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Hi There, I'm Kris. I'm a quirky sort who loves silly jokes, sunflowers, music, divine interruptions and music. I am devoted to my nerdly, ginger-haired husband, our 3 living & growing kids, and missing our 1 Babe in Heaven. We journey together through this life, dancing to our own beat, while learning each step as my children and I are effected by a life-threatening & degenerative chronic illness called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Please look on the "What is Ehlers Danlos Syndrome" to the bottom right of the page to learn more about EDS. I believe I have been given this journey in order to over come it, and this is my story of how I get it done.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So Long, Dear Friend

  This is Melanie, she is my friend.  I've known Melanie since I was a kid, which is rare for me since I moved a lot.  In school, we were more friends than acquaintances, but more acquaintances than friends and it wasn't until we were adults that we truly knew each other. 
  Melanie always stuck out; she was a big ball of positive energy all wrapped up in a teeny tiny body.  If she ever made it to 5ft tall I"ll never know because she never seemed all that small to me- and I've been 5'8" since I was in 7th grade!  I remember one day when we were really young (6th grade- maybe?) hanging out at her house and her telling me in her positively matter-of-fact way, that she had leukemia as a baby and that the medicine that saved her just happened to make her small.  I took the information as she gave it to me, and never thought about the magnitude of what it meant until later; as far as I was concerned she had leukemia as a baby and then she didn't- awesome!  As it turned out, at 25 Melanie was to battle breast cancer and win.  A few years later she had a scare with bone cancer, and then last year they found spots on her liver- I think I still have her text on my phone telling me.  Through her illnesses, she went to school and graduated with her Master's Degree to become a Child Life Therapist (one of my favorite kind of therapists!) so that she could help children who are going through what she had and was going through.  She was involved in patient advocacy & support, she participated and even taught Laughter Yoga.  She inspired everyone she met.  She was strong- so strong that she sometimes allowed herself time to let her fight get her down; lick her wounds, regain her energy and get back up again, even stronger.  These were our conversations that inspired me the most; you're only as strong as you you can be, and sometimes you have to rest and let those you trust carry you while you're weak.  I am so thankful & honored & blessed that she trusted me with that.  Melanie fought hard, and I believe she gave cancer a pretty good ass-kicking before peacefully dying last Saturday, October 15th (I'm told with a slight smile on her face.) 
  I have dealt with death before, the tsunamic waves of grief aren't new to me.  What is new to me is this feeling that the world has truly lost a light, and now there is a void in her place.  I am usually able to be relieved for someone who's fight with disease is over; I can be thankful for knowing them and that they are at peace- and I feel guilty because, while I feel that way for her most of the time, sometimes I'd rather have her here. There is now a Melanie-sized hole in my life; I keep almost texting her, our last Words With Friends game is still up on my phone; I'm craving a chat- some Melanie time :).  She is free though, I truly believe that & and I am so so happy for her.  I am also so so thankful for having known her, so grateful to have experienced her friendship; I hope that I always carry the lessons she taught me and pay them forward.
So long Dear Friend, until we meet again...thank you for being you.

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