Last night, a friend lost a long and painful battle with cancer.
I’ve known Angela for over ten years. When I first met her, she was a young mom of a brood of boys, and going through treatment for breast cancer with incredible optimism. I was immediately drawn to her personality, a charismatic mix of warmth and strength, of passion and compassion. I remember her beating the cancer. I remember her going on to add another son to their family. I remember her as a mom of five boys, committed to her family and her faith. She inspired me in so many ways. She homeschooled all five of her boys. She was committed to clean eating to keep the cancer away. She was constantly helping others, and she had an incredible connection to God She was an amazing friend to all who knew her.
One memory I have of Angela was the night before our son came home from Haiti. She was dealing with more discouraging news about her health. She was exhausted, physically and emotionally. And yet she and her husband came over to help us set our room up. Reed helped us put together an IKEA wardrobe (a true measure of friendship) while Angela and I talked late into the evening. This memory is just a small snapshot of the kind of friend Angela was. Her biggest frustration with the physical limitations of fighting cancer was always related to her desire to be of service.
It was a shock to everyone when Angela’s cancer returned. She lived with (and fought with) cancer off and on for thirteen years. It seemed so unfair – she lived a healthy life. She didn’t drink, didn’t eat processed foods. She was a mom of young boys. She was a cancer survivor. Hers was supposed to be a story of survival. And while I understand that cancer does not discriminate, I remember thinking . . . No. Not Angela.
I think everyone who knew and loved Angela is struggling to come to terms with why someone as vibrant and faithful and needed here on earth could lose their life at so young an age. It’s not my belief that God employs some token economy on earth, sparing hardship from the most deserving. But it’s quite difficult, in moments like this, not to question WHY. Because Angela . . . she was most deserving. She was most deserving of a long life free from suffering.
I’m comforted that she has that now. But I’m also completely devastated. Please keep her husband Reed and their five boys in your prayers.