Final arrangements....   |   Monday, December 12, 2011

ter•min•al |ˈtərmənl|
2 (of a disease) predicted to lead to death, esp. slowly; incurable : terminal cancer.
• [ attrib. ] suffering from or relating to such a disease : a hospice for terminal cases.
• [ attrib. ] (of a condition) forming the last stage of such a disease.
• informal extreme and usually beyond cure or alteration (used to emphasize the extent of something regarded as bad or unfortunate)

Tina M. sat in our studio, just a couple of weeks ago, and spoke frankly and emotionally about the end of her life and the plans shes making... the memories she's trying to create....and the things she'll miss...
Diagnosed, just a short 6 months ago with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, she now counts days. Originally thought to be an infected gall bladder, which they removed... the nausea and vomiting persisted...leading to further testing, which found her pancreas and some of her abdomen filled with this ugly cancer.
Everyone around Tina is dealing differently with this diagnosis... some separate themselves and stay in the comfortable place of denial. Some have voiced concerns about, 'what will happen to them when she's gone', and most have rallied around her to support, pray for, physically help and mostly love her with wild abandon. Her only sister, Teresa feels a profound loss already as Tina moves closer to the end of her life, but, "we live in hope. Every day is a new day and we believe in the power of prayer."
Tina says, "My priorities have definitely shifted and my world has gotten 'very small' these days. When I'm alone, I do lots of planning... I'm cleaning and sorting things, designating things I want to go to certain people. I've organized my jewelry and recorded some books for my grandkids... and to surprise my family... I've left letters all over the house, hidden, for them to find someday when I'm gone."
She is surrounded by lots of extended family... a family that is extremely close and feels the end creep closer with each and every day. But a life of joy and love that will live on in all those who have come to know and love Tina. "I want to leave a legacy behind".... not in things, but the "legacy I've built my whole life."

Each of us could be given this diagnosis at any moment... would you be ready to accept it as bravely and with the grace that Tina has? Who have you surrrounded yourself with? Will those people be with you to the end? What will your legacy be?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH, how sad.. I am sorry to hear her diagnosis. I will keep her in my prayers, as well as her family. I got a letter from my Grandma after she passed that she left behind.. its something I will always hold dear. I think what she is doing for her family is amazing. What an amazing women she is.

December 12, 2011 at 7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm Tina's cousin Vicki, I'm one of the ones "trying" to live in denial, but only because I truly cannot not imagine a world without my beautiful cousin. We have shared almost 5o years of ups and downs and had so many wonderful times together. I can truthfully say that most of the fun times I've had, have been with Tina, and we have shared many. I don't have any sisters, but she's the sister of my heart. She is so amazing and wonderful.

December 12, 2011 at 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tina, you are a beautiful woman inside and out. What courage you have. You have touched everyone around you, whether they are family, friends or acquaintances. We have not seen each other for a long time, but I do remember the fun times and laughs, you, Vicki and I have had. God Bless you and your family. You are in my prayers. - Carolyn Minott

December 12, 2011 at 7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are amazing, beautiful, couragous etc... oh and crazy in a fun way! But when your name is mentioned the first thing I think of is your laugh, smile and hugs and those are three things I'll never forget!
Love you Tina

December 13, 2011 at 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tina has been a true friend to many. The pictures are just another beautiful gift you have let us share. You will never be alone in this journey. We are always with you, behind you, beside you and in your heart. Your friends and family refuse to miss you while you are with us. We share life, with all that brings. You are never alone......God hears us and God hears you. Tina, you have been well loved your entire life. That will never change....

December 13, 2011 at 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tina, I am one of those who have stayed in my own place of denial, but please know that I think of you and your family every single day.

December 13, 2011 at 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Melissa Moyer-Keller said...

I look at these pictures and still see the wonderful Tina with the smile that just can't hide. I think of Tina everyday and KNOW she is squeezing life out of each day as we all should. Love you Tina

December 13, 2011 at 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Gary Wells said...

I have known Tina since she was a little girl. All through the years I have known her she always had a warm smile and friendly hello that would always brighten my day. The world would be a better place if we had more Tina's in it. I wish her well and continue to pray for her and her family.

December 13, 2011 at 3:46 PM  
Anonymous anne cranson said...

The best pieces of advice in all my life have come from my best friend. She has always had wisdom beyond her years. I cherish every little chat that we have had and every little moment we have spent together. She is honestly one person that I can say we never had a disagreement. My kindred spirit. Thank you for sharing the most beautiful friendship that a person can have. Forever in my heart

December 13, 2011 at 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Kathleen (Hough) Black said...

Dear Tina, You are truly, truly an amazing women... One who lives in Grace and Wisdom beyond all we can know. Your family has taught me many things though out my life and the biggest one is the UNCONDITIONAL LOVE they have for the people they know.. My life has been blessed by knowing and loving you all.. You are the Sunshine in the lives of your friends and family, that laugh that smile, your BLONDNESS!!! Will live in our hearts FOREVER!! Thank you for letting me be part of your big family, and let you love shine on us forever!! Love you Tina !

December 14, 2011 at 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Mom of a friend of Tina's. My son and Tina have been friends for many years. She has always been such a bright shining star in our lives. When my son told me that Tina had cancer, my heart began to break. But, through all these days, I have not seen her in person, somehow her spirit of loving kindness, that she has always radiated, is glowing in my son's ,as well as my heart. This loving spirit, that Tina exudes, is somehow giving me strength to bear the all to real saddness and heartbreak, of the knowledge that my son also has cancer. He was diagnosed after a yard sale ,being held at his own home, for the helping of his friend Tina. When you read or hear " God works in mysterious ways" Believe it. I think , somehow this human twist of fate, that only by the Grace of God, can bring Our great Lord Jesus' Strength and love, to carry us through all things.
May God bless you Tina. For I know that God is truely working in and through you. My Son is Duane A. Waldrop, and I am his mother, Janie

December 15, 2011 at 3:56 AM  

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