I have no funny in me right now. Nothing.
Because my friend is up at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, sitting by her husband’s bedside. They have been together for more than 22 years. He kissed her for the first time in 1985, under the Washington Square arch on Halloween night.
They have a nearly 4 year-old daughter who is this energetic, sweet-as-can-be little girl. And for many years, cancer has been this family’s adversary.
I can remember when I first met my friend. I sat next to her at a baby yoga class. I was desperate for anything that filled up the long, isolating hours with my new, little, amazing creature. I was a mother. I was given the opportunity to care for and protect and mold (so I thought) this baby. And I was terrified. Baby yoga! Yes. That would certainly help. Or at least fill an hour or so.
But I still had no mommy friends. I needed them. Now. I decided to start a neighborhood playgroup. So there in baby yoga, I announced a new playgroup and mothers were eager to join. The imaginary quickly become real.
This mom joined this group of mothers… all of us flailing around, looking for answers to fix babies who didn’t sleep, didn’t take bottles, nursed too much, nursed too little and probably were all perfect and normal and just waiting for us moms to calm down.
At the time, I knew nothing about this future friend. She seemed nice.
I knew nothing about the disease that her husband was battling. I would learn later.
I would also learn that she is smart, accomplished and filled with limitless and incredible strength.
But today, at this moment, I feel completely helpless. They say, miracles happen. Do they? I want one. I want one for her. I want one for her husband, their daughter and their families.
Once again, I am looking for answers. But it’s no longer about pacifiers and colicky babies.
It’s about why we have to fight so hard sometimes to keep the ones we love. It’s about why kind people must suffer. It’s about the inequity in this world.
There is no playgroup anymore. Mothers have gone back to work and moved, children have sprouted and headed off to preschool.
But we are still here, us mothers, waiting, hoping and praying for our friend. There is no doubt. We are very much still here.
Kristin K.’s husband Mario passed away last night. So where was the miracle? Perhaps in the 22 years they had together, perhaps in the number of years he was able to live with cancer, perhaps most of all in their amazing daughter.
Kristin + Julia, we are endlessly here for you. XO
I want to share a beautiful photo that Kristin sent out today of Mario and a few of her own words…
“Mario passed away on Tuesday morning, around 6:45 am. He fought long and hard. He took everything they threw at him, and never complained. I will miss him. He was my soulmate, my best friend. There are not enough words to describe how I feel. I really thought he would pull through, because he always has…
…I am attaching a photo of Mario that was taken on Saturday. He had a great day, and looked the best I have seen in awhile. He even has a twinkle in his eye. Boy, will I miss that twinkle.”