Two Good Guys (Updated)

by Kathy on August 19, 2015 · 1 comment

in Background, Bereavement, Blessed, Cancer, Coping, Faith, Friends, Grief, Hope, Life, Loss, Love, Memories, Peace, Reality, Relationships, Sadness, Time

November 2013

It was snowing, as I got out of my car, at the cemetery.

I wasn’t dressed warmly enough.

I saw Betsy and Ray in the distance, two familiar faces from our college church community, and made my way towards them. They motioned for me to come closer, to share the warmth as we gathered to lay Tony to rest.

Someone commented how beautiful the snow was, swirling around us, as if we were all inside of a snow globe.

I couldn’t believe we were burying another one of the good guys, a dad, a husband, an amazing singer, an extremely intelligent man, and my friend.

We’d met in college, through Koinonia (our Catholic retreat community). We’d been on a planning team together and later Tony, and his wife Alex, sang in the choir on Bob and my wedding day, in September 2000.

How does that happen?

How does a man, in his late 30s, get diagnosed with cancer, and die 10 weeks later?

Really?

Seriously?

Rest in peace, Tony.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May 2015

I’d heard the news back in January.

Ray was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer.

Really?

Seriously?

We gathered at a Koinonia reunion mass with our families in Park Ridge. Fr. Britto, the priest who married Bob and me, said mass and Sean even got to be an alter server for the first time.

I saw their family from across the church and smiled. I knew Ray was sick, but didn’t know the latest on how he was doing. He looked healthy and seemed to be in good spirits. I’d been following updates on his Caring Bridge page and in a Facebook group, both created to keep his family and friends in the loop.

I ran into Betsy on the way to or from the bathroom with Abby. I introduced her as Mrs. H (using her maiden name, from our college days, not thinking) and she corrected me. I was embarrassed, but she didn’t seem to mind.

Later, before we left, I approached Ray, who was talking with a group of friends, to say hello and give him a hug. I told him that he and his family are in our thoughts and prayers.

I can still picture the smile on Ray’s face and that moment in time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today

Things aren’t looking good. I don’t know exactly what that means, but his close friends and family are asking for prayers for peace and comfort.

I am so sad that it has come to this.

Cancer sucks.

It really does.

I get that it happens.

That people die.

I believe in the power of prayer.

And I believe in miracles.

However, I also realize, especially from my own experiences with loss and death, that likely the best we can hope for now is peace and comfort.

It pains me to think of those I know, who are around my age, who are widows and widowers already.

They’re too young.

It’s not fair.

Really?

Seriously?

Please send your thoughts and prayers to Ray and Betsy, their 4 children, and all those who love them.

None of us know what day may be our last, so let’s take time to be aware of our blessings, show our loved ones how much we care, and give compassion to those around us who are struggling.

Rest in comfort, Ray.

Peace be with you.

Update (Monday, September 7, 2015): Thanks to all who have been sending healing thoughts and prayers to Ray, his wife Betsy, their 4 children, and all who love them. The last 3 1/2 weeks have been far from easy or comfortable for them, but I am so happy to share that Ray has come a long way since I shared this post, and he got to go home from the hospital today! 🙂

Update (Wednesday, November 4, 2015): A lot has happened over the months since I wrote and shared this post here. There have been some very special moments and I am sure many difficult ones for Ray, Betsy, their children, and other loved ones. I am so very sad to share the latest update from the Prayers for Ray Facebook page –> “Unfortunately all cancer treatments did not do what we had hoped, and the goal now is to keep Ray as comfortable as possible. It’s not advisable to try and transfer him home even by air ambulance, so family is flying here tomorrow. Thank you for all the prayers that got us this far. Please pray for safe travels for the kids, and for peace in these next few days. Another miracle would be wonderful, but it doesn’t look promising.”

I am sending so much peace, love, comfort, and prayers their way. Please join me.

Rest in comfort, Ray.

Peace be with you.

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Molly Jo at Frankly, My Dear . . . August 20, 2015 at 12:37 am

Cancer sucks. Indeed. Thank you for not making this pretty or with resolution. It just sucks.
Molly Jo at Frankly, My Dear . . . recently posted..The SolutionMy Profile

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