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“On February 26th 2008, we lost a very brave young sole to the disease that takes thousands of lives every minute, of every day, of every year.”
As the pastor continued to speak Lucy looked over at Rebecca, she could see tears streaming down her face, her eyes were puffy, and red. She had lost complete control.
“Shall we all bow our heads for a word of prayer?”
The pastor asked as he closed his bible and set it on the stand that was directly to the right side of the maple wood casket. The casket that now held the girl that was once so vibrant and full of life, the girl that was once Lucy’s best friend.
“Dear, Heavenly Father………”
Lucy was overwhelmed with thoughts, feelings and emotions! She didn’t want to pray, after all God had done this to her, he took her way, her best friend! No more late night movies, no more gossip about the new “cute guy” that walked past their lockers at school, or the daily drama from their day to day lives, no more texting, face booking, emailing…NOTHING! Why had God done this to her? To her family, to Emily’s family, to everyone that loved her? She didn’t know. This was the question that had pondered in her mind ever since the day that she heard about the diagnosis. Everything had been perfect up to that point… everything was what she considered “completely normal”. But the old saying would become true…You never realize how lucky you are to have something or someone till it’s gone.
January 20th 2008,
Hi there. Wow, I have no clue what the heck I’m supposed to right in this thing, but I mine as well give it a go! Besides it will make the person who bought me this happy….. My Mother. Since I don’t exactly want to talk to her about every little tiny detail that happens in my life, she wants me to right everything down, apparently “It’s not good to keep my feelings all locked up inside of me.” And I should “Write them all down so I can learn to express myself in a healthy and mature way.” What ever….. Mothers! Well anyways, my name is Lucy, Lucy Jorers to be exact. I am 15 years old and I live in Farmington, Connecticut. Trust me; the towns as small as it sounds! I am a freshman at Mount Valley High school and I guess you could say I’m a pretty typical teenager. I go to school, I go horseback riding and I have two best friends; Emily (Em for short) and Rebecca! We’ve practically been best friends since birth and I honestly can’t imagine my life without the two of them! Our Moms have been best friends since high school! I would have to say that our favorite thing to do is go horseback riding together! We ride through the valleys that are directly behind Rebecca’s house which is across the street from the horse stables! We ride through the creek and usually stop by our oak tree that we discovered as kids for a bite to eat or just to chill out and escape from our hectic day to day lives! Don’t get me wrong we get on each other’s nerves sometimes but, when it comes down to it I know they always have my back and I will always have theirs!
I’ll write back later,
I walked up to the big stable doors excited to go riding! I needed to clear my head, my mom was getting on my nerves with the whole “Expressing my self” thing, and I just needed a day with my best friends! My horse; Chesnutt was the color of a milk chocolate candy bar! I received Chesnutt as a gift for my 13th birthday and since the day I got him rain or shine, sick or healthy I ridden him every day! Emily and Rebecca had horses as well! Rebecca’s is a light brown sandy color and Emily’s is the color of freshly fallen snow! Their names were Sandy and Abby. But Abby and Emily were nowhere to be found. Rebecca, Emily and I agreed to meet at the stables, did plans change? Did Emily already take Abby out? What in the world was going on? Emily was usually the first one here! This was definitely not like her! I was about to pull my phone out and call her but the sound of footsteps set me back.
“Hey Lucy!” Rebecca said as she walked towards Sandy unlocking her from her stall and walking her out.
“Have you heard from Em at all this isn’t like her she’s usually the first one here!” I said stating the obvious.
“Oh yah I’m sorry I forgot to text you and tell you that Emily was going to go out a little early, it sounded like she had a lot on her mind.” Rebecca said calmly.
“Oh okay! Well I guess we should get going then!” I said still feeling a little panicked and confused.
I wouldn’t have been so concerned that Emily wasn’t at the stables but she had been acting really strange the past few weeks! She had been extremely tired lately, which was unusual for her! She had also looked like she had lost about 10 pounds and was the color of a ghost. Something just did not seem right!
Rebecca and I trotted down the valley’s long winding trails over to our big oak tree. I remembered back to when we were just 5 years old; we were walking on the valley trails for the first time. It was a bright sunny summer day. We were so tired from walking and we needed a place to sit and relax! We found the tree and I know it seems corny but the tree just seemed t speak to us. We laid in the green summers grass guarded by the trees shade and just enjoyed ourselves! We went there after our first real fight, in the summer just to sit and relax and after our first major tragedy; my Dad dying when the tree seemed to swallow up or tears. As we got older whenever we had a problem or just needed to get away. Whenever a major life occurrence was going on we went to the tree! Today Emily was sitting under the oak tree.
“Hey Em!” Rebecca said as we walked towards her.
“Hey Rebecca, hey Lucy.” Emily said with a somewhat solemn look on her face.
“Okay Emily, what’s wrong?” I asked
Emily trembled as a single tear followed by multiple tears shed down her face!
“Em what’s going on? Seriously come on now it’s us you’re talking to, you can tell us anything!” Rebecca said trying to comfort our best friend!
“No, really this is completely different; I honestly don’t even know how to say something like this!” Emily said with difficulty, as she chocked on her tears.
“Then just come out and say it, come on Em were here for you what ever it is!” I said once again trying to reassure her.
“Okay, well you know how I have not been feeling like myself lately, and I’ve been feeling really sick. Well I went to the doctor yesterday morning to figure out what was wrong and the results were something that I would have never expected in my wildest dreams! My family doctor examined me and he said that my lymph nodes were extremely swollen which I guess can be extremely dangerous. My doctor then referred me to an oncologist who is a doctor who deals with cancer.” Emily fell silent and placed her hands over her soft pale face. Her body started to tremble and tears were pouring out of her hands.
“But you don’t have cancer, that’s not possible, you’re a teenager your healthy. Em please tell us that you don’t! The doctor made a mistake right!” Rebecca was now screaming as tears started pouring down her face as well!
Emily slowly looked up and mouthed the words “I do.”
Silence took over the outdoors; we all just sat their numb. It was like a bad dream a terrible bad dream that I just wanted to wake up from.
“After I got to the Oncologist he took me back into an examination room and proceeded to give me a blood test. They diagnosed me with ALL or acute myelogenous leukemia which is an acute leukemia.” Emily said softly continuing what she was trying to say.
“So what does that mean? Like how are they going to treat it?” I asked as many questions filled my head.
“Well, I’m being admitted into the hospital on Monday and then I will start chemotherapy soon after.” Emily said.
We all stood there crying, not exactly sure what to say and how to say it! I can’t believe this is happening to Emily it just seemed so unreal! At this particular moment I wanted my Mother. I wanted her hug me and hold me and tell me that everything is going to be okay.
February 15th 2008,
Sorry that I have not written in a while but I have been spending the majority of my time with Rebecca and of course Emily. Since Emily was admitted into the hospital I have been going there every day after school to spend time with her as possible! Emily’s appearance has completely changed! It’s almost like night and day, it’s so scary! Her hair has chunks missing out of it and her eyelashes are falling off by the second! She has dark brown and blue bruises up and down her arms and is throwing up all the time! Her Mom told me it was because of the chemo therapy but it doesn’t make it any less gross! When I think of cancer I think of death and I can’t bear to loose someone else to this disease! Why is God doing this to me? Is he trying to punish me for something? I don’t understand! First he takes my Dad and now he’s trying to take my best friend! My Mom has been trying to talk to me even more latley but I just brush her aside. I don’t need anyone to talk to I have my best friends for that and there is no way that I’m letting my best friend go!
Wish me luck diary,
“Knock, knock.” I said as I entered Emily’s hospital room.
“Hey!” Emily said as she slowly turned over and opened her eyes.
“Did I wake you?” I asked concerning.
“Oh know, I was just looking outside, wishing that I could ride Abby right about now.
“Yah, it’s beautiful out their today. Don’t you think?” I said trying to keep up the conversation.
I didn’t understand I used to be able to talk to Emily about everything and we could talk for hours, but now we could barely have one conversation without their being awkward pauses in them! What in the world had changed! Was it her? Or was it me?
“Em, so truthfully how are you feeling?” I asked finally just speaking what was on my mind!
“Well, I have been really tired lately and I still feel really sick, but well, I didn’t want to say this but, the doctor ran some more tests today and he said things didn’t look good.” Emily said with tears in her eyes.
“What does he mean by things don’t look good?” I asked trying to hold back tears.
“Well, I don’t exactly know but I overheard him and my Mom talking and he told her that he only thinks that I have a couple of weeks.” Emily said crying even harder.
“Couple of weeks to what?” I asked not wanting to believe the truth.
“Come on, Lucy you know what.” Emily screamed through tears.
“To live? Is that what you wanted me to say Em? Well, there I said it, are you happy now?” I screamed back, I was so angry at Emily at myself mainly at everyone but especially God; he was taking another person away that was important to me. I just don’t understand it!
Emily and I sat there not able to look at one another and both sniffing back tears. I then grabbed ahold of her hand, I had no idea what had come over me but I felt like I had to be there for her no matter how hard it was for me! I never wanted to let go of Emily’s hand. It seemed as if by letting go of her hand I was letting go of her!
As I walked into my house my Mom was sitting in the kitchen waiting for me.
“Hi Mom, I’m home.” I said hanging up my coat on the coatrack.
“Hi honey, how’s Emily doing?” My Mom asked.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” I said quickly.
“Lucy, honey come here, I want to talk to you.” My Mom spoke the words that I dreaded hearing.
“I know this is really hard for you, and I know you have been having a hard time since your Dad died. I also know that you think God is doing this to hurt you. But honey he’s not, God does everything for a reason and we may not know what that exact reason is but he doesn’t do things to hurt people! Now Lucy, honey even though this is hard for you, don’t you think you could try a little harder to be there for Emily? When your Dad had cancer he hated when people were crying around him and not acting like themselves. He wanted to have fun and continue to live his life even though he was sick! I know for a fact Emily probably wants the same thing.” My Mom said all of this before I could even get one single word out!
“Mom, Emily only has a few weeks left to live.” That’s all I could get out and before I realized what I was doing I was bent over in my Mom’s arms crying harder than I had ever cried before!
February 23rd 2008
Wow! For once in the longest time I actually feel connected to my Mom! She actually made me feel somewhat better! I still have no idea how I’m going to deal with loosing Emily but she was right, I need to make these last few weeks for her the best she’s ever had! Yesterday Rebecca and I got the hospital to let us take Em out for a little bit! Emily’s Dad drove us to the stables and we were going to ride the day away! Em all wrapped up in a blanket hugged Abby so tight the minute she saw her! I saw the smile on Emily’s face that I had not seen since she was diagnosed! This was the Emily I knew. The smiley, fun loving, goofy one that I became best friends with! Emily’s Dad held Abby’s reigns and pulled them along the valley trails as we rode beside her! We stopped and in front of us was the big oak tree standing broad and tall! Rebecca and I helped Em off her horse and we all walked over to the oak tree. We lay under it talking about all the good times we had and laughing about all of our goofy memories. It was like we were 5 again. The sun shine bright and I could not have pictured a more perfect day. Emily didn’t even act sick; this was exactly like old times! This was how I wanted to remember her as the fun loving girl that made me laugh so hard that I cried the one who loved horses and mostly just loved life! It seemed like this day was sent from heaven and when we brought Em back to the hospital sound asleep I knew that I had done the right thing and I knew that Rebecca and I gave Em a day that she would never be able to forget! And for that I could not help but stand back as the nurses hooked her back up to her monitor and smile!
I’ll write back soon?,
As Lucy walked home from school she could not wait to get home and go to the hospital to tell Em about her school day! Weeks had passed since they had gone horseback riding and Emily was still holding up strong. She even seemed to be getting a little better having a little more energy each and everyday! Maybe this was God’s plan after all to have me go through another life changing experience but have it all work out this time! Maybe Emily would be okay after all! Lucy walked through the doors of her home quickly throwing her backpack on the ground and calling for her Mom.
“Mom…Mom..I’m home can we go to the hospital now?” Lucy screamed throughout the house.
Lucy’s Mom walked into the foyer with tears streaming down her face.
“Mom, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?” Lucy asked starting to get tears in her eyes.
“Lucy...I’m sorry…I’m so sorry!” Lucy’s Mom said crying even harder.
“No, Mom, no… it can’t be, it just can’t be, please tell me it’s not true, please Mom please.” Lucy cried!
Lucy fell into her Mother’s arms crying out the pain and suffering she had just been hit with. Over the past two months and the pain of finally realizing her best friend was gone.
2 WEEKS LATER…
Lucy sat with Rebecca holding her hand tightly tears pouring down both of their faces. As they watched their best friend’s funeral unfold. Lucy still didn’t understand why God had done this to her and in away was still angry at him. But maybe her Mom had been right about one thing sometimes we don’t know or understand why God does things but he always has a reason for the things that he does. The definition of cancer is a disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. Cancer can take the physical appearance away from people but it will never take the persons spirit. Cancer took my Dad and my best friend but I choose to remember them as the people that they truly are. Before they had cancer. The sun shine outside just like the day the girls went horseback riding and Lucy could not help but believe that Emily was sitting up in heaven smiling down from above and sending the beautiful glorious day of sunshine!