Two posts ago, I wrote about a young woman named Emilie. I didn’t want to be specific about her condition, but since the link I used apparently didn’t work, I will say that I read about her on her blog, “lemmondrops” (http://lemmondrops.blogspot.com), and rather than writing about her, I provided the link because she herself was such a good writer.
The latest post was dated this morning, December 25, and noted that Emilie had reposed “last night” — presumably, December 24. Her situation was atrocious on several levels:
1) she had two very young sons, one three years and one just nine months old
2) she was married just five years
3) her cancer, a soft-tissue sarcoma, was found while she was pregnant with her second child
4) it was as big as a melon, and
5) it had been growing, according to her oncologist, for about five years.
It is this last that shakes me up particularly. If it was growing for five years, why wasn’t it detected sooner?! Pregnant women have ultrasounds all the time. I’m hoping it was obscured by her growing uterus, but still — shouldn’t something abnormal have shown up in a blood test, or something?! Instead, she has a second child, and now, not only will her older child go through life feeling abandoned by his mother, but also, her younger child will never really be fully aware why he has this huge empty place inside him — and that will stay with him his entire life. It has with me.
So I ask your prayers, not only for Emilie’s soul, but for her husband and her young sons. And for her priest, who, if my own experience is anything to go by, will offer a few words of condolence to the grieving father and get back to the “real” business of social activism, or whatever his pet project is. Oh, not to mention the funeral — Catholic funerals these days are all about Joy and Celebration, and completely ignore the realities of life, such as feeling cut in half by the death of your spouse.
Or having your heart carved out of you by the death of your mother.