Tonight, at 11:23pm, I get this message:
This is about Ri’s friend, Elissa. After a long journey with Ewing’s Sarcoma, she has been called to heaven.
Having been going to MD Anderson long enough to have made a few friends along the way (among them patients, survivors, staff, and volunteers), Ri and Elissa met last year at the clinic and have become friends. Although appointments, admissions, treatments, and side-effects have made it a challenge for them to hang out like normal teens do, they’ve tried to make their own version of hanging out.
Just yesterday, we went to visit Elissa who was looking great, doing great, and eating well. Tonight, she is gone. And while lots of people may say she is in a much better place now, free of pain, my heart aches for her family, most especially her mom.
Elissa’s mom is like my soul sister. Even before tonight, without words, I know exactly what she’s been thinking and feeling. I know what’s in her every breath, her very soul. And she knows what’s in mine. And tonight, I feel her pain of losing her child…the one she cared for since birth, the one she cared for since the cancer diagnosis.
I know and feel her hurt but what hurts me more is that I (or anyone) can’t do anything to ease that pain…not anytime soon anyway, while the loss is fresh.
So, after yesterday, we probably won’t get to see her family again (they live in Corpus Christi) but they will forever remain in our hearts.
We are proud of you, Elissa. Till we meet again…