Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My Absence

The photo is of Rob with Jen and her daughter at our wedding. Jen and I danced the Unicorn Dance that night, just the two of us on the dance floor. A memory that has to last a lifetime.

This will be the last post I expect to write for awhile. We got disturbing news today about my sister-in-law Jennifer. If you remember she had surgery just one short month ago to remove a large tumor in her head. They felt that if they radiated her right away, the chances were that the tumor would take at least a year to return. They did radiate her right away. The result was a swollen brain that filled with fluid necessitating a shunt put in about two weeks ago. Two nights ago she began to feel ill and they discovered that she had pneumonia. Last night they were uncertain she would make it through the night and wanted to put her on a ventilator. She refused (how I respect her for maintaing dignity in a hopless battle). Today they took her down for an MRI and it showed that the tumor is already back. Devastating news. The doctor told my mother-in-law that they are only going to make her comfortable at this point. To try to cure the pneumonia might only make her death far worse so at this time they are done treating her.

I think that is the right decision and one I would want made for me. The thing of it is although we logically know what is good our hearts only know the pain and don't want it. First thing tomorrow morning we will be driving up the the hospital for a visit. Not sure she will even know we are there. This is the dread disease that robbed a beautiful and energetic 34 year old woman of her life and her eight year old daughter of her mother. Surely, less money could be spent on war and more on cancer research. Tonight I am trying to think of all the wonderful memories I have of Jen. I have many. During our last visit I held her and told her that I loved her. We both cried and discussed our fear. When she first learned of the tumor in her head she called me at 7 a.m. I made a promise to her. One that I will keep. On the first day I met her over seven years ago we were going to her father's wake. Her little daughter was only a year old and I volunteered to take care of her, leaving her to deal with her father's service. That always impressed her. She made me promise to take care of her daughter at her funeral, should that happen. As my heart breaks, I will be taking my little niece's hand and letting her know that she is not alone. Letting her know that her Mom will always be with us in our memories. It's my final promise and it's the last thing I can do for my beloved Jen.

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