I know I am behind in blogging...there has been a lot going on lately that I will fill you in on soon enough, but something has come up that I simply cannot put off blogging on. I don't know what it is about this time of year, but it is apparently a time of tragedy.
3 years ago I blogged about a girl Paul and I went to high school with named Debbie (see blog post here http://pablitorun.blogspot.com/2010/03/gods-will.html). She discovered she had breast cancer while pregnant with her third child and 2 short years later, left behind her 3 small children and husband when her fight with cancer ended by being called home to God. Debbie had a sister who was 3 years older than her named Mary. I recently learned that Mary had been battling breast cancer as well. She finally beat the cancer, had a double mastectomy, scheduled reconstructive surgery, and everything seemed to be on the up swing. Now this was all before Lent because I was keeping up with her story on facebook on a page dedicated to her. During Lent, I gave up facebook and was thus shocked after Easter to get back on and find out that things had gone downhill for Mary. She was diagnosed with cancer of the spinal cord and fluid, a type of cancer that her doctor told her had no survivors. That update was posted on March 20th. Today, she joined her sister in Heaven leaving behind an adoring husband and 3 small children.
The story brings me to tears. I don't even know Mary, but her family has endured incredible tragedy. The fact that cancer took both sisters while in their 30's is unreal. The fact that she beat breast cancer only to succumb to another type of cancer less than 2 months later is unreal. The fact that her story touched the lives of so many people, people she didn't even know, is unreal. The fact that both Mary and Debbie stayed strong in their faith until the very end is unreal. So much of this story is unreal to me, yet it is very real. Tragedy is all around us and all we can do is continue to have faith in God's plan and pray for those affected by the tragedy, in this case, 3 young children who might not even remember their mother and a husband who is now faced with raising his family without the love of his life. Unreal.
In my lapse of blogging recently, I have failed to mention (but never failed to remember), the anniversary of the passing of our dear friend Josh Kurby. It has been five years...a big anniversary...and yet it seems like yesterday to me. I still picture his sweet face and crooked smile. I remember the light up book we gave him for Christmas. I can't remember what I bought his twin that year, but I know that I specifically tried to find a book with a lot of lights on it for Josh because his mom told me he liked to look at lights. In 5 years, a lot has happened and a lot has changed. Time marches on and life keeps going. But the pain of losing someone never lets up. And every person I have known or even semi-known, like Mary, who has passed since Josh has brought up the raw emotion of losing him all over again. Tragedy. Unreal.
Prayer is what brings us together during these times. I can't tell you how many high school friends on facebook have united upon hearing the loss of Mary today. These tragic stories reach people you don't even know. Prayers are said for the families. People they don't even know are crying for them and praying for them. Prayer unites us all. Isn't that the hope we can turn to when tragedy strikes? Isn't it God's love for us that can bring us comfort and knowing that our loved ones are with God that brings us peace? Isn't that amazing? Unreal.