September 22, 2016
By the time I staggered out of bed this morning, my daughter was already wide awake, dressed for school and eating breakfast. She was rocking her white Chucks and her million dollar smile bright and early at 7:00a.m. today. And my boyfriend had been out of the house for at least an hour, maybe two. I remember feeling his butterfly kisses across my cheeks and nose early this morning, and heard his sweet whisper, “Ok Lovely, have good day. I love you. See you soon.” After hitting the snooze button twice, I dragged myself to the bathroom to shower and get ready for a long day.
As I stood in front of my closet, draped in my pastel pink leopard printed robe, I contemplated what to wear. How do I make a fashion decision on what to wear when my day would consist of the following: work, conference call, funeral at St. Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church in Redondo Beach, a career counseling phone call with a colleague/friend, my annual visit to the gynecologist, and back to work at the Toyota Automotive Museum for an event to launch the 2016 Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks with 75 D&I practitioners from across Los Angeles. What shoes does one wear for such a busy, action-packed day? I opted for a chic but comfortable color-blocked tan, cream, and black sheath with a tan blazer on top. It felt fashionable and conservative without being too churchy and boring. During the day I wore my sensible wedges with my sexy color blocked heels safely tucked away in my car for tonight. There is something about an evening event that just requires sexy heels.
The environment at work has been one of turmoil and change. One of my dearest mentors and former bosses is retiring in about a week. I’ve asked colleague to send cards, photos and notes of gratitude to me so I can paste them into a scrapbook of Memories for Midge. I don’t know how to scrapbook but I’ve got scissors, non-acid glue, colored paper, and an album. Hope it all turns out ok.
Thinking about her retirement and my eventual separation from my place of employment has me feeling sentimental. My buddies at work have already relocated to North Texas so my days at work are much more subdued and quiet. I feel like my friends are gone and that makes for a lot less fun during the workday.
Yesterday, I opened my email and read that one of my colleagues and friends who worked on a huge diversity project with me over the past ten years passed away and her funeral would happen this morning. She will be laid to rest on Friday. I know she has been fighting cancer for years and had spent months at a stretch on medical leave, undergoing various treatments and somehow defying her doctors’ expectations and recovering each time. But I haven’t worked with her for several months and literally just discovered that she had passed away one week ago today.
Death is a part of life, right? We are put on this earth to contribute somehow by living a full and productive life. Some of us teach, some of us work, and others of us take care of the planet and the planet inhabitants unselfishly and freely. But cancer. Why do some people have to fight against a disease like cancer to have the strength to teach, to work, and to give freely? It doesn’t seem fair that the people who seem the most generous and selfless have to fight against cancer. Why don’t more assholes and racists and bigots and misogynists and murderers and pedophiles get cancer? Why do the nicest people get hit with one of the cruelest diseases?
Cancer make no sense to me. Wikipedia says that Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Not all tumors are cancerous; benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body. Possible signs and symptoms include a lump, abnormal bleeding, prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss and a change in bowel movements. While these symptoms may indicate cancer, they may have other causes. Over 100 cancers affect humans. I think about all of the loved ones my family has lost to cancer. I think about my dear friends who are fighting against cancer right now, as I typed these words across my Kensington keyboard. The article goes on to say that 15% of deaths are caused by cancer. Cancer also increased the risk of anxiety and depression in patients who already have a propensity for it. I hate cancer.
The funeral was filled with choir songs, as my friend was an extremely talented singer who loved all kinds of music. The young priest talked about how even though we are mourning, today would be about the celebration of life and reconnecting with our faith, as my friend stood strong in her religious beliefs. Even though funerals suck the energy out of me, I think it was good for me to attend Mass today. I thanked God for my many blessings, I prayed for the health of my family and friends, and I sat still for over an hour. A few minutes of meditation did me good today, as the world is in turmoil around us. I sat still and remembered my friend and was reminded that cancer sucks, life is short, and we must Live Aloha all in, every day.