So, this is how I process — I write. And what’s the point of writing a tribute if no one can read it. I’ve wondered if I should keep this private, but … I don’t want to. I may change my mind later, but for now … in honor of Darlene:
I have tried to start this five different times now, and there’s no other way to do it than this: Cancer sucks. It sucks bad. Bad enough that, if I weren’t emotionally drained, I could come up with a better word for it. I’m not sure Sucks is good enough. Traffic sucks. Stubbing your toe sucks. Cancer is another level of suck, deserving of another, harsher word to describe it.
A blog post isn’t enough to honor Miss Darlene in the way she deserves, but it’s on my heart and I just need to get it out.
Darlene is the friend that you want for your mom – the one who cleans the kitchen when tragedy has struck, and the whole family’s at the hospital but someone needs to stay home to wait for the phone to ring.
She’s the Mary Kay lady who taught you how to put on make-up and then was there to help you choose the perfect colors to match your prom dress. And later your wedding dress.
She is the helper you didn’t know you needed until she kicked you out of your house, keeping your three-week old while you get out to get a new shower curtain. Of course you wouldn’t have admitted you needed the shower curtain unless she forced you to. And she wouldn’t have noticed if she weren’t scrubbing your bathtub.
She’s the lady who calls weeks ahead of your work Christmas party and says, “I’m keeping Iva!” She always seemed to think I had a waiting list of babysitters who were as anxious as she was to spoil Iva rotten .
She loves Iva — has called her her Medicine. And Iva loves Dar Dar. Dar Dar hosted Iva’s first 1st birthday party, since she was out of town for the real party. She bought baby floats and pool toys for her pool so we could come swimming often during the summer — and we did. Iva had her first taste of strawberry, watermelon, and ice cream on the deck around Dar Dar’s pool.
The end is coming quickly for Dar Dar. She has fought a LONG and difficult battle. She has loved with everything in her. She has stood up for what is right. She has been a loyal friend, a devoted wife and mother. She has loved life. And she loves Jesus. She will dance with him soon. With a new, cancer-free body.
We love you, Dar Dar. Have peace.