Marjorie Writes…

Everyday Musings of an Extraordinary Woman

Archive for the tag “#cancer”

Life is Too Short

I spent a couple hours this afternoon with some former co-workers from my college newspaper days. It was great to see them, catch up with what was going on in our lives, talk about our kids and our memories from between 25 and 30 years ago. However, there was an underlying sadness. We came together to celebrate the life of one of our own, whose life was cut short by cancer the day after Christmas.

While there were only a few of us there from our group, it was a good sized gathering from different facets of her life. I remember her as always having a huge smile and a great spirit.

The greater group of alumni from our newspaper usually gets together every few years. And even though we’re not all able to make it each time, we all usually make our best efforts as those times were special to all of us. I remember them well, and I remember clearly whom I was back in those days, back when I thought we would change the world, or at least report on those who did.

This was also a reminder about how I’ve meant to ask a couple former classmates to let me bring my daughter to their workplace as she wants to be a journalist too, and I’d love to be able to give her the experience to see what it’s really like, even just as a peek.

Sadly, it seems far too frequent that one of our own is gone from the group forever, lost to the eternity of death. As one of my friends said today, it feels like we’re far too young to keep losing our college friends.

Today is a reminder to my University of Houston Daily Cougar alumni friends that it’s time again to get together, before we lose another person. It’s a reminder how short life is and how unfair it can be.

Never miss a chance to tell those you care about how you feel. We are never guaranteed tomorrow, and we often don’t have the opportunity of knowing in advance when we will lose someone. Don’t leave things unsaid. Live life to the fullest. All cliche ideas, yet also all very necessary to remember.

Stepmom

I just watched Stepmom. I shouldn’t have turned it on when I was flipping channels. But it’s a beautiful movie. Maybe I needed a good cry.

For those who don’t remember the movie, or haven’t seen it, it came out in the 1998, starring Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts. Sarandon played a divorced mother of two, and Roberts was her ex-husband’s young girlfriend/fiance. Of course, they didn’t get along in the beginning. But Sarandon was harboring a secret from her ex and her kids – she was fighting cancer. Eventually, it would come out and they would grow close.

The first time I saw the movie was with my Stepmom, Eileen. She and my father had come down to Houston to visit, and while he was out playing poker with his friends, we decided to go to the movies. We went to see You’ve Got Mail, and afterward snuck into another movie, Stepmom (her idea, not mine, I would never have done that not have suggested to her that we do that. (See my halo?) We didn’t know what it was about, and missed the beginning.

As we were sitting there in the dark theater and caught up with what was happening on-screen, we realized that the situation in the movie hit too close to home and it was probably as uncomfortable for her as it was for me. Of course, not wanting to make her feel more uncomfortable, I was trying to stifle my tears, which were definitely flowing.

Mind you, she wasn’t younger than my father and she had come into his life after we lost my mom. However, it was still close enough to home since my mom had died of cancer 9 years before.

Watching the movie again tonight, this time with kids of my own, touched me on different levels. I pray my kids never have to go through what I did – I fully plan to live forever. Grin. Ok, while I know I can’t shield them from the pain of losing me forever, I mean I hope they won’t have to deal with that loss until they are grown with kids of their own, who are also grown. Maybe even grandkids of their own. Great-grandkids would probably be stretching it.

Anyhow, in the movie Sarandon is talking with her daughter (middle-school age, again, hitting close to home tonight) about her not being around in the future. She told the girl that she would always be with her in her mind, that that was how people stayed around, when she graduated, she would be there, when she got married, she would be there, when she had her babies, she would be there. And I found myself talking to my mom. You WERE there when I graduated (in my case, from college, as I was lucky enough to have her until the end of my freshman year of college). You WERE there when I got married. You WERE there when I had my babies. Even though I so desperately wished she had been there physically with me, I had felt her with me at all of those times.

I had almost forgotten the memory of watching that movie with my stepmom. We lost her 2 short years later. That was just a random day in our brief history, not one of the bigger ones which come to mind when I think of her.

If it wasn’t so late, I might have a drink in her memory. She liked white Russians. Too bad I don’t have any kaluah.

Live, love, laugh…it’s what makes it worthwhile!

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