Today’s featured story is a bit of a departure from the norm. When we first began this section a few months ago it was to showcase and highlight interesting people, unsung heroes, people who in everyday life are doing fascinating things.
What we hadn’t counted on in this process was how attached we’d become to people. We read their stories, laughed, cried, gasped along with them. We admired them. We befriended them. We followed their circuitous routes on the internet as these “stories” became real people with real lives.
One of our earlier featured persons was Emilie Lemmons. Some of you may remember her story- a young mother of two little ones who, when pregnant with her second son in 2007 discovered she had cancer. Interestingly, we “met” Emilie through Matt Logelin, another featured person on the site, who had lost his wife unexpectedly just after she gave birth to her “mini-me” blonde daughter, Maddy. Jodie Andrefski wrote both of these stories, and Jodie was the right person to write with compassion on both Emilie and Matt because of Jodie’s own fights with cancer and other health issues.
Read Emilie’s featured story “Starts & Stops & Everything in Between” here:
Read Matt’s featured story “27 Hours” here:
On Christmas Eve, we were shocked to learn of Emilie’s passing. She slipped away from all of us in the night, and her husband posted to her blog LemmonDrops her last words she left us all with:
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Emile passed away in her sleep last night. I was holding her hand as she faded away. I loved her and will miss hear dearly, but I am happy to see her free of the pain and suffering. The services will be at the Basilica of St Mary on Monday, December 29th. Visitation is at 11:00 AM and mass will follow at Noon. Emile wanted me to share the following quote after she died.
"And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth."
— Raymond Carver
Post by Stephen Lemmons
How can she just be gone? we wondered. We cried until there were no more tears left. She was supposed to beat this thing! She was supposed to win, to overcome. She was one of the good guys. We had never met Emilie in person, but it didn’t matter. We KNEW Emilie. Emilie was us.
When life slaps you across the face like this, the only thing we can do to truly honor Emilie’s memory is to remember that she touched a lot of lives, and that she loved. I can’t put it more simply than that: love. Life is precious and short. When we lose one of our own, too young, and especially to the evil that is cancer, we find ourselves taking a little slower step, an extra hug to our children, an extra affectionate squeeze to our significant others, a smile to the people who toil daily to make our lives more pleasant.
Now we are struggling with the knowledge that Jodie continues to struggle with her health. You may recall her story here about “It’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaccck” which is her usual delightful self telling us that the #$!@* cancer may have returned.
Please help me in sending some warm thoughts to Jodie as she goes through this very difficult time. I believe it was very hard for her to learn of Emilie and I dreaded telling her. Now the words can’t come enough to tell another person that we’re there for them, that we love them in our own ways, even if the words are clumsy or unbalanced.
If you ask yourself did you get what you wanted from this earth? To feel beloved – can you say yes?
Our thoughts are with the Lemmons Family, and Matt & Maddy, and of course our own dear Jodie.