I debated whether to write this or not. I like to keep my blog fun and bright but I have to confess my heart has been so heavy lately thinking of a friend from my early 20s who passed away at the young age of 44 from stomach cancer. She was my age and way too young to leave us.
Her name was Arlene (Law) Fillingim and she truly was one of those bright lights in life ~ you know the kind. The kind of people that no matter how crappy you feel or look, she would bring a smile to your face because she was so kind. Just genuine, compassionate, funny and warm. I honestly never remember her being mean or cross or even ticked off, although I am sure she was at some point. I mean after all, she was human.
Human enough to lose her battle to cancer. Even late pictures of her without hair and her frail frame, she had that amazing smile and confidence and in a message to me she said, "I'm trying to keep my spirits up", knowing that she was dying. That was just who she was.
Even in this very old and blurry picture you can see her shine.
My heart is heavy for her family. Her sister Laura, who introduced me to my husband of 20 years, who now has no siblings on this earth. Her parents who have had to bury their own child...a grief all too familiar to me. Her husband, who faithfully took care of her and tried to keep her pain free in her last days. And no doubt, her children ~ a son and a daughter who will have to grow the rest of their lives without a mother.
My heart will be heavy for awhile, but I believe she is at peace and is no longer suffering. She is in the loving arms of God and watching down us ...smiling. Thank you for being you in the brief moment our life paths crossed, Arlene. Love you~