Sunday, May 6, 2012

In passing

It was a sad and reflective weekend, unfortunately. I drove up to Idaho on the fly Friday night to comfort a friend whose mom had just passed away from stage 4 colon cancer.

Colleen Forsberg was an incredible lady, and she meant a lot to me. As a junior high student, I played on the soccer team that she and her husband coached and will never forget how kind she was to me. I have always been uncoordinated and hopelessly flawed when it comes to athletics, and I decided to play soccer only because my friends were on the team. No matter how horrible I was (and I know I was horrible at soccer), Colleen was always so nice to me and treated me like one of her own kids.

In high school, I spent a lot of time at her home with her daughter Abby, and when I graduated from college and ended up at Broulim's, the only grocery store in town, again because I couldn't get a job in my field, she brightened my day whenever she came in. She totally understood how frustrated I was to be back in my hometown after graduating -- and she always made sure to ask me how I was doing and find out what was new.

When I went to their home Saturday morning to see Abby and say my goodbye to Colleen, in a way, I was saddened to feel how tangible her loss was. Abby and her sisters were dancing in the kitchen (and if you know the Forsbergs, you know this is always the case when you visit) and Colleen, who would have been there laughing, was gone -- and that was the most heartbreaking to me. I love this family so much and felt so guilty thinking of my own mother, who just hours before had climbed into the covers of the bed with me and snuggled me close, as she often used to do when I came home from college or on holidays when I moved down to Utah.

Life is unpredictable and often so unfair. Why should I still get to have my mom with me when Abby and her five sisters and her father don't? Why was I able to conquer my cancer nearly nine years ago and so many other women I know in St. Anthony have lost their battles?

I obviously don't have the answer to these questions. No one does. But I know that each time someone close to me passes away, I come away feeling more determined to be nicer, to be more connected to my family and to be HERE while my life continues to fly by.

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Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts! I love reading them.