We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.

What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.



Sunday, January 10, 2010

True

"I am not going to be licked by tragedy, as life is a challenge and we must carry on and work for the living as well as mourn for the dead."

- Rose Kennedy



Never has a quote so well suited my situation. I first blogged this quote on 08/30/09 and it fits even better today.

Thank you to everyone who has left a comment. I am going to print them out and save to give to Asa when he is older. He will NEVER forget his beloved mum mum.

Thank you again everyone. I don't know when I'll post again, it may not be until next week as tomorrow we go in to finalize plans for the service. That was a sentence I have never wanted to write.

Right now is the easy part. We are all busy, numb, in shock, disbelief and have people in from out of town. It is when things settle down and we begin our new routine that everything will sink in and seem overwhelming. Right now we cry at times but mostly laughing at things we remember. For instance, we were all over at her house today and I had told Joshua I would go through the file cabinet and organize the bills and figure out what was due when, etc..... It was overwhelming to him and I'm all for something to keep me busy. Anyway, sissy was great at documenting her login information for each bill, which is great since they were all different. We all remember this one bill she hated paying. Almost every month she would make some comment about how stupid it was and how she hated having to pay it. I came across it today and the password? "Screw you". I laughed out loud and immediately ran out to the living room to tell everyone. We all got a great laugh out of it and mom and I still crack up about it.

I just need to say something about Joshua. He is amazing. He is beyond amazing. There isn't the right adjective to describe how wonderful, loving, kind and considerate he is. He told me the sweetest thing yesterday. He said whenever I want to call sissy to call him instead. I am going to do that. Every night after I got Valentina to sleep, I'd sit on the couch to decompress and call sissy to see how she was feeling and ask what she was doing. I will now do that with Joshua.

Asa is doing good. He doesn't talk about his emotions but instead uses this little stuffed bear that someone had given to sissy in the hospital. His name is Beary. If you ask Asa how he's feeling, he always says fine. So then we sit Beary on our lap and ask "Beary, how are you doing today?" Asa answers for him and sometimes Beary is sad, sometimes Beary wants to cry, sometimes Beary wants to kick someone, sometimes Beary is ok. I am just grateful that he is able to express himself through Beary.

This week will be incredibly difficult but mom put it best. We are all trying to be there for the other person because we all think the next one has it worse. Of course Joshua and Asa ARE the ones who have it the worst and we worry the most about them, but mom, Papa and I have decided that we don't want things to change. If we want to go to sissy's, we'll go to sissy's. We'll do the same thing we always did, knock on the door and walk in. And Joshua has been extremely generous in telling us to call him anytime, stop by anytime, to just keep doing what we have always done. Again, I can't say enough about how sweet, kind and loving Josh is.

And I have the best friends. I'm eternally grateful for Holly and Julia for making the cross country to be with us. And Amanda, oh my gosh, she is beyond helpful. She came over Saturday morning to take care of the kids while Joshua, mom and I went over things. I'm so blessed with the best friends.

I will forever miss my sissy but she is always with me, not just in my heart, but in physical form with Asa. None of us will ever be the same. I told mom that we're lopsided now. The three of us (mom, sissy and me) were a "well oiled machine". That is how mom always described us. It was like a sturdy three legged stool. Now there are only two legs. We will fall down. We will topple over. But mom said that we will also learn to hobble along.

It is still unbelievable to me that we are all still breathing. We always said, from the time we were growing up, that we wouldn't be able to function if something happened to one of us. And yet we are. We must, not just for ourselves, not just for the next person, but especially for our two miracle children.

Thank you again.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cameo your words were so beautiful. I admire your strength. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you and your family as you go through this week. And they will continue to be with you as the weeks go on and you learn your new normal.

Anonymous said...

May you know that the Good Lord will be there when you fall, pick you up and carry though the tough times, and set you down again when youre strong enough to carry on with your life... You may or may not see Him ... You may not know that he is there.... But I assure you, he is there, looking over us all, wishing and hoping we will just trust in Him, through good times and bad... We know not why these things happen... It is far beyond are comprehending sometimes... Just hold the faith...

Praying for a better tomorrow...
And remembering the good times past...

Trusting Him through our sorrow..
He wants us with Him at last ...

(May Trina will always be remembered
for all her goods times)

Kelly said...

Cameo I am always here should you need to chat or whatever! Your strength is admirable. You have suffered the unimaginable and your still standing , you're much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Give your 2 miracles hugs from St.Louis!

Steph said...

Your mom is one of the wisest women ever - you are going to hobble along with one of your legs missing, but you will still be able to move. For someone who is suffering something no mother ever should - to be able to have such insight is another example of what an incredible mother you are blessed with. :)

Josh sounds like a truly amazing man also. Trina definitely knew what she was doing when she fell in love with him. And had one of the cutest, smartest, sweetest little boys ever. :) Josh is also blessed to have such a support system in you, Beya, Papa, Norm and Valentina. You are all going to bolster each other and keep each other going. And to keep Trina's memory alive for each other and for Asa. How encouraging that he has his little Beary to express himself - what his little heart must be going through just breaks mine.

You take good care of yourself, Miss Cams. There are people all over the country praying for you - for strength, for healing, for peace. Although Trina's miracle of healing here on earth did not happen as we had all hoped - the miracle of seeing such an amazing family who has weathered its share of storms, but has come through it with such a deep love for each other has been a tremendous blessing to everyone who has been fortunate enough to get a small glimpse of your family through your blogs. The same blogs (esp. Trina's) that will be so important in helping Asa to remember and know his Mum.

And this is leading to little miracles happening all over the country from people who were so inspired by the love of your family - and your love of Trina - who want set things right in their own family. That is another legacy from your sissy that all of you can be proud of. :)

Mandy said...

I read that quote yesterday on your facebook and hoped you would remember it.

I have no doubt that you all will surround Josh and Asa, being their constant support. I am so glad that you are going to print out all the comments and compile them away for Asa so he knows how much his mum mum was loved. Perhaps her blog can be turned into a book for him.

Please know that you are all in my thoughts. Love you.

Kelley said...

What beautiful words from such a wise and strong woman!

Anonymous said...

I am new to your blog and I wanted to tell you how much it has touched me. My heart goes out to your family and I pray for your comfort. I have been in your situation before and I know how difficult it is. Your family sounds wonderful and I will keep praying for all of you.

Gardenia said...

what a beautiful tribute to your sister, Trina, that you carry on. praying for you and your family and Trina's soul.

mommymeezer said...

This was an amazing post...thank you for sharing your world. I wish peace for your family.

Allison

mommymeezer said...

This was an amazing post...thank you for sharing your world. I wish peace for your family.

Allison

mommymeezer said...

This was an amazing post...thank you for sharing your world. I wish peace for your family.

Allison

Anonymous said...

oh my cousin, You are a gift. You are such a strong person. I love you so much. I will always love and miss Trina. She's a very special person, that has touched so many of us. We were talkin about her the other day, and everything that was said was so touching. We have so many great memories that will always be in our hearts. Something that I always looked forward to seeing at the end of every blog post was "Shake and Bake" . LOVE YOU ALWAYS TRINA! Cousin Ang

Farrah said...

How beautiful Cameo.....

It will not be at all easy, But you will carry on and Trina is looking down on you know smiling because she knows her family is one awesome concoction(spelling??)....

There are alot of prayers lifting you & the family from all over the world...and I know i'm sending you hugh hugs from Florida

Take Care Cams....

wy-not said...

From far away, in Alberta, Canada, I send you warm hugs, prayers and kudos for keeping it together so well. You are surrounded by love from all sides, and I know this to be true: in those still, small moments when you are alone and you want to talk to sissy, you will feel the gentle caress of her arms around you. Asa and Josh and the rest of the family will feel it too. She is there beside you now, just as she always was, because the Lord told us "the greatest of these is love." May He bless you all and bring you peace.

Sarah said...

Cameo, I am amazed by the legacy of strength and love that your sissy left behind in all of you. Many of us NEVER had the relationship you have with your sister and mother and even though it truly SUCKS that she has been taken away from you and Josh and Asa and Beya and Papa way too soon, what a beautiful blessing HE gave to you with that relationship.

Your sister has left behind the most amazing people. You will forever be changed for having had her in your life.

Praying and thinking of all of you as you go through these initial numb first days. Trina is smiling at all of you for hanging tight to your love for one another while preparing to say goodbye. Don't you just wonder what she is thinking up there in Heaven? I am sure she is rejoicing and just waiting for the day that you will join her for forever and see what the journey of life brought you to... May that day come a long time from now as she has left you with a great job... to love and raise her son the way she would have. My heart breaks for him.

Love, hugs and FROG!

Sarah

Andrea said...

I am trying to type this comment through the tears streaming down my face. And yet, cracking up at the "screw you" password. Because that is SO totally Sissy. Those stories need to be written down because Asa will love to know about his mum mum's crazy sense of humor.

You have such an amazing strength, and I know Sissy would be so proud of you all. We love you, and you know there's nothing we wouldn't do for you and the family. Thank you for being a part of our lives. Thank you for introducing me to Sissy and Beya. Thank you for being my friend.

Love you, Cams. ALways and forever.

bodegalee said...

Cameo
I have always so loved your blog as you have this great ability of saying it like "it is".. And the courage, strength and beauty of your entire family shines thru in the words you write. I hope you will continue to use it as an outlet when the tough times undoubtedly come. I love that your sweet Sissy is making you laugh from afar! That password is hilarious!! Thinking of all of you constantly and praying for peace, comfort and MORE laughs. ((HUGS))!!

Anonymous said...

Cameo, you have such a talent for the written word, what an incredible post.. Your family is such an amazing work of art. Please know that you and your entire family are in my thoughts daily. I think your Mom is a wise and wonderful women.. what a wonderful way to express the loss of an important member of your family.. Yes you will hobble, and you will stumble but the strength within you, will allow you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on.. I am glad that Asa has "Beary" to relate his feelings through.. I am pleased that Joshua is so wonderful that he wants to continue on. Your entire family is such a pillar of strength..
Again if there is anything I can do please email me..
Love, Hugs, Blessings..

MT II

erinberry said...

What a beautiful post, Cameo. The password story was so funny and was such a timely gift of laughter from Trina to you and your mom.

mylene said...

Very well said Cameo. My tears are overflowing. All the years we worked and played together, we laughed endlessly. Everyone loved her and she knew all their names. Her life was such a blessing to all in my family. And we had some great camping trips! We went through some crazy times too. Oh I love her... God bless you Cameo, God bless your family, and God especially bless Asa and Josh... all my love...

Anonymous said...

"And, in the meantime, we pray that those threads by which you are just barely hanging on, will become strings, then ropes, then cables. We are so grateful for those who are gathered around you. Remember that they are Jesus to you. He is there, in them. That is how real his presence is, in your fiery furnace."

LouLou@thelifeofloulou.blogspot.com said...

It makes my heart happy to hear you all rejoicing over Trina's life...all the funny little wonderful things that made up your sister....I know that there are hard days to come, but I also know that you are a strong woman. You will help hold that 2 legged little stool up.... Maybe Asa and Valentina will help be that 3rd leg. Your family is so blessed. Even through tragedy you see nothing but love and thankfulness coming from you all. I wish there was something I could do for you....anything.... I know I can't say anything to make a difference but please know that I am still praying for and thinking about you all the time. I may not have been visible much over the last few months, but I can promise you that I was always checking in on you and praying for all of you....If you can ever think of one thing I could do for any of you all you have to do is say the word.

I love you.

Jen said...

Cameo~

I LOVED your post!! The password story made me laugh out loud!! Isn't it amazing what "we can" get through that we thought "we never" would be able to. You and your family are amazing!

I am so happy to hear that you are continually reviving Trina's memory over and over. That puts such a big smile on my face. I am also so happy that Asa is able to articulate his feelings through Beary.

You made me cry when you talked of the "well oiled machine." You're right you may fall, but you and your mom will always get up.

It's funny how our brains and bodies are capable of adapting to a "new normal" I am so thankful for this, I would be lost and dead without this adaptation.

Take care and if you need anything....call me, write me, send smoke signals, subliminal thoughts (remember how many things we have in common, I may pick up on them), whatever!

Love you,

Jen

The Vuki Family said...

You don't know me. I've been following Jen's blog and was directed to your blog. I do want to express my empathy and love that I have for you. I lost my sister and nephew to a tragic accident 3 yrs. ago and my life was forever changed that day...but my life has still continued. There are those days many of them that I wish and wonder what'd it be like today if they were here. I do want to tell you, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. When I read your post "she's gone" my heart just ached for you. I truly understand what it is you're going through. Hang in there. There are always clouds but the SUN always comes shining through. Take care, and may God continue to give you the peace, love and understanding that you guys all deserve.
--Tiff

Tracey said...

You are incredible...all of you! I am glad that you will "learn to hobble" :) Sissy will always be with you...always!!

As it slows down a bit and you have time to think...you will shed alot of tears, but i am sure you will all giggle alot too!!

Sissy will never be forgotten! She has touched our lives immensely, I only wish I could have hugged her and laughed with her...in person.

I am here...just know that...anytime!

Love you all!

Karen said...

De-lurking to send you my prayers.... God be with you as you get through these next difficult days of saying goodbye.... I have loved reading of the relationship you and your sister have had over the years and wish that all sister relationships could be the same.

Robyn said...

I am continuing the prayers for you and your family!!

auntrene said...

Cameo... Beautiful!!!
I hope your Sissy Trina doesn't mind... but I might borrow her password..
Remember to Take Care of you..
You are such an amazing family. I admire your strength.
Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Carolyn said...

Cameo, your strength is inspiring to say the least. I pray for peace as your family moves through this tragedy. Asa and Josh could not have been blessed with a better family.

Grama said...

I agree with so many that say you are strong wonderful women. I believe with all my heart God put Josh and Asa into your family so they would have a "normal" family life even now. I love what you said about Asa being Trina still with us. He is her beauty of soul and her love of laughter. I hope the laughter returns as often as possible.
This day was the most time I have ever had with your beautiful daughter and I loved every minute of it. Thank you.
Love and prayers to your whole family.

nikki said...

Cameo,
What a beautiful post. You are so right that Trina will always be with you. And you have a living piece of her in Asa. He is her legacy. My prayers continue to be with your family.

Rhonda said...

Carry on as usual. Seems to be the perfect thing to do for your two little miracles. Josh is a smart man. He knows what you all need including him.....each other. All my Love.

Jaimee said...

Cameo...I have not been able to visit your blog without physically sobbing. I have only found the words today to tell you how sorry I am that Trina lost her battle to cancer. I fell in love with your family while we were going through our adoptions and have prayed so hard for Trina. Words cannot express how sad I am right now. But you are sooo strong!! Your words in this post were beautiful and I'm so incredibly grateful that you have shared your life journey in this blog. You guys are an amazing family and I know over time, you will not hobble, you will run. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family, espcially Asa. Big hugs to you through the miles.

Jaime Salas said...

My heart aches for you.

You will continue to have our prayers.

Your family has touched so many lives. Literally- you have prayers being said for your family around the country and probably throughout the world. Your family has touched thousands.

God bless you and your family.

p.s. love the password. ;)

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I try and think about cancer like a war - Trina lost a battle, but how it affects you, Asa, your family is the real war. Learning to live a happy, peace-filled life after the defeat is the real war. You are a WARRIOR too. Good Luck with the fight.

Greta Jo said...

You are such a wonderful sister! I too love the password. The password did not surprise me...
Thinking of you

Doanz said...

"The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26

As one of Trina's nurses, you will never know how much your dear sister and family touched my heart- and let me see our Glorious Savior a little clearer. God be with you through this time...With much love and continued prayers, Renee

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kate @ Life As I Live It said...

Cameo, thank you so much for posting. You and your family haven't been far from my thoughts this past week. Ok, really for the last year. But especially this week. You sound kind of at peace really, and I hope that it true. I know the pain will remain and the anger will resurface, but I'm so glad that you are surrounded by your family and are supporting Josh and Asa. I will continue to pray for your hearts to heal and for the pain to subside, leaving only happy memories of your beloved Sissy. I know I have happy memories of her.

Lots of love to your family,
Kate

AprilMay said...

I "met" your beautiful sister from a friend's facebook updates. I just want you to know that I have been praying for your sweet family and especially Asa, even though you don't know me. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Thinking of all of you.

Patti B.

heather said...

I am so sorry about Trina! Praying for peace for all of you, but am so happy you have each other. I know Asa will be surrounded with all of your love every day of his life and that you will tell him so many stories of his amazing mother. God bless you all!

Doanz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doanz said...

Hey lady. Thank you for your comment on my blog. Didn't know how to reach you to say...YOU are a beautiful soul. Of course I remember you all, and still think of Trina and all those sweet faces often. I have said prayers for your little Asa over the years and can't believe how big he is! I have prayed for Joshua's heart and happiness, and I smile and thank God for family when I remember yours and your mother's faces. Working with the type of people I do, your family is a shining light in the darkness. Thanks for letting me know Trina's family is doing just fine. It made my whole month. <3

I am sorry you and your friend are facing death again...and in one so young and innocent. I can only imagine. Will be praying for all of you...your blog shows your humor and view point, and it is probably just what your dear friend will need in the days to come. I am so glad she has you.