08 January 2010

Cancer Sucks

This week, my friend Mitzie lost her Mom to cancer. After fighting for more than 2 years (which was 2 years longer than the doctors predicted), the end was long and drawn out and totally NOT what anyone expected. I know, I know, God's got all that and there's a reason. But that reason isn't evident just yet.

I couldn't sleep, so I got up and came out to do some work. For some reason, Mitzie's phone sends e-mails to my work address :), so I found this when I was doing my Region 4 stuff.

Celebration services to honor Patricia “Pat” Tackett Tucker, 65, of Lufkin will be held Saturday, January 9, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. in the Keltys First Baptist Church with Reverend Grady Higgs and Reverend Steve Cowart officiating. Interment will follow in the Gann Cemetery.

Mrs. Tucker was born July 22, 1944 in Lufkin, Texas to the late Christine (Mooney) and Fred Tackett, and died Wednesday, January 6, 2010 in a local hospital.

“Her children shall rise and call her blessed,” but it is all who knew her that were truly blessed. Devoted wife, Godly mother, loving grandmother, loyal friend. Mrs. Tucker faced cancer in a courageous, graceful and unwavering manner, using it to encourage others and as a faithful witness of her salvation. The greater the blessing, the greater the loss, and we will miss her greatly.

Mrs. Tucker was a lifetime resident of Lufkin. She retired from the Lufkin State School and was an active member of Keltys First Baptist Church. Although at times employed outside the home, her primary and most important job was that of being a successful homemaker. Providing for her family was a priority - cherished Christmas presents, special birthday dinners and daily home cooked meals. Countless loving stitches were sewn throughout her life to make dresses, costumes, baby blankets and grandchildren’s quilts. Although Mrs. Tucker could not swim well, she spent many weekends camping at the lake, teaching her children how to fish, swim and ski.

The family would like to extend expressions of gratitude to Dr. Sasha Vukelja and the staff of Texas Oncology, Tyler for fighting alongside us the past few years.

Survivors include her husband of 46 years, Paul Tucker of Lufkin; son, Rodney Tucker of Lufkin; daughters and sons-in-law, Cynthia and Howard Kline of Rusk and Mitzie and Stephen Brockman of Brenham; grandchildren, Brady Tucker, Braxton, Cheyenne and Sierra Brockman; sisters and brother-in-law, Christie and J.B. Pickard of Zavalla and Melva Terry of Lufkin; spiritual mom, Bearnice Harris; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.

Pallbearers will be James Smith, James McMullen, Reagan Kelsey, Randy Boles, Paul Tinkle, Ed Martin, Chuck Ferris and Ken Reeves. Honorary pallbearers will be local law enforcement officers.

Memorial contributions may be made to Keltys First Baptist Church, 2402 North John Redditt Drive, Lufkin, Texas 75904 or the American Cancer Society, 212 Gene Samford Drive, Lufkin,Texas 75904.

The family will welcome friends and loved ones from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. Friday evening at KeltysFirst Baptist Church.

The church nursery will be provided for both the visitation Friday evening and the services Saturday afternoon.

Carroway Funeral Home, Lufkin, directors.

My heart is breaking for Mitzie and her family right now. Cancer sucks! It is horrible that they've had the ups and downs of this fight and the incredible lows at the end of the battle...and it's horrible that even though there may be some relief now that the war is over, it's short-lived. Because the hard thing is, she's still gone. And that's going to hurt, every single minute of every day. That's what people don't tell you. All I can do is be here if she needs me as she comes back and re-enters her life here. That doesn't seem like much, after all she's done for me.

Cancer sucks--as I read those words about Mitzie's Mom, I was humbled. All the time I've spent with Mitzie...all the time, and I never asked who her Mom WAS. I just asked about her cancer treatment. Cancer reduces people to treatments and bodily functions and life functions. It sucks. It kills who we are before we actually die, and that's a damn shame.

So I'm humbled this morning, and heartbroken. I wish I could tell you, sweet friends, that a year from now this will hurt less. It will, at times. Then you'll want to pick up the phone and call your Mom or Dad and tell them something silly your kids did, or ask about a recipe, or just talk about what's on your mind...and you'll remember, she's/he's not there. And your heart will break a little again. But the cool thing is, or it has been for me, that every time I'm in the kitchen or fixing something around the house (two of the things Dad and I did a lot), my Dad is right there in my head. James and I have talked about this a lot, how he's still in there with a running commentary. :) There's a lot of comfort in that. There's a lot of comfort in living a life that he approved of, and doing things he taught us to do. For Mitzie, she honors her Mom every day in the way she dedicates herself to her family and community.

Okay, because it's me, I'll share this randomness with you. I'm sitting here, all serious, thinking about cancer and Mitzie's Mom and my Dad and what Jana's doing this week...and I hear something that sounds a lot like someone's in the potty with the door open. My first thought? Dad?! (He was NOTORIOUS for that, and for 4 AM wandering, God love him.) Nah. Just the coffee pot starting up (guess James had it set for 4, before the night from hell). Got me again, Grandpa. But now I'm laughing at myself, and I can move on.

If you're still reading, sorry to be so gloomy doomy. The good thing is, I've gone from tears to laughter just while writing this post. That's how grief is for me--there's comfort in remembering the SILLY stuff about my Dad, that crazy old man. There are weeks, like this one, where every day is a fight to rise above it and keep going. But then there are weeks where it's all so much easier. It's just life. It balances out in the end, but it can go either way from day to day.


Tracye said...

Cancer does suck. Thank you for posting this. Hope to see you soon.

Kristi said...

Missed you yesterday--I was home with a not-sick sick boy. :) Y'all be safe tomorrow!