Friday, May 19, 2017

A note to my nephew: one cancer survivor to another

It is hard to believe it's been two years since we lost Alisa.  Every May sunrise and flower seems to scream her name to me.  I miss her more than I can express.

Last year, about this time, my sister, Anne, was hard at work going through Alisa's things to help Josh get his house ready to sell.  She found a rough note Alisa had started for Steven on the day he finished treatment.  I don't know if she meant to do a blog post or write him a letter--we never saw a finished version.  But to have this come in the mail, felt like a message from heaven.   Steven gave me permission to share it with you.

Dear Steven,

Today you rang the bell.

Day of freedom.

Today I cry because I am so proud of you.  You have been so strong.  People ask us, "how could you do that?!  I don't know if I could have done that!"  You are amazing and yes we are.  But....what we know, they don't.  They are amazing, everyone has the spirit of survivor in them and they could handle bad things.  Maybe we show them what they could do--and it is a good reminder of the power we have over obstacles.

Steven, do you know "there are no bad days in survivorship?"  Well, maybe some.  But not many.  I have never.

A bad day?  Yeah, I remember what that is.  

To the roll call of life, we answer HERE!

What a blessing.

Loss?  We know it.  

And that is all.  I don't know if it was missing a page or what.   I wonder how she would have finished it.  But in a way I know because she lived it.  Despite all her losses, she answered "HERE!!" every day she had.  I've got to figure out how to do that too.

Alisa, I sure wish you were here still.  But until you are, thanks for living your life as you did--it is a constant inspiration to me.  You and Steven both remind me of the strength that lies within us.