We’ve hesitated to write much here, however, each thinking another mother must have known her better, have held her closer, have been there for her as she searched for new hope. I hope that someone was. But, I’m sad to say, it wasn’t me.
And that, my friends, is my loss. It’s tough to grieve our third loss in a year — first Andrea, then Lisa, and now Manda. Each woman was a beautiful mother, a brilliant writer, an honest voice. Each of us can see a little of ourselves in each other, and it makes it hard to bear, some days.
Each loss washes over us in waves: anger, compassion, fear. Each loss tries to take a little more from us, but ultimately it will not.
It will not.
Because even now we are human. We pull together to mourn this loss. On other sites, in other parts of the world, we know a husband grieves, friends gather round, and a child … a three year old child … has lost his mommy. We have lost as well.
But. we. are. not. lost.
We are still a band of mothers standing together against cancer, fighting this thing that tries to separate mother from child, and supporting one another as best we can by telling our own stories, truly, honestly, and reaching out to one another.
And we will continue to do so, knowing that the more we bring these stories out into the open the less power cancer has over us. The more we talk about symptoms, the earlier another mother might be diagnosed. The more we talk about treatment, the more sensitive another nurse might be. The more we talk about side effects, the more doctors will take patients’ complaints seriously. The more we talk about hope, the more friends will help us rally. The more we talk about joy, the easier it will be on us. The more we talk about our love between mother and child, no matter what, the more we leave love in the world.
And that, I think, would be a pretty good legacy.