Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute-Cancer Awareness

Tuesday's Tribute

Yet Another Jay and Deb Production
My uncle died when I was 14. I expected it, yet I was totally and completely shocked. Actually, upon reflection, I don't think it was shock; rather, it was denial. I thought he was getting better. The last time I saw him he was smiling, and eating. And he hadn't done that for a long time. He looked better, like he was turning around.
What I didn't comprehend the last time I saw him was that he had been sent home for a reason. There was nothing left that they could do for him. He wasn't getting better, and so he was send home to die surrounded by those that loved him, in the comfort of his own home.
I wish they had told me. Had made me realize that that visit was the last. That he wasn't ever going to get better.
I think maybe I knew it, but a confirmation might have been nice. Or maybe not.
I remember not knowing what to say. Knowing, but not knowing that we didn't have any plans to make, no future to discuss. No more trips to Hollywood to hang out and explore.
I remember feeling like a stupid teenager, not having the words to bring up anything with substance to talk about. Uncertain how to act.
So, I avoided the room and pretended that it didn't hurt that someone I loved was dying right before my very eyes.
And then, like the moron that I was, I asked my grandma if I could have this Chanel bag that I saw and figured he wouldn't be needing anymore. She asked him (I thought she'd just give it to me) and he told me that I could have just asked him directly. I felt like a jerk.
He was ready to confront what I wasn't. I still regret asking for that bag for a lot of reasons, but mainly because it repesents my inability to express what I wanted to. It shows how emotionally immature I was. And it overshadows my goodbye.
Do I remember hugging or giving him a kiss goodbye? Nope. I remember asking for a ridiculous freebie bag.
I didn't even keep it. It was a stupid, glossy, paper Chanel bag.
He shouldn't have died. He was young. Too young. Yet he did. I felt powerless, and still sort of do. I've always wished there was something that I could have done.
The reality is, that nothing I could have done would have saved him. But, things I can do, things we can all do, just might help save someone else.
Today's Tribute goes out to those that have or are battling with cancer. And to those that are taking steps to raise cancer awareness. Like Jay of Halftime Lessons.
(Click on the button below for more information.)


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And Kasey at Chronicles of a Mommy.


In honor of Tuesday, with much thought and prayer, Kasey has decided to DO something, and we can help. Please visit her site for more details.

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43 comments:

Young Momma said...

That was beautiful. I'm sorry you remember the bag more than the good bye. It's not ever easy. That was a beautiful tribute though. Thanks for sharing.

Deb said...

your writing is always so honest, and your message always clear.

angie128 said...

I buried my Dad two years ago today. He fought Leukemia for a year. And now, just like you said, I have a sense of "What can I do?" because 'helpless' is an awful place to be. Since his diagnosis, we have raised over $11,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Will it bring my Daddy back? No...but, like you said, it might help save somebody else's daddy.

There are so many things we can do to help others. And that is how the memory of your uncle and my daddy -- and so many more people --lives on.

Thanking you this morning through my tears for your post.

Ronda's Rants said...

I hate cancer...it breaks more hearts every day is seems! Please forgive yourself...I am sure he remembered what it was like to be a teenager! I am so sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing!

April said...

what a nice tribute - i'm sure your uncle would be pleased :-)

Shannon said...

What a heartfelt, beautiful post. I have a similar memory of my grandmother's death when I was 8. Ever since then, I have had trouble with people dying. I think "knowing" how to handle such things comes with age and understanding. I think the fact that you realize your missteps is a huge leap forward. I am sure that your uncle understood. What child can really comprehend the loss of a loved one?

Sparkette said...

That was touching. Although hard I am sure...makes me think.

lmt1073 said...

Thanks for sharing that story with us. Cancer is a very prevalent disease in my family and it scares me. My grandmother passed away from cancer four years ago. It's a horrible disease, so like you, I will continue to fight for a cure and raise awareness whenever I can.

Kristin said...

Cancer sucks! We have been batteling it in my family for years. Great writing.

Sam_I_am said...

That brought tears to my eyes. I hate cancer. It steals so much.

Sera said...

What was such a poignant tribute. I'm so sorry...

mommaof4wife2r said...

oh angie...i feel your pain right now. i am struggling with all these babies with cancer. i ache for them. off to see jay and support them! i love that guy!

Melissa said...

We do the best we can to cope. I believe that your Uncle knew what you were feeling and most likely understood. We are way to hard on ourselves in situations like these.

And I'll bet he wanted you to have that bag and that it probably made him happy to know that you did.

It's all about attitude and how you look at things....or so my shrink tells me...:)

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

very lovely post

Live.Love.Eat said...

Oh Angie, I am sorry you had to go through that. I just can't imagine really. The only family members I lost are those who lived a very long life so it was expected. Sorry you lost your uncle at such a young age!

Gunnisac Sandersons said...

great post Angie! I love it, and thanks for you touching memory. My sister-in-law is recovering from breast cancer. I hope that we can find a cure for all cancer! That is my dream.

Patois said...

What a beautiful tribute: to him, to others and to the girl you wish had behaved differently.

Laurie said...

I am sorry for the loss of your uncle. This is a great and important post. I am glad that you have such a high volume of readers and I hope that this will make others stop and think.
Thanks for being so honest and open.

Melissa said...

Sorry.
Good post.

Melissa said...

WOW...what a story!!! Thanks for sharing!!
I remember when they sent my mom home from the hospital (because there was nothing esle they could do) and her and I actuallyhad the "talk"...we were very open with each other and I remember laying my head on her lap and crying and telling her I would be ok and not too worry (yet inside, I was just falling apart)!!
CANCER SUCKS!!!

In memory of Terri Conilogue...my mommy!!

Robin said...

Such a great post. Thank you for telling your story, as painful as it is.

Veggie Mom said...

Thanks so much for posting this.

ParentingPink said...

What a wonderful and thoughtful post. My uncle passed when I was young too and I can totally relate to how you felt as a "teenager" dealing with the death of a loved one.

I too have written a little something to support Jay's cause today. The more people I talk to, the more I find have been in some way touched by cancer. It's great that we can all come together to support each other!

MoziEsmé said...

Very thoughtful post... Two of my aunts died of cancer when I was younger, and I'm embarrassed at my lack of empathy at the time... Death just doesn't seem real yet to most kids, I think.

Jen said...

this a very honest and beautiful post. it is really great to raise awareness.

Angela said...

Well I'm crying now like when I watch all those St. Jude specials that I am addicted to. Sorry to hear about your uncle and your tribute post was wonderful!!

Kristin said...

I didn't know he had cancer... I thought it was something else. Sorry.

Stephanie said...

Your writing is once again so honest and touches to the depths of our hearts.

April said...

Since my dad died almost seven years ago,I constantly wonder what I can do to help in the fight against cancer. I don't have oodles of money to donate but I do try here and there but I DO feel like I bring a much more visible (Colorectal) Cancer Awareness to my friends and family. After reminding my employees via email about Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, my boss (the owner of the co) write back that he'd been putting off his yearly colonoscopy due to being "too busy" with life but that my email was just hte reminder he needed of how important cancer awareness is!

brunger bunch said...

Great tribute..I just went to the funeral of a good friend who passed away with cancer. Her little boy is Jordans age (8). They played soccer and baseball together. She was too, too, young. Makes me really greatful for my life!

Migraine Mom said...

Angie...that was beautiful. Cancer sucks...pure and simple. Forgive yourself though...he knew he was loved and I
m sure he also knew you were a child and you were scared. Thansk for writing this and putting yourself out there.

Susie said...

Great tribute:-)

Jocasta said...

Beautiful post Angie! Made me cry :)

I've updated my blog address it's now http://kiwijocasta.blogspot.com/

stefanie said...

I had a similar thing happen with my grandfather. The last time I saw him, he was in the hospital, I was a self-centered teenager, and I didn't want to be there. For some reason, everyone left the room and it was just us. He said, "I just really want to go outside right now." He lived on a farm most of his life and spent most of his life outside. I do not know what I said. I totally didn't get it. I wish now I was one of those teenagers in books and movies who always get it. Had I been one of them, I would have highjacked a wheel chair for him, and the frantic hospital staff would have found us hours later outside in the sunshine. He would have been better, too.

I don't remember a goodbye either.

I am more honest with my kids though, because of that. I have a feeling you are too. Thanks for this heartfelt piece.

Kacey R. said...

You have a gift of putting exactly how you feel in your writing and you are always so clear and so easy to get. I'm sorry that you lost your Uncle and appreciate you shining some of your light on the efforts of others to DO something. Thank you!

Natalie said...

thanks for sharing that story and those links!

Cathy said...

thanks for sharing your story and the links. I'm going through this myself--my dad was diagnosed with liver cancer 6 weeks ago and doesn't have much time left. I'm grateful for every moment I have with him, but it's hard to know what to say to him when I see him. I love him so much and will miss him terribly, and I feel pretty helpless about it.

Missy said...

I've recently lost a friend to brain cancer and have watched other family, friends and even a child fight it. I pray for anyone facing this battle and for their loved ones.

(((HUGS)))

Elaine A. said...

My father's best friend died of pancreatic cancer when I was 14. He was much like an uncle to me so I can relate somewhat.

"It" has of course, touched all of our lives in some way. And I hate to say that!

Jay is such a great guy and Kasey has a wonderful idea too! The blogosphere really IS amazing!!

Becky said...

This is my new struggle with cancer. After loosing my husband and father to our 7 monkeys what bothered me the most was the lack of knowledge I had about end stage cancer and how to handle his passing. I felt helpless with doctors, decisions I had to make, etc.

I know that research is Vital in fighting cancer but sometimes the loved one you care so much about does die from the dreaded disease. More power needs to be put into the hands of the families. We need to obtain knowledge, the most powerful resource we have.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I've been reading about cancer on a lot of blogs recently. It's a terrible thing. I lost my grandmother to cancer way too soon.
xoxo

girlytwins said...

I think this tribute is wonderful. I have a very close friend my age who is battling breast cancer. She has two little girls, 3 and 10 months. I have been wondering what I can do to help the cause.

BoufMom9 said...

What a beautiful and honest post.
I just love what Kasey & Jay are both doing! It will mean the world to Tuesday's family and I can't wait to tell them about all the people all around the blogosphere that are remembering their daughter.
What an incredible little girl!