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July 28th, 2004
Justin came home on vacation and we visited Rose in Troy-Beaumont Hospital. She had lost considerable weight and was also in pain. I felt so much for her. We found out she has Stage IV cancer in major organs – the stomach, liver, and pancreas.
I remembered the heart-sick feeling when I learned of similar diagnosis of my mom and step-father. It’s a death sentence, and the sense of hopelessness is overpowering. Rose is two years younger than me. Is this the beginning of the loss of my peers? Rose and Charlotte are more like sisters than cousins to me. Whenever Rose would call, she would say “Hello big sister” in a melodic voice.
She loved to talk – and crochet afghans. Rose wanted everybody to be happy. I shouldn’t be writing of her in the past tense because she is still with us; but that part of her that acted as hostess, worked at Meijer, and generously gave of her time to others is gone. And for this I grieve.
Please help Rose in her journey to you. Help her accept her illness and keep her strong if she chooses to fight this illness. Let her determine when she is ready to join you.
I pray daily for the three-to-six months she has to live that you embrace her in your love when she leaves this Earth.