NEWS . . . Well, that about covers it. That's how my day started~with news that broke my heart wide open. My closest cousin Ned died very unexpectedly this morning. He'd had surgery a few weeks ago and come through it with a miracle. They had found cancer in his lung (Yes, I know cancer is supposed to be capped but I don't dignify it.) and went in to remove it and in doing so removed the top half of one of his lungs. It turns out--and I didn't know this but you really don't use the top half of your lungs much and can get along fairly well without it. At least that's what the doctor's told him. When they got the cancer out, they found out the cancer cells were dead cells. That was miraculous news. Who gets that kind of news?! That meant he wasn't going to have to have chemo or radiation. He just needed to recover from the surgery. Not that it was simple, but still--much better news than expected--and certainly the kind of miracle we'd prayed for.
We were keeping in touch, texting and talking back and forth. He was bored a lot as he was recovering. He couldn't work. I'm so grateful for those conversations-especially, the texts I still have.
He had been coughing a lot, something the doctors told him was just a part of his healing. He woke up this morning about 5:00 a.m. coughing and bleeding and asked his wife to call 911. By the time she did, he was gone. They think he had an embolism in his lung. I can only hope it was so quick he didn't feel much.
One of the hardest things for his family is that today was his 6th wedding anniversary and he died about the time he and his wife were married. You see, Ned always wanted to get married at my Grandparents waterfall. Rob and I went back to Indiana for the wedding, but the night before it rained something awful and the waterfall is not an easy place to get to with cars or even to just walk to if the ground isn't hard. It is more like a hike. Ned and Diane had invited a lot of guests--several who were older and wouldn't have been able to make it to the falls once the weather turned bad. So, they decided to move the "actual" wedding up to the wee hours of the morning at the waterfall and tell only those who could make the hike--and then to have another ceremony for the other guests later that afternoon at their home. Most of the guests never realized they had been married earlier in the day.
I am just really feeling for his wife Diane right now and for his sisters who also lost their older brother Bill almost eight years ago to cancer. Life just doesn't seem fair somedays ~ and this is one of them.
Ned is one of the kindest, most generous people I know. He truly would have done anything for anyone. He has a lot of friends who are going to miss him. I am going to miss him more than I think I even realize. Wow. I still can't believe you are gone.
I love you MOSTEST Ned. I always will.