Could be starting out the day with a mammogram and annual exam, although the nurses and doctor are caring enough. Finished up the day with CMS training for work. It was the in-between that got to me...
Funeral service at St. Luke's on the Lake was a bit surreal, such a beautiful view from the pews. Blue skies and white clouds, and Lake Travis as well. The officiating Reverend was excellent - first thing he said was to let the children be children, and wiggle and cry or sit on the floor. Sydney colored on a memory page, and the children were asked to step up to the casket during the children's prayer. The Reverend clearly and briefly explained what would happen next with Gabe - he will be cremated and his ashes spread in the Remembrance Gardens at Riverbend Church. I have to ask my friend and co-worker, Teri, whether her husband will be performing the cremation - he owns and operates one of the few crematoriums in Austin, and it means a lot to him when he knows a little more about those entrusted in his care. Children are always the hardest for him.
I wanted to say "BRAVO!" when Reverend Jameson said something to the effect of:
Today is not a day for platitudes. This is not the day for someone to tell you "God needed another angel" because he doesn't. Or "That it is for the best" because it's not, or "It'll be okay" because it isn't. Today is for grieving a loss...Not to do so takes away from the worth of a life.
At work I often speak with angry or upset citizens who are concerned regarding particular contaminants in their water, and whether it directly caused the cancer and subsequent death of their loved ones. It's hard to discuss, because carcinogens and cancer itself is such an elusive thing. Is it a genetic predisposition? Environmental exposures? Congenital abnormalities?
I wish I knew the answers, as do so many.
I share their grief. I mourn the loss of Angela, of Robin, and of Gabe. I worry daily that Judy will lose the battle she's been fighting on and off again (and on again now). And I feel ashamed for the brief moments I'm uncomfortable with the discomfort of the mammogram or the pain of the blood draw. Those seconds are nothing compared to theirs, and I am grateful to whatever God or the universe for my good health.