On September 10th my sister in law TerriLyn passed away after a long battle with cancer. She was diagnosed with breast cancer about 4 years ago and went into remission after about a year. In September of 2009 we learned that the cancer had come back and had spread to her bones and liver and that it was incurable. She went through many difficult treatments in order to keep it from progressing as quickly, always with the knowledge that the treatments would eventually stop working. In August she came back from a wonderful visit to Seattle where she grew up only to find out that the treatments weren't working anymore and the cancer's growth had accelerated to the point where there was no healthy liver tissue left. Being the fighter she is they opted for one more treatment, one more miracle. Sadly the treatment was too much for her body to handle and she was hospitalized with an infection. She stayed in the hospital for close to three weeks, being visited almost constantly by large groups of people whose lives she had touched just by being her.
On Friday September 10, 2010 I received I received a call from my brother telling me to get to the hospital ASAP. I raced there to find that her kidneys were failing and that her time here on earth was coming to an end quickly. The day was long, full of waiting and tears. What I remember the most was the amount of love felt in the room by all those who surrounded her. By the love that was given in the prayers said by her father and my brother. I thought about how we, being imperfect beings, can show that much love and kindness to one person how must it feel to be in the presence of our Heavenly Father and Saviour? Even now my heart breaks at the thought of what all of radiating love must feel lie. And at that moment I was able to let TL go because I knew for all the love we possessed for her she was going to be enveloped in that a thousand times more at least.
After almost an entire day TL's vital signs were starting to stabilize and I decided to go home and do some much needed laundry before I came back later that night. Not too long after I got home (9:55 PM exactly) my niece Haley called me saying I needed to come now as fast as I could. I threw on whatever I could find and flew like the wind. I was almost there when Haley called again to say she was gone. I assured her I'd be there as soon as I could. My thoughts during that time were jumbled but the two I remember the most were 1. I am so glad I was able to say my goodbye's to her earlier and 2. I need to hurry and be there for my family. When I arrived and walked out of the elevator door I immediately found Haley and then Gabrielle and Ryan. We all embraced for a long time and I just kept trying to let them know how much their mother loved them and how she will always be with them. I then went to find my brother who assured me that she went peacefully. I was so relieved and comforted by the fact that she was finally at peace and no longer in pain. Most of all, that she was with her Father in Heaven.
Through this entire ordeal I came to the realization of how truly exceptional TL was. She has hundreds if not thousands of people who love her, adore her because of her loving and accepting nature and zest for all that life had to offer. She touched so many lives and those people have in turn touched me. Thank you to everyone who was there for her whether in person or in spirit. To everyone who helped and loved TL and her family every capacity.
TerriLyn, thanks to you most of all for being you - a beacon of brightness to all those who met you.