That’s all it takes to change a life forever. One crazy cell that turns into millions and then takes a life.
Sometimes it takes adults, but all to often it takes innocent children who have lived way too short a life.
If I were to start a list of the people we have lost in my family, it would be a long list.
It started with my grandfather, John Keepers. A pastor with a wife and six kids depending on him, but the
brain tumour didn’t care.He died at age 54. There were others in his family of brothers and sisters, but they
died of other things. I never knew him except from pictures and stories. He spoke and wrote ten languages.
My Aunt Maurine also died of cancer..the
same as her father, John, but she lived to be 4 months shy of 100 years old. My Uncle Don, also
a son of John Keepers, and another Pastor, was struck with cancer in his seventies,
but he will celebrate his 85 th birthday this month.
Then I lost my cousin Virginia Woodgate to cancer when she was two weeks shy of her 21st birthday. That odd lump under her when she
lay down on a California beach turned out to be deadly. Her sister Beverly has also had cancer, but so far has survived it.
Then there was my cousin Ron Gerber who died from melanoma, an innocent enough looking cancer
until it covers your face and enters your brain. He died in his 40s. The oldest of those cousins, Patricia “Patsy”‘ Woodgate Gross
died last year from the breast cancer that returned to end her life. She died only a few months after her husband Bob also died from
cancer. Then there’s Patsy’s dad, my father’s oldest brother, Hank, who preceded his only child in death from stomach cancer.
My father lived to turn 90 years old and he had a wonderful little party that we threw at my parents house
four months before bladder cancer ended his painful life. He did not go easily because a life of tortured memories from war and
the O.S.S. had to be escaped from before his peace was granted. If you think a soldiers battle is ever done while he or she is alive
you need to re think, it’s not. While my sister and I took care of my dad and my mom ,who has dementia,
my sister Carolyn was diagnosed with breast cancer, a battle fought well and so far won.
On my husbands side, his dad had cancer, but he died of old age. But his mom, Pauline fought cancer twice…does that seem fair…
She won her first fight, but eventually she got the other more dreaded form of cancer and it took
her to our Lord’s loving arms after only a few months at the age of 92. The world lost a bright shining star
when she left, but on occasion we can still see her smile and feel her warmth, even hear her voice.
But with those deaths and the ones who have survived that are in this list, the worse death
of all was the battle fought and lost by an eleven girl who was the daughter of our friends Doug and Kristen.My son attended school
with them both and as a teacher has taught most of their kids, including Gloria.
Talk about a bright and shining star. She was “only borrowed” her parents feel. A child of God who literally
GLOWED with the Lord’s light. There are stories and memories and even pictures that show that wonderful light that Gloria was
to this world. She has been gone for 5 years, but miracles still happen from her. There were miracles while she lived.
there will always be miracles that happen thru this remarkable child. When a large group of people circled around her
to pray FOR her, the evening ended with those people experiencing a healing for them that came thru her, from God to them.
A beautiful picture was taken of her with that light and there is no mistaking the Heavenly glow around her. Not a trick of light or any
lighting, except the light from Heaven.
So a death that seems so very cruel when you first think about it, was a blessing in disguise.
All the pain and all the sorrow for each of these victims of cancer ended in a new life. A life we all strive for.
But to the ones left behind that gift given to them seems far from a victory since we will miss them for a time.
Until there is a reunion in Another time and Another Place. ( Sandi Patty’s song..one I want at my funeral if God ever
deems Himself strong enough to put up with me in Heaven.) Since he has already sent me back a couple of times, I sense He’s not
ready for me. Sorry, Lord, but one day I will see you face to face since that is Your plan…..The Angels will be on a mad
run to hide from little ole stinker me! LOL!! But it’ll happen just the same.
But cancer, tho I have always thought you would catch up with ME some day, so far I win.
So world, keep on turning, keep on chugging onward until we meet our families again.
There were many more names I could have listed here, but the list was long enough. An update to this story from 2012….my sister is now cancer free for the past six years…awesome.
At the same time,we have to add that my mom has also become a victim of skin cancer on her face.The first time it was successfully removed.Now she has another patch that may be cancer on the opposite side.Fingers crossed that this time it isn’t cancer.Prayers are being said for more friends than I can even list here.But one prayer fits them all.
Dear God in Heaven
And our Lord Jesus Christ who sits at His side,we pray the day will soon come when no more lives are lost because of that one little cell that becomes millions.
No more cancer,IJN AMEN