I seem to have temporarily lost my mojo. I’m taking a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas tomorrow to celebrate the life and grieve the death of the first friend I met in our town fresh off the moving truck. We had a lot in common–she was married interracially and had four children. We lived in the same neighborhood, so getting together was easy. So after a couple months she announced that she was moving out of state, I felt a little selfish. I wanted her to stay with me! I pictured Mike and George (her hubster) golfing or some other white-boy stuff, and me Rennette and the kids hanging out at the park, and afterwards we’d all laugh over drinks and dinner.
It never happened. Rennette promised that her financial situation would turn around and that she’d be back in two years. So Rennette and her family rolled out of Temecula to Las Vegas. Rennette couldn’t keep her promise–she died after a long, painful battle with breast cancer on December 26, 2010–about two years after she left.
She died the day after Christmas. The day after Christmas, and four young children face the rest of their lives without their mother.
Turns out, Rennette had a strong family history of breast cancer. Her mother had it, but it was found quickly and had no time to spread. She was treated and the cancer didn’t return. Her aunt ALSO had it, but it also was cured in time. However, neither relative shared that information with Rennette until after she found the lump. I was incredulous when she told me this but she just replied in her easy-going way, “Well, my mom and aunt just didn’t discuss it. They don’t talk about it.”
Now, because no one discussed the strong genetic probability of my friend developing breast cancer, she went through two years of the worst kind of hell–the cancer spread to her liver, bones and finally, her brain. Numerous operations. Months of toxic chemicals pumped into her body so that she could just have one more day.
But where many would be bitter, angry and in despair, Rennette always had a calm peacefulness about her, and smiled until the end. A mutual friend once told me that Rennette knew that God would heal her of this disease, whether it’s in this life or the next.
See you in the next life Rennette. Thank you for showing me so much kindness.