Many of you have been asking how the inspiration for this website has been doing, so I thought a short update would be appropriate.
Cheryl has tried multiple treatments from alternative therapies to conventional forms of chemo that she can tolerate. Unfortunately, her cancer is relentless, and at this point, she is choosing to continue to focus on spending her time surrounded by her family and loved ones. She is aware of this website as we have discussed it since I first had the idea, and she is 100% behind development no matter the outcome of her battle.
We have been texting when she is able as she often doesn’t feel well, or up to talking.
Then Cheryl texted me to say goodbye. It was a short and simple text. Three sentences. She let me know she was saying goodbye and wouldn’t be texting anymore as it was too hard. She told me she hoped everything in my life works out for me the way I want it to. And she blew me a kiss (emoji).
I knew it was coming. We’ve discussed for a long time how she was at peace with dying but worried about her family. She would keep fighting to stay with them as long as possible and knew once she stopped, she wouldn’t be here long.
We texted back and forth almost daily, then every few days. I had texted her about a consult she was considering and told her I felt she had already made her decision and I supported her no matter what. She was texting me from the waiting room of her CT scan which happened instead of the consult. She was asking to see photos of our new house and was so excited about our upcoming move. She texted about them coming to get her and that I’d hear from her later.
I didn’t need to be told what that scan showed. I knew it before she went in, and so did she.
I was in my car outside of a Walgreens when I got her message and I cried for a long time, not caring who saw. Looking back I don’t know what the exact date was, but I’ll never forget that moment. I thought about so many things, but not for one minute did I think about responding. Thankfully, I had told her everything I needed to in the letter that started this project. Honestly, we have been saying goodbye to each other ever since.
I know that when she passes from this earth it will never be the same. I will never be the same. I also know she would tell me not to spend a day driving to her to say goodbye and be sad when she goes, because we already did that and talked about it. All she has been telling me the last few months is to live every minute, LIVE it, and how happy she is knowing that I get that more than most people (story for another post). And, how much she’s appreciated my (sometimes inappropriate) sense of humor these last few months.
So when I pulled it together, I bought her a card. Two friends on the cover laughing over a piece of watermelon with a joke about laughing until we pee a little, and then laughing some more. Wrote in it how I always thought of us this way, and that I love her forever. And then I sent it because that’s the kind of goodbye she’d expect from me right now. One that made her laugh. (It was much funnier than I have described it….).
And I wait and wish her peace across the miles and the stars, and ache for her family as well. And I don’t regret for a minute the time it took to write her the letter that started all this, but I would have regretted it forever if I hadn’t.
Don’t wait. Tell someone right now how much they mean to you. How much they’ve changed your life. Or just that you are thinking of them and want to know them better. It will make their year, I guarantee it.
And with that all said, we continue to try to spread a little more love in the world in her honor as promised, and I will continue to honor her wishes regarding this project. Please keep her in your prayers.