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Goodbyes Said Too Soon

In November, Evan and I went to Alabama. It wasn’t a trip that we’d planned but it’s one that I wanted to make. You see, there had been bad news from home. My grandmother had been diagnosed with lung cancer and my foster sister, Mechelle, was getting weaker from her fight against colon cancer. It felt right to go see them both before it was too late.

Being so far away, it is easy to stuff bad news in a box. You then wrap that box in a bag and put it in the farthest, darkest corner of your closet. You don’t see it every day so you can pretend it’s not there. You can pretend that someone isn’t hurting, fighting for their life. I’m ashamed to say that this is how I’ve dealt with both of these situations. I have pretended they weren’t real. All the while, leaving others to deal with the day to day realities of the situation. I’m not proud of that fact.

I kept telling myself that I would do more, call more, visit more but I didn’t. I did spend one week in Alabama. I visited Mechelle once during my trip. I let the time get away while I was there, I stayed too long and I sent her into a spiral of pain that kept me from being able to visit again while I was there. I didn’t know. We were going to visit again before we left but Evan and I had come down with a cold so it seemed better not to.

Evan and Mechelle

Now I won’t ever have the chance again.

You see, Mechelle, passed away today.

Leaving behind her twin sister, Melissa, who has tirelessly been by her side through this entire 10 year battle, Mekenzie, her beautiful daughter, who is just out of high school and starting her life and the rest of her family and friends who have been there for her.

And me. The one who also loved her, even though she wasn’t my “real” sister (some would say), yet that never really mattered to her or to me…..or to any of my foster family. They loved me like their own even though I wasn’t….in a time that I truly needed them.

I hope she knows that I loved her….even though I didn’t show it nearly enough.


Thursday 12th of January 2012

Merry sorry to hear about your foster sister. Don't beat yourself up with the "what ifs" - you were blessed to see her one last time and for Evan to meet her is special. Hugs to you!!!


Thursday 12th of January 2012

Oh, Merry. How I wish I was in Calgary to give you a big hug in person. When my friend Roger passed in 2010, I felt much like you. I didn't want it to be real. I talked to him on Facebook, but not nearly enough. When I went to Blissdom, I got an email one night after a party from him, telling me how sick he'd been and he sounded scared. I tried to answer, but there were stupid computer issues. I thought I'd do it the next day, and then the next, and by the time I actually answered it was 10 days later.

He was too sick to answer by then, and died shortly after. It bothered me that I didn't actually get to tell him how I cherished him as a childhood friend. But the thing is, after I went back through our short emails, I saw that he knew. I didn't have to say it.

Your last visit with Mechelle was precious to her, I'm sure. I'm also sure she knew. Be kind to yourself. You did the best you could, and I'm positive she knew that. You are far too sweet and kind for someone not to know. Maybe, when you feel up to it, do something in her memory.



Thursday 12th of January 2012

So sorry to hear about your loss, Merry. What a terrible and tragic event.


Thursday 12th of January 2012


I am so very sorry for your loss. The hurt of losing a loved one is something that goes away, but never really goes away. I am positive she knew how much you loved her. I know she feels the love you have for her pour out of your soul, and in the tears that you will shed for weeks to come.

My thoughts, prayers, and love are with you and your family.



Thursday 12th of January 2012

So sorry for your loss Merry! It is sad but unavoidable that distance insulates us somewhat from the harsh realities of those who live too far away to be in our every day lives. Don't blame yourself for that.