Today we lost my sister-in-law Donna to GVHD.
Graft Verses Host Disease.
Donna leaves her husband, her twelve year old son, and her twin six year old daughters. She is just a few months younger than I am.
She is my ex-husband's little sister...
aunt to my oldest daughter.
She stood with me when I was married...
I stood with her when she was married.
A long time ago in a galaxy, far, far away... before I knew her brother, Donna and I met while she was a reporter for The Daily Bruin. We became sorority sisters, and then sisters-in law. Donna grew up to become a formidable lawyer. Our lives took us on different paths. I had not seen her in quite a while.
She was a devoted wife and loving mommy...
the fun, festive, perfect aunt, who knew what questions to ask.
Donna has been battling leukemia for a few years and last October had a Stem Cell Transplant... which seemed to be successful in that her bone marrow showed no signs of leukemia cells. But in the past week or so the transplanted cells realized they were in a genetically foreign body and attacked it.
The last eighteen months have been a time of loss for me. I've written about my Grandfather. And of my Mama's own battle with cancer. But I haven't written of the others who have died. I haven't written about the inordinate number of people in my life....friends and family....who are literally fighting for their lives.
In our tears tonight my daughter and I contemplated that we are not finished losing yet...and that being able to handle tragic death is not something we want to be good at.
We want to be good at LIFE.
A couple weeks ago Jazz left this following quote in a comment on Mimi's blog. It struck me and so I googled the quote...and found it originated in an article by Thomas Lynch from November 2000 in Esquire Magazine. (this is exactly the kind of serendipity that makes me love the internet....the article is worth the read.)
"There's no easy way to do this.
So do it right:
weep, laugh, watch, pray, love,
live, give thanks and praise;
comfort, mend, honor,
I will always remember.
see ya on the other side....