Saying Goodbye (by Judy)

November 3, 2011

without saying the actual word.

Yes, my friend is dying. She’s a friend I met in May 2011 at Little Pink Houses of Hope first beach retreat week. I don’t know how much of this information her family would want written about publicly, so I won’t name her, but I’ll call her AM.

AM is a wonderful person. A true lover of life and lover of people, she became friends with all of us quickly. Her voice and laughter resonate with me even now. I came to love everyone in my Little Pink family that week; AM was certainly no exception.

So today I wrote her a letter on behalf of her Little Pink family. My heart hurts. It’s hard to write something like that, even when you don’t, or can’t, bring yourself to say the word “Goodbye.” Even when we know . . . or believe, that she has little time left, we still hold out hope for a miracle for our AM, for we can’t imagine our lives without her in them.

I wrote the letter. It’s on behalf of our whole Kure Beach Little Pink family. I was trying to strike the right notes, to tell her how much we love her and miss her without actually saying that dreaded word.

But it’s there, in the subtext, in the ether, so to speak, of the words on the computer screen. It’s there . . . I’m just too scared or too stubborn or too something to say “goodbye.”

Even so, it was a hard letter to write. My heart hurts today for AM. My heart hurts for me. My heart hurts for her husband. My heart hurts for everyone who loves AM.

And now I’m going to be bold and ask for donations for this wonderful organization, Little Pink Houses of Hope, in honor of AM. Even a small amount would help, and I’m sure it would warm her husband’s and her family’s hearts when they see that people have donated in honor of their beloved AM. Little Pink has a donation button on their homepage. I plan to do this myself.

I know AM and her husband loved the retreat week. I know they made lifetime friends. I just wish for a miracle that AM’s lifetime is extended somehow.

I wish for it . . . not just for me, but for her, her family, and her other loved ones.

In the meantime, there’s not much I can do . . . .

but pray.

Saying prayers for you, AM, and hoping for a miracle for you . . .

and for those of us who love you.


Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.


December 7, 2009

It’s nearly time.

Jenni, we love you, we miss you, we wish you peace and freedom from all the pain and suffering. Goodbye, good friend.

David, you will always be welcome here with us.  We send you strength, and the freedom to admit weakness, and most of all, pure, simple love, the love that all mothers have for all children, and that you and Jenni have for Jack and Jamie.  May little Jack grow up knowing how important his mother was to women all around the world, and how very much we learned from her.

Peace be with you all.

Jen Ballentyne

August 21, 2009

Our friend Jenni Ballentyne has entered hospice.  It’s a good thing, my friends, for she is able to relax and be cared for, although of course it is a signal that all is not well.  All hasn’t been well for Jenni in a long time, though.  If you’ve ever read her blog, you know that.  You know that she has suffered in ways that most of us will never have to suffer.  And you know that sucks.

Because it does.  There is no good way to say this.  Cancer sucks.  Her kind of cancer has its own special horrors.  But Jenni has persevered through rounds of treatment, surgeries, crises, and indignities that no one should have to face — and Jenni has done it with a determination and a will that awes all who know her.

Jenni loves her children, Jack and Jamie, and is singlemindedly focused on what’s best for them and their future.  She discussed that in a comment this week, talking about her decision not to try maintenance chemo again, knowing that it will not significantly prolong her life, and it will make the last few months miserable.  She says it better than I could,

The chemo affects you so badly that you don’t even want to talk to anyone, you can’t lift your head, I mean I just don’t see the point. Say I have six months, say chemo will buy me an extra three, but the entire nine months will be revolting. Not worth it. The price is just too high. If it helped my kids then I’d do it, but it doesn’t help them to see me so ill that I can’t lift my own head, there is absolutely no good to come from that at all…. Leaving Memory Boxes, letters, just sweet, special things for my boys is my priority now and I am building on that each day.

And once again, she inspires me as she walks the difficult road that is life after a cancer diagnosis.

Go give her some love, will you?  She has plenty — oh, she has so much love — but it will make you feel better, just to be in her presence.  Pinky swear.

Go.  She’s worth it.

Update: Lisa

January 24, 2009

Our friend Lisa from Clusterfook has decided that it’s time to stop treatment. She has returned home and begun hospice care.

Stop by and give her a little love if you can.

Update on Jenni

October 10, 2008

by her ex, David, and unfortunately, it’s not good. Please go and leave some words of support and comfort there: 1st Update on Jenni.