Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Within the last week, three people who had an impact on my life, or the lives of my family, passed away after valiant battles with cancer. I felt compelled to remember each of these fine people today.

Dr. Jane – Our neighbor, a local pediatrician and single mom, died last Thursday. She was in her mid-40s. Although I didn’t know Jane very well, when I did interact with her, she was always very kind, often interweaving her wry sense of humor in her dialogue. She leaves behind two children, ages 11 and 9. What made this event even more tragic was that her boyfriend skipped out on her during her treatment and scammed her out of most of her savings. She lost her house, which is now in foreclosure. Luckily, her ex-husband, who is a super-great guy (not sure why the marriage didn’t work, but things happen), helped move her belongings out of her home and continued to maintain the yard, as did all the neighbors to try to lend a hand. He told me that in the end, he and Jane had mended fences and were at peace with each other. She died at her mother’s home. God bless Dr. Jane.

Ms. Carol – My daughter’s pre-school teacher died of cancer last Friday morning. She had been teaching up until earlier this year and her diagnosis came as a major surprise. What’s even more startling is how quickly it took its toll and, ultimately, her life. Ms. Carol adored all of the kids she worked with and while she was quiet and reserved, not as lively and outgoing as my daughter’s other teacher (two teachers per room), her calming presence had a profound impact on the kids. While Ms. Carol was on sick leave, my daughter said, “I miss Ms. Carol. She always patted me during nap time when I couldn’t sleep.” Sigh.

Ms. Carol, we are so blessed that our child had you as a teacher in your final moments on this earth. You will be deeply missed. May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

David Dick – Since Mr. Dick was a public figure, I’ll include his full name in this entry. He died this past weekend.

David Dick was a professor at the University of Kentucky, a former CBS news correspondent and author of many outstanding non-fiction and fiction books. He was the first journalist on the scene at the Jonestown massacre and won an Emmy for his coverage of the attempted assassination of Gov. George Wallace. He was also a professor of mine and the reason I switched majors. I started out as a Journalism major, but was not happy with the curriculum. After a discussion with Mr. Dick, he mentioned that he had been an English major at UK. He said it broadened his educational opportunities and honed his writing skills in a way that the journalism school couldn’t have done. I followed his advice and it was the best decision I could have ever made.

Years later, I ran into him at an arts and literary event where he and his wife, Lallie, were selling copies of his many books and autographing them. I stopped by to say hi and he said he would write that moment in his journal, which he did on the spot. I felt honored by that gesture. Mr. Dick, may heaven turn out to be just as beautiful as your homestead in Plum Lick, Ky., which you often wrote about fondly.
Image courtesy of art.com


High Heeled Life said...

Life is so precious! May this post remind your readers, like everything it does contain an expiration date - live and enjoy life while you can.

Don't put off till tomorrow calling, telling someone how much you love and care about them.

My heart goes t the families ... they will be in my thoughts and prayers..HHL

James said...

It's wonderful that you have been blessed by these people and have the ability to realize it.

myletterstoemily said...

what a wonderful tribute you have made
to each of these fine people. i hope you
find a way to get a copy of this to their
loved ones, as it would mean a great deal
to know how you esteemed them.

it reveals much about your character for
honoring them in such an eloquent heart
felt manner.


Main Line Sportsman said...

Wonderful tributes to these people.
I am astonished at how low some individuals can sink....scam your ailing girlfriend out of money and take off?...what a scumbag...how sad.

North of 25A said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful, heartfelt tributes. May the Perpetual Light shine upon them.
My sympathies,

Seersucker Scrapper said...

How sad. Cancer is an evil and dreadful illness.

What a lovely tribute. My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of those that have touched your life.

pve design said...

The big guy upstairs seems to plucking some good earthlings. Here, we have been remembering many who have left and some who are hanging on by mere threads. Wonderful of you to remember those that have left such indelible impressions.

A Refocused Life said...

What a wonderful way to honor the memory of these three special people in your life. I am sorry for the loss you feel, but glad you shared what you gained from each.

Town and Country Mom said...

What lovely remembrances.

Haven and Home said...

Oh, this is so hard to read, so timely too. In the last few weeks I have had several people close to me affected by cancer as well. It breaks my heart. As the daughter of 2 Oncologist you would think I would be "used" to it by now but it never gets easier. I will pray for these people, they all sound like they were wonderful.

Annabel Manners said...

I think these are lovely tributes. Hope you're hanging in there...

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Sad and poignant to read, but such lovely words in your tributes...

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

life is precious....

never take a day for granted

lovely post

i lost my mom quickly to pancreatic cancer summer of 2006
right out of the blue
you never know

what a beautiful post

sara said...

I'm sorry for your losses - what lovely tributes. Unfortunately, I never knew Ms. Carol, but I could quickly tell at daycare on Friday afternoon how very much she meant to the staff and families who met her.