Wednesday, August 17, 2011

When there's no sense to make sense from

Life is beautiful.

It's also sometimes painful, nonsensical, and now and again, filled with thundering sorrow. Today, the thunder is loud. A family has lost the central light in their lives - a mother of two growing, beautiful children, a sweet wife, a dedicated daughter, sister... Ashley was one of those people with very long arms. Even before Cancer came to call, she was one of those magnetic personas. 100 watt smile, sharp as a whip, clearly in love with her sweet son and daughter. While some of my friends were quite close to Ashley, I only met her briefly in person twice and talked to her a few times online, though I followed each of her blog entries. Even from this distance, it was impossible not to root for Ashley, and it was something beyond the shameful lure of the tragedy of a young mother dealing with cancer. She was so candid about her fight, so endlessly brave, so earnest in her desire to inform and educate. Now she's gone and the world seems a little less bright.

And still, life is beautiful.

Because of Ashley, an immeasurable number of people are more educated about inflammatory breast cancer and the realities of one of the cruelest forms of cancer out there. Because she was so honest about the treatments and symptoms she went through and because she so often shone a spotlight on resources available to people like her, other patients won't have to feel so alone when they read her blog. Because she spoke up, even those of us fortunate enough to not be dealing with something like cancer are reminded to not take any of this for granted. Someday, we will all face our own mortality. Because of Ashley, we are reminded that we all have our own journey to navigate and the power to take ownership of the choices in our lives, even at the end of our lives. Even as our hearts break, we are reminded that life is worth living because of love in all its glorious forms. Each day, each smile, embrace, petty argument, macaroni-and-cheese dinner, is a gift, even those days touched by sorrow.

Please send a peaceful thought out into the universe today for Ashley, her family and friends, and to all those touched by this frustrating, infuriating disease. We don't know enough about breast cancer in 2011 and that needs to change. 


Susan K. said...

Wonderful post Sarah. Wonderful.

Katie said...

Beautiful Sarah.

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