Thursday, 26 August 2010

On Second Thought...






Well, maybe it's not fair. Life may be great but it isn't always fair. Let me tell you a story about someone I know.

Without sounding too cliche, my Auntie Jacquie is truly one of the most wonderful people you could ever meet. She is a remarkable person with a highly infectious laugh. She has gotten by through life by sharing much love, generosity and kindness with others. There is not one thing bad that I can even associate with her and again, I truly mean that. She has always been close with my Mom and my family. She has stood in the sidelines as another one of our cheerleaders and she has been one of our 'go to' pillars of support. Whenever we needed a ride she was there. Whenever we were down, she was there with her infamous Caesar salad to cheer us up. Whatever we needed, big or small, she was there. She was there without us even having to ask.

When my Mom was diagnosed with cancer, my Auntie Jacquie (A. J. as she is so affectionately called) came over every day. Even on those days that my Mom said to go away, she was there to make sure she didn't need anything. She took off work on stress leave and took care of my Mom. She was not only my Mom's comfort, she was ours too. She shuttled my Mom back and forth between her appointments. She took care of her when she was ill. She came over with any kind of beverage that she could find when my Mom needed to drink something after her many rounds of chemo and nothing appealed to her. She was there to pick my Mom up and make her walk down the street, even in her pajamas, just so she could get a little exercise.

And now...

Just a little over a year now, our A. J. was starting to feel shaking and numbness in her legs. She went for some scans, the doctors said things in her brain looked ok. It must be something else. She continued to feel the unnerving sensations till she woke in the middle of the night with absolutely no feeling or movement in her left side. She was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a brain tumor. The doctors operated on her brain and removed what they could. Most likely, she will not walk again they said. Most likely, this tumor will take over and she may have up to a year to survive.

At the same time, her 25 year old son Sheldon was in another hospital with what was believed to be a very curable form of lymphoma. They were wrong and Sheldon was operated on for over 12 hours. He had a stomach/esophageal sarcoma of some rare sort.

Sheldon and his mom were operated on at the same time. A few weeks later, they were able to be in the same hospital. Sheldon died two months later.

Somehow, A. J. has managed to carry on. She has managed to stay positive, interested in others and she has kept her strength. She is unable to walk and she remains in either a chair or her bed. She needs to rely on someone for everything that she needs. Her life was turned upside down and backwards. A few months later, she lost her mother. A month later, my Mom died; her sister and her best friend. Somehow, she has still managed to carry on. She worked on completing her goal of walking again. She walked 80 steps. She has moved and has been using her arm.

Till now,

Now we are back in the slumps of the dumps. All progress has been regressed. She has been losing feeling and movement in her left hand and her shoulder. Her arm drops and it is dead weight that causes an awful lot of pain that coincides with the pain and nausea of her chemo meds.

Now we are back to the fearful anxious mode we were hoping to have a reprieve from. Our hairs stand straight up but we slump from the stress and the sorrow of it all. How terribly sad I feel for my Auntie Jacquie. How hard this road has been for her, how much more for her bear?


56 comments:

Jackie said...

Dear Angelique ,
I miss your mom terribly . I felt as if I knew Jacquie through your mom. Please give her a big hug and tell her she is in my thoughts and prayers . I always loved hearing about her through Renee's stories .
Hugs to you all ,
Jackie

Pattee said...

I'm crying so hard I don't know if I'll make sense as i can't see the screen...
Your Aunt Jacuqi has meant so much to me ~ I know her struggles,and her struggles still... I am praying for her and I still pray and thing of your mom... my dearest friend in the world ~
Love~Pattee

MBNAD woman said...

Tough times for your family. And here am I moaning about the delays on the building work.
Thinking about you and hoping there will be a bit of good news soon.
Mad x

kj said...

i read this, angelique, and i am frozen shut. i am so sorry. that any of this has happened to your aunt jacquie and that all of it has happened--it is beyond belief.

i have to tell you, angelique, that you wrote this like your Mother would have. it's almost as if you are channeling eachother, because you sound so very alike (except you don't say the F word, at least as often) :)

we who love you will kick it into high gear to bless and protect jacquie. please tell her that.

i wish i could do more.

love always,
kj

Yoli said...

Sweetheart my prayers are with your family. I wish I could physically hug you. Have the whole family tested for early detection.

deb said...

sending as many prayers for healing today and everyday for your sweet Aunt Jacquie.

TheBlakkDuchess said...

Hugs & love to you & all the indominable women (and men) in your family. I am sorry I cannot send you more than this, but you all are in my thoughts. Draw strength from those around you & those of us, near & far, who send you our love & good energies. Blessed be.

xoxoxo

nollyposh said...

(((Hugs)))

There are no words, they stick in my throat, all i can send you, is what your mum would...

~Love~

Sharon's Cottage Quilts said...

As I was reading about your dear Aunt Jacquie I was struck by what a kind and generous lady she is, but moreover I see a fierce, and admirable courage within this special woman. What a fighter! To come back from such an illness such as hers and to walk again. I've learned two amazing lessons from her-never give up,and always believe in yourself. Thank you for sharing this with us, a story of the life of a lovely lovely lady. I will keep AJ in my prayers.
Blessings~Sharon

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I've been wondering how your Auntie Jacqui is doing -- she has endured such terrible losses, all so close together -- how cruel life has been to her. Wishing her love, peace and healing.

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I've often wondered how any one person could endure as much as she has in such a short time, I feel so bad.
Please know she and your whole family will be in my thoughts and prayers♥
I miss your mom :(

Annie said...

There are no words. Just tears. I am so sorry. Life is not fair, but perhaps it is not about fairness. We just don't know why things happen. Ask for grace. I will be praying and sending blessings.
Love and many hugs. And kisses to A.J.xoxo

Marion said...

Oh, Angelique, I am so sorry to hear this about your beloved Aunt Jacquie. I think about your beautiful Mom every day and even though I only knew her for one short year, I feel as if we were lifelong friends.

I will be praying fervently for Jacquie and for your family. Thank you so much for continuing to share on your Mom's blog. It means so much to me. I know Renee is watching over you and is very proud of you. Love & Blessings!! xoxo

Robin said...

Dearest Angelique,
As has been said by all of your "Blogging Family" - our hearts and our voices are frozen by shock.... the right words are hard to come by -

Jacquie has remained in my heart and in my prayers all these LONG months since Renee died. I know you, Camille and "AJ" herself, have been communicating with some of our group....and it always made me smile and feel warmth in my heart because you were able to reach out and embrace those of us (though far away geographically) who love all of YOU - amazing, strong and beautiful family that you are. I knew Renee loves this...

Jacquie is MORE than brave....MORE than strong...beyond any definition of all the words - courageous, resilient, steadfast...

Now, she is again facing climbing that "hill" - like Atlas, carrying the world on his shoulders...

You and your Family will be offering strength and support - as you have had to so for so long a time.. I know you will find a way to summon up all that makes you - YOU. Know that your "Blogging Family" is here too... anything and everything that we can do - we will. I have relit my "Renee Candle" - which burnt bright and kept vigil this March....

We are here. Lean on us when you need to.

Love and Prayers..... always,

♥ Robin ♥

yoborobo said...

Angelique, Since your mom died, I have had the great honor of getting to know Jacquie, just a little. I have to say, I have never met someone who has been dealt such a horrible set of blows - heartbreaking blows. Jacquie is beyond amazing. She is indeed remarkable. Her strength and kindness, like your mom's, is something that I admire more than I can say. Please tell her that I love her, and that I am thinking of her every day. Much love to you, too, Angelique, and to your family.
xoxox Pam

vintage moon studio said...

The strength that envelopes your family is an awesome thing to behold. I really miss chatting with your Mom and reading the sweet comments she used to leave me about my work. Am sending healing prayers to Jacquie and will keep her in my thoughts. What an incredible niece you are! xo Deb

Laura said...

Sweet Angelique,
I'm so sorry to hear that your Auntie Jacquie's symptoms are hitting so hard again. It is hard to fathom so much sorrow and pain for your loving family. A friend of mine lost her youngest daughter to leukemia 3o or so years ago when her little angel was 5, her husband 3 years ago (brain tumor) and a second daughter (a married with a toddler) to breast cancer 2 years ago. We cannot know why such pain comes to some families...and others go through life seemingly unscathed. What I can say from watching my friend and reading about your beautiful family here on this blog (yours now?) is that the strength and love of families such as yours is an inspiration to the rest of us, surely...but more than that...the LOVE the STRENGTH, that is a blessing for all of you to treasure. You have a closeness to your family members that many others will never feel.

I'm sorry if this sounds polyanna...not my intention...just saying what I see.

I will pray for your Aunt Jacquie to have some relief...for you too to experience peace too.

gentle steps

Debra Kay said...

I can only send hugs-but I do. Lots of them.

prutsels said...

She carries a heavy load, I hope the love, respect and admiration coming her way, makes it a little lighter.
Your mom and you and your aunt have created a haven of inspiration.
So much goodness and kindness and laughter.
I wish you all the things you need.

Pretty Things said...

Oh no. I'm so sorry.

Baino said...

This road has been incredibly long and hard for you all. You're a strong girl and I'm sure your family appreciate that in you. Hearts out to Auntie Jackie, I was almost afraid to ask you how she was going.

studio lolo said...

When I think of all your family has endured it boggles my mind and crushes my heart.
I have been thinking about Jacquie and her illness wondering how things were going. I'm sorry to get the news that things are grim again.
The reservoir of strength your family has is incredibale, but knowing your mom even for only a year, I can see where it comes from. I miss her dearly.

I was going through papers in my studio last week and came upon the first letter she wrote to me telling me I was a gift.
She was the gift! I learn from her still every single day.

My love and prayers go out to you, A.J., her husband and Camille.
I have never seen one family endure so much loss and pain in so short a time.

Hugs and blessings,
xo Lolo♥

Jos said...

How many times have I read Renee writing of her wonderful and much beloved sister Jacquie? Too many to count. Ah Angelique how well you write. You express things in a way that is in some ways so reminiscent of your mother and yet also at the same time very much distinctively your own voice.

It's nearly a year now since I promised Renee to include your AJ in my daily prayers. This after years of hardly praying at all. I hold her each and every day in my thoughts and prayers along with you all.

How I wish I could do more. I will pray Angelique because I can't think what else to do. Except hope. xx Jos

Robyn said...

Dear Angelique I am very sorry to read this news and I am sending big love to you all.

xxx Robyn

Gloria said...

Angelique, all this pain, I'm so sorry. Please let Jacquie know my thoughts and prayers are with her and you and the rest of the family. Let her know I will say a special prayer for her tonight.Take care. ::hugs:: Renee, I always think of you and your rose bush is just flowering with beauty as you did. Love you.

Mim said...

I often think of Jacquie and have been wondering how she is doing, and now this. I'm with KJ and frozen with sadness that this damn illness just won't give up. Please give her our love and support for you all - and tell her that in so many ways she has been such an inspiration to us and that she is thought of with love.

One Woman's Thoughts said...

My eyes are watering and my heart is heavy. You are as gifted a writer as your mother, I so loved to read her words. And I know she smiles at you from her place in heaven.
My most sincere prayers are being said to embracce your entire family with love and comfort in your days of hardships. Your Auntie is a wonderful person and you speak so loving of her. May she find that your love eases her burdens and that she is embraced by all of you that care.

Bella Sinclair said...

Devastated. I am completely devastated, and my heart is pounding. Oh, Angelique. Dear Jacquie. A small act of mercy is needed here. Please, just one break. I keep you all in my prayers and deep in my heart.

With love,
Bella

Christine said...

Sending my love and prayers for your Aunt Jacquie as well as you and your family. There are times and seasons in our lives when life is beautiful and joyous, and others when we are overwhelmed with sorrow. Praying strength for you all through these days. xx

karen gerstenberger said...

It's not fair. It's not right. I am so terribly sorry.
I am sending all the love I can to you, your Auntie A.J. and all of your family. It's all I can think to do. I pray for mercy and relief, healing and help. xoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

I'm sending my prayers to Jacquie and your family Angelique.
Hugs and love
Yvette

Robin said...

Just checking in - with LOVE and STRENGTH for you all....Jacquie, I love you and send you all my strength. YOU KNOW Renee is right there with you.....she is holding you close and kissing you and telling you to do WHAT YOU WANT....let go...or keep fighting....it's your choice.

Everyone in your "Blogging Family" is here for you, sending love and strength..... we adore you - as we adore Renee, Wahid, Angelique, Camille - and all your extraordinary family....

I love you all.

♥ Robin ♥

Draffin Bears said...

So sorry Angelique, for the sad news of your Auntie Jacquie.
I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers and may your A J have relief and be healed.

Hugs
Carolyn

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

I am so sorry to read this. It seems so unfair that this wonderful family has already endured so much.
My prayers are with you all.

Kelly Lish said...

Sending love and prayers your way. Please give your Aunt Jacqui a hug from me. I've been missing your lovely Mom as I know you all do so very much. So glad you are coninuing her blog, as we all want to send you and your family our love, in the good times and the struggles.
Love, Kelly

Robin said...

Just HAD to check in- sending LOVE, STRENGTH and PRAYERS to all of you.

Jacquie, I think of you EVERY DAY.
Angelique, our own Angel, please tell Jacquie how much she is loved....as are YOU, Wahid, Camille and all the children.

We are here.....always....

Love, Strength and Prayers....

♥ Robin ♥

kj said...

i see you've added your name to the blog, angelique. that is so fine.

love to jacquie and your family. together strong, together strong...

love
kj

seeker said...

I just came to your blog today, and my heart is breaking for all you and your family, and especially your Aunt have gone through. I have no words. Except to say that I know that G-d is weeping with you, as you struggle to get through all of this. And yes, I said you. You spoke of your mom and your Aunt, and their strength. But you did not speak of yours. You, too, are the hero you see in your Aunt. I send my thoughts, my prayers and my love to you and your family. I wish I could do more.

Marie S said...

I am so sorry, there are no words. I pray for you all.
You too have been through a lot. Take care of your self also!!
Love and huge hugs.
I keep you all in my heart.

Robin said...

Checking in to send love and strength from San Francisco. I am thrilled you have added your name, dear Angelique, to the "Contributor" column. I KNOW this pleases your Mum to no end....I am sure she hoped it would happen.

I and many, many others), think of Jacquie daily.....sending love and prayers, burning candles, incorporating her into part of our daily lives....just as we did our Angel, Renee - and as we do YOU....Renee's "Special Angel"...

Much love....know that you are really NOT alone in this....

Many hugs, many prayers, much love to all of you.....

♥ Robin ♥

Ces said...

Dear Angelique,

I am so happy you have decided to keep your Mom's blog going. This is such a bright spot in blogland.

I am saddened, and baffled that such a loving and beautiful family as yours was given so much pain and burden. It is criminal! Your loving and beautiful family deserves so much happiness. This pain and suffering is most undesirable, reprehensible, in fact. Do not get comfortable with pain and sadness. There is no virtue in suffering. There is no glamour in pain. The romanticization of suffering is not right.

Ces said...

Dear Angelique,

I am so happy you have decided to keep your Mom's blog going. This is such a bright spot in blogland.

I am saddened, and baffled that such a loving and beautiful family as yours was given so much pain and burden. It is criminal! Your loving and beautiful family deserves so much happiness. This pain and suffering is most undesirable, reprehensible, in fact. Do not get comfortable with pain and sadness. There is no virtue in suffering. There is no glamour in pain. The romanticization of suffering is not right.

Jos said...

Just popping by Angelique. Still praying every day, and like Bela I'm hoping for an act of mercy here. Much love to you and your family. xx Jos

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

The love your family shares is a wonderful and rare thing. I am so sorry to hear this news, and hope against the odds, but know that love will support and buoy her in whatever lies ahead.

Lori ann said...

I am so sorry. This is SO unfair. Your aunt Jacquie has had more to deal with than most anyone can imagine.

Sending much love and hugs, to her, and you dear Angelique, I don't know you, but i did your lovely Mom.

I wish for your family, peace.

love,
lori

Petite Carousel said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom and your Aunt. I too, have too many loved ones affected by the big C.

Here's hoping and praying that good positive news will come through real soon.

*hugs*

yoborobo said...

Angelique - when you next see your AJ will you please tell her I am thinking of her? Much love to all of you, you are in my heart always. xoxo Pam

Jann said...

You've all been through so much. I will remember you and your Aunt in my prayers. I once sent your mom a little egg-shaped box she won in a giveaway. It was always so nice to hear from her, and I think of her often. I am so glad to see that you have continued her blog. I will be back soon. Much love to your family, Jann

Silke said...

Oh, dearest Angelique, I feel your pain through your beautiful post about your aunt Jacqui. Your family has been through so much! I will keep you all in my heart and especially Jacqui as her life changes once again. Much love and a big hug! Silke

Deborah said...

Praying, never ceasing, lifting Jacquie and your entire family up to The One who knows all needs. Sending you all my love on the wings of a desert sparrow, Deb

Chrisy said...

I'm pleased that Jacquie still has beautiful people like you in her life tho saddened at all she's had to endure. Please give my love to her across the miles...

The Strawberry Mallard said...

I remembered tonight that I had not been here for awhile...and now, once again, I am praying for you Angelique, and your incredibky brave family!
Hugz, Nancy & Family

Dawn said...

Oh my what sadness has been bestowed on your family, yet you all remain so strong. I am sooo sorry to hear about your Auntie, what an amazing woman just like your mom.
Life certainly is not fair, never has been, never will be.....
I wish you and your family all the best.

Dawn

Jaqi said...

Oh Angelique , How sad I am to read this post. What tough times you are all having , I am lighting a candle and praying that you soon come through this awful time. I hope youre Aunt Jacquie is comfortable, It is stories like this that make me doubt my faith . Take care Angelique and please let us know how your Aunt Jacquie is getting on xx

turquoise cro said...

Thinking of your Aunt Jacquie too, sending her some Love and prayers for her pain(((((((Jacquie)))))

Leslye said...

Hi Angelique,
You also have had a hard time in so many ways. What I have read about your mother and your aunt A.J. just shows how special these two lovely ladies were and are! I add you to the being special to because you are also a very special lady.

Each one of you dear ladies have been through so very much and with you still going through so much more, my heart goes out to you both and your family. They have also been going through all of this with each of you and it is so wonderful that you have family to help in what ever way they can and do.

I like everyone else so wish there was something I could do to help in so small way that could be of help or relief to you. The only way I can help though is to add you to my prayer list along with your aunt A.J. and your family.

I do pray God wraps his loving arms around each of you and I pray for many blessing to come your way.

Thank you for sharing with us and to remind some of us were aren't the only ones going through hardships out here.

Bless you, Leslye