Sunday, December 14, 2008

Life is precious

My family received sad news this weekend that the daughter of my wife's cousin killed herself this week.

She was married, but no kids; in her mid 40s; and we did know her, though she lived in California. We don't have too many details on the suicide, but the one detail we'll never really get is why.

There is no good reason for suicide. There really always is hope; you just need faith. But, unfortunately, not everyone has faith -- faith in God.

While Debbie is gone in a selfish act, the pain for her husband, her mom and dad, brother and other family and friends remains. While time will soothe the pain, I wonder if it will ever truly heal it. Maybe for my wife and her family (and me), but not really. We'll still have a sad feeling in our hearts for the life that Debbie took. And, for her more immediate family, I can't imagine what they have, are and will go through. I can only pray for them and offer whatever words and actions may try to console them.

I say life is precious because, while Debbie took hers, I read this weekend of a woman who doesn't want to lose her life.*

The 61-year-old was given four to six months to live when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October. She battled cancer before and beat it. This time, she was told it was terminal.

“I am blessed and I feel blessed for every day that I have with family and friends … and sometimes I am mad. I beat it. Why do I have to do it again? Is this the way it is going to end? It is hard when you are told four to six months. You don’t know when it is going to happen.”

Later in the story:

Since her diagnosis, Beverly has planned her funeral, thankful for the time to say goodbye. She has selected photos, chosen music and decided what she will wear at her funeral. She’s bought (her husband) Rick a gift for his January birthday, which she hopes to give to him in person, and she has her grandson’s graduation gift ready for March. Her goal is to make it to her 62nd birthday in April.

“I have had a good life and I am blessed for every single minute that I have had. I am really, truly blessed. Sometimes I don’t think this is fair and I get mad and everything, and then I turn around the next minute and all of my blessings show through.”

Life is so very precious.

Debbie had hers but took it away.

Beverly wants hers, but will lose it.

Be sure you cherish your life, and love those around you.


*Beverly and her husband, both retired, do not have health insurance, survivor benefits, and face funeral expenses. If you wish to help and/or are in Northwest Ohio, there is a fundraising benefit for Beverly (also noted in the story):

Fundraising benefit from 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 21 at K.D. Alexander’s Beauty and Relaxation, 7015 Lighthouse Way, Suite 2, Perrysburg. Services available will include chair massages, mini facials, brow wax, hairstyling and haircuts. All donations will go toward Beverly Kanthak’s medical bills and expenses. A 50-50 raffle and silent auction for gift baskets will also take place. To make a donation, call (419) 277-4329.