Saturday, July 31, 2010


My best friend growing up was Colleen McDemott, grade school through high school. We lost regular contact after graduation, but saw each other now and then. My mother told me that she had heard Colleen had a disease that was probably fatal. I'd just had Nik and decided to wait until I had time to write her a nice long letter rather than just a note. A few weeks later my mother called to tell me that my sweet friend had fallen down some stairs, gone into a coma and passed away. I was filled with regret that I hadn't just found her phone number or dropped her a card rather than waiting to do it "right." It haunted me for years but did motivate me to pick things up a notch and respond more timely. I had a wonderful visit with her parents a few years back before they passed away, and they were as sweet as ever.

Eleven days ago my daughter in law, Dayna, called to tell me that my former sister-in-law had been ambulanced from Vernal to the Provo Hospital with cancer and was only expected to live five more days. I just happened to have that afternoon off so rounded up Nik and my granddaughter and went down to the hospital. I wasn't sure what reception I would get after 17 years but decided it didn't was worth a try since I'd always thought she was a sweetheart. I gingerly walked into her room and was greeted by a big "KAY, how good to see you!" She gave me a wonderful 20-second hug and we visited like old friends for half an hour or so. They hadn't run tests yet and she didn't know the diagnosis, so it was a positive experience. She certainly didn't seem like someone who only had a few days left on earth.

The next day they ran tests, found it throughout her body and started chemo Thursday. She got steadily worse, slipped into a coma and passed away last night. It made me feel good not to have waited, because there would never have been another opportunity to visit with her before it was too late. Two nights ago I couldn't sleep because I hurt all over so was just lying there thinking. The most incredible thought came to me. It wasn't just that I had made a quicker response, though that was a big deal. I realized that both of these women were named Colleen, the only two Colleens I have ever known. Quite the coincidence, huh?

It was as if it were a gift from Heaven, a comfort from my old friend to fill that hole that never would fill. Finally, after 29 years, I can let that sorrow go.

My condolences to Dennis and family at this sad time for them. God bless.

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