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.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Olympics are a huge landmine. The opening ceremonies are tomorrow night. Personally, I'm excited to see them, yet emotionally I'm dreading them. Sissy always loved the Olympics and was devoted to them day and night. There were many a time she would drag herself to work on only 3 hours of sleep because she had been watching them most of the night. During the last Summer Olympics we became the epitome of Mexi Ghetto by dragging out a small TV and setting it up on the back deck so we wouldn't miss anything while we grilled, swam or drank outside. Sissy was soooooo excited for the Olympics. She had already planned on watching them in bed in case she wasn't feeling well enough from the chemo to be up and watching them. NOTHING was going to keep her from watching her beloved Olympics! And she was so excited to watch them with Asa. In fact I've been slowly reading her blog, beginning to end, and I read the part where the Summer Olympics were on and I loved reading how Asa got really into the Olympics and knew everyone's names.

So Olympics have taken over our lives even before they have started, only not in a good way. I am determined to watch as much as I possibly can. Mom and sissy always compared notes and rooted for the same people. This year I will do my homework and be able to be well informed on each Olympian and be able to have an intelligent conversation with mom.

This weekend is also Valentina's party. It causes me physical pain just to think of it.

And finally, to top off our emotionally explosive week, Thursday was one month.

One month.

Today marks five weeks since I heard Trina say "hi sissy!"

Five weeks since I had a sentence long conversation with my sissy.

Five weeks.

I will never again hear her say my name.

Asa will never hear her say his name.

I keep asking everyone who has experienced the loss of a person who was party of their daily lives what helps.


Nothing helps. Nothing helps even a teeny tiny bit. Nothing.

Actually I take that back. Asa helps. Valentina helps. Mom helps me. When we are all together it is a bit comforting. There is a house for sale next door to us and mom and I said that we secretly want Joshua to buy the house. How easy would that be? We could knock down the fence that keeps the back yards separated and have one giant back yard! They would always be just feet away from us. Somehow I think it's just a dream for mom and I that will not come to happen. And in all reality, Joshua and Asa are close to us. One mile is pretty damn close! I'm still so grateful that we happened to find the perfect home for us and that it was so close to sissy's house. I was only looking at houses that were in the same area. Had this house been 5 miles away, we wouldn't have bought it. So that did work out. I do believe that most things are random now. Shit happens. Miracles happen but it's random as to who they happen to. Some people get medical miracles, some don't. Sissy didn't get her miracle. She did, however, get her Asa and that is amazing.

Speaking of Asa, he's starting to talk about sissy more, which I think is good. He and Joshua are just two peas in a pod. They are so content when they are together. There are times when Joshua needs a break and of course mom and I are all too willing to have him! I worry so much about Joshua. He tried to go back to work last week and after one day he decided it was too soon so he took more FMLA. I feel horrible for him. It hurts my heart to think of his loss.

Mom cries multiple times a day, which again, I think is good. Valentina is starting to realize the gravity of what has happened. She cradles and caresses toys, shoes and clothes that sissy had given her. She sees old pics of sissy with hair and exclaims "LOOK! IT'S TT! TT NOT SICK ANYMORE!" Some nights she wants to pray, some nights she doesn't. When we do pray we thank God for everyone in our family and go down the list. When we get to TT we say "thank you for giving us TT for as long as had her. Thank you for taking away all of her pain and for making her a beautiful angel in heaven." Mom and I are taking our cues from Joshua as far as what has happened to sissy when it comes to what we tell Asa. Joshua said Asa had prayed that mum would be able to see him. So the official answer is that Mum is an angel in heaven and can see him. Yesterday, out of the blue, he announced "I think I miss mum the most." Mom and I simultaneously confirmed his thought. Asa is such a beautiful, kind, gentle soul that I want to protect forever. I know that is impossible but instead mom and I try to do what Trina would have done or would want us to do instead of what we want to do.

When it comes right down to it, this is hard. Harder than anything I have ever been through. It definitely makes everything else seem small in comparison. Like my friend Michelle says (she lost her brother, her only sibling, from brain cancer six months after his diagnosis), whenever something bad happens to her she says to herself "is this really that bad? I've lost the person most important to me. This isn't really that bad." And it's true. Mom asked me what I was giving up for Lent. I laughed at her and said "I had to give up one of the most important person in my life, forever. I think I've given up enough." Mom agreed, as did papa, so we're not giving up anything else for Lent.

We have given enough.


wy-not said...

Amen to that, Cameo. Amen to that. Again, you describe your loss in words that are so powerful, your readers can almost feel it. I say "almost" because, of course, we never really can. But I am glad you've gone back to writing. You're very good at it. I hope you know that.

I just feel such sadness for all of you, and am so glad you live near one another. It would be awful if geography separated you.



Nicole R. said...

Cameo... when my husband complains about something stupid - i look at him and say "are you dying of cancer?" then shut the F_ up!
I can't stand when people complain about every day stuff. Seriously... life is too short and can be taken at any moment - i'm not going to fret over "spilled milk"

always thinking about you guys and especially Asa too!!

Jen said...

Beautiful post Cameo! Yes, I think you have given enough for a lifetime. I have been stricken speechless at this point, so that is why this comment is so short!

Love you,



Cameo, I feel so useless when I comment on your blog. While reading your from the heart words, my heart just aches I feel like I can't breathe and tears begin to form as I remember things Trina wrote on her blog or things you wrote about on your blog. How is it I've only known you guys through the blogs? I feel like we have met in person or at least talked on the phone.

I wish I could say time heals everything but I would be lying. Time takes away most of the raw pain but I don't believe you ever truly heal when you lose someone so close to you. I do believe that sometimes we have to take our cues from the mouths of babes and model after them.

As usual as I try to speak from my heart I'm rambling and not making much sense so I'll stop now. You're right about Lent you have given up enough.

Hugs, Love you guys

Deb said...


Just wanted you to know I was thinking of you and your family today.

Love and hugs,

wy-not said...

Watching Olympic coverage today, cheering for your country as much as my own, and thinking of you.