed away, there are becoming new and wonderful things available to assist people. And the Internet is also opening small yet thoughtful communities to help us send messages, write posts and communicate with people who may not physically near, but whose thoughts and love are close at hand.

The thing I think I like the most about CaringBridge is the guestbook. Dozens of people have left such kind sentiments to Katrina wishing her well during this long and difficult journey.

In a world that sometimes smacks us upside the face, it’s nice to see this.

Katrina is truly inspirational. And, if you know of anyone who might want to use CaringBridge, I can tell you, it apparently does make a difference. Reading that guestbook, seeing that she is so loved (which we knew anyway) will give you a sense of gratitude for what you have and see that joy and friendship can be found in the chaos of critical illness.




3 responses

28 02 2008

I’m sending you virtual hugs today as you commemorate this very life-changing event.

Love ya…

28 02 2008

My dad died in ’95. Mom is very old and unfortunately fading.
I feel your pain, and will feel it again before too long. I was one of the lucky ones, my parents were always there and mom still tells me to go clean my room at age 45. It’s even worse now because my room is now a house.

I want my tiny bedroom back so all I have to do is stuff everything in closets and under the bed. 🙂

We miss them. And there’s nothing we can do about it.
We can only remember and apply that which they strove to teach us to our lives and our ensuing generations. We are what they nurtured us to be, and I think that somehow, that’s good enough for them.
We all pass on, the legacies are forever.

Hugs, T


28 02 2008

Thank you, guys.

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