This time of year-the sweet, crisp smell, the bare trees, the gorgeous colors of fall surrounding the earth and leaving the ground hidden beneath its leafy patterns-brings back the memories of one fine woman, and the legacy she left behind…
In February of 2002, my grandmother was diagnosed with Stage 4, Inflammatory breast cancer. After receiving a prognosis of six months, my family and I were left devastated. We were immediately consumed in researching the disease, its affects, and spending final memories with the glue that held us all together. Months turned into years and my grandmother not only shocked doctors but also members of our family and community. We were proud to say that she would not be another statistic yet would go against all odds and defeat this battle.
In most cases, my grandma was the one calling us to see how we were feeling. She knew just how much the disease was taking a toll on us. On some days, I could tell just how sick she was; her eyeliner would constantly run due to the chemotherapy, her body was burned from the harsh radiation, and the worst affect of all was when she would lose her angelic, radiant complexion and grow pale and flushed from all of the medications. I was amazed to see a woman so physically weak, yet so mentally tough, carrying the weight of a family and quietly coping with her own struggle. Thinking back on it now, I can only imagine what she thought about as she laid her head down to sleep.
After four years, the disease became more deadly and powerful. I can remember begging her to come to my Ursuline rally, knowing this was a far-fetched and nearly impossible goal. My dad told me the morning of the rally, she was unable to get out of bed; however, she made it to that rally. Little did we know, that would be the last memory she would have during her time on earth. Knowing her, she would not have had it any other way. Shortly after the rally, she slipped into a coma and passed away.
Through her passing, I realized she did not lose to cancer, but it lost to her. She kept her spirit strong, and her faith even stronger and, beat all odds. She has made me believe, and I firmly abide by this: that with the attitude of a champion and untouchable faith, any obstacle can be overcome. Although she taught me many great lessons, this one, which was neither verbal nor intentional, was simply, and utterly just her…and I carry that essence of her with me everyday.
The impossible is made possible with faith, strength, and a good spirit..This I Believe…
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