This past week was one of the toughest I have had in a long time. One of my co-workers lost his daughter, Carlee, on Saturday. It’s been a long two-year struggle as she battled a very aggressive form of cancer. She was already in the throes of her battle when I started working at this company, but I was quick to hop on the wagon offering prayers.
The first time I met Carlee, she was undergoing chemo and was completely bald, yet she was still smiling. My co-worker, Ray, kept a brave face at work throughout the entire time Carlee was in treatment.
Last year, Carlee had tickets to see Beyonce. We did everything we could to try to get her a backstage pass, but met with no success. Carlee went to the concert and by holding up a sign that said “I missed Chemo for you,” managed to accomplish what we couldn’t. Beyonce saw the sign and called her up on stage and invited her back stage. That was her life. She faced things head on. Still, we continued to pray and she continued with the chemo. At one point the tests showed Carlee was 100% cancer free. We were thrilled. Prayers do get answered. But, that joy was short lived when a few months later, Carlee found another lump. The cancer was back.
This time the family decided to seek out alternative treatment and went to Mexico to get a new treatment that was yet to be approved in the U.S. Not only was the new treatment not covered by the medical insurance, but it didn’t work. Complications developed and Carlee was sent to a hospital in San Diego.
Finally they were able to get her back to Connecticut to Yale New Haven Hospital. She decided not to have any further treatment and she never left the hospital. In June, her doctors told her she wouldn’t make it to July. On July 3rd while still hospitalized, she married the love of her life. She was the most beautiful bride I have seen in a long time, despite the fact she was on oxygen and covered in pain patches. She was radiant. She embraced life, love and her faith. On Saturday, July 12th she lost her battle.
Even though we all have problems, they are insignificant in comparison to what I watched this family go through. Going to the wake and funeral was difficult. At the wake, hundreds of people passed the casket, and although it was difficult, that was nothing compared to the funeral. Oh, I know she’s no longer in pain and she is in a far better place, but my heart broke for this mother and father that lost their child. They lost a young vibrant young lady who was full of life and love. It was difficult to even imagine this type of loss. She was 20 years old.
Watching my friend and his family go through this really caused me to put things in my life into prospective. Yes, it’s been a very tough week, but I couldn’t help but thinking there before the grace of God go I.
Although my friend’s daughter no longer needs our prayers, I know that he and his family need healing. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.