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Flm Tuesday

I wrote the blog below last week and never had a chance to post . I always post with hesitation. I sent the words to Kirby first. Some of you know Kevin and Kirby. If not , long story short, Kevin was one of Mike’s BFF’S and best beer chugging roomie at Auburn. They tackled many important obstacles together over the years…. like how to get to the front row in the student section of Auburn football games:) Last summer when Kevin was diagnosed with colon cancer , Kirby text me that the color for colon cancer was blue. She sent the orange ( for leukemia) and blue heart emojis together🧡💙.   These buddies continue to bleed orange and blue. The journey we are on right now , together as friends, is incredibly hard and yet still all we can do is thank God for each other. 

I am living the reality of Kirby’s  greatest fear . How can I be uplifting to her and Kevin, how could I possibly give them hope? I am living their worst nightmare come true. She text me last Friday, saying it wasn’t urgent but to call her when I could. When I called , she said she had gone down a rabbit hole of searching the internet. For cures, for more treatments, for answers. Through tears she said she could not stop herself. The feeling so familiar I felt sick at my stomach with her. When the life of your favorite person suddenly feels like it is in your hands, you become desperate to find answers. You will do anything. The thought of losing that person will make you feel helpless in a way I never knew possible. 

I hate she feels this way. I hate this about cancer. It makes you feel like you are not enough. 

You feel inadequate, guilty, shameful, angry, jealous. You think you are going crazy.  But she is not going crazy. She’s human. We are human beings. We are not God.She is doing  EVERYTHING she possibly can. 

I told her that she was actually making me look bad .Like I didn’t give two shits about Mike. Ha. He might have had a chance if she had been his wife :) They are  doing everything they can. Although believing that feels impossible.

Life is hard. Being human is hard.  Show up for each other. Be kind to each other. 

But mostly be kind to  yourself. 

April 18, 2024

Dear You, 

Yesterday , when I was at Emory with Kirby,

she said her and Kevin wondered if they had been praying enough.

My heart sunk.

A familiar unfair thought.

They did not receive good pet scan results.

We sat in tears.


In this liminal space,

Where we held onto hope in big miracles,

but are also forced to surrender to the unrelenting reality of cancer.

I was taken back to one of the many days 

where I sat there with you after the same defeat.

We would drive home in your truck ,

me in tears, you coaching me through.

With broken hearts.

And we would arrive at our home.

With smiling kids.

Bouncing off the walls.

Waiting for us to shoot baskets.

Bake cookies.

or build forts.

How could our hearts hold both.

My heart hurts even more knowing they are experiencing the same drive home.

I remember after we got home from our last appointment with Dr Arellano.

The one where she left you with all the hope, to keep living day to day.

Yet it was the one where I left  knowing, 

our hour glass had been turned over for the last time.

I begged Dr. Kota , Dr. A , and your pulmonologist,

 for answers on how much time we had.

Not even the smartest people that I knew,

could give me that kind of answer.

One day at a time ….

was the message coming through all of their kind words. 

I honestly don’t  know what answer I was searching for.

 Any answer was going to  break my heart into a million more pieces.

I just wanted someone to say something that  would take the pain away.

I sat on our bed that night. 

With you on one side , 

sleeping peacefully and breathing short breaths ,

with extra help from an oxygen tank making a swishing noise.

All three kids sat next to me on the other side playing an intense games of Go Fish. 

With boundless energy that couldn’t be contained ,

I tried to keep the monkeys from falling off the bed… 

With tears of laughter and joy.

And tears of so much pain and heartbreak.

How could my heart possibly hold it all.

I remember after getting off the phone with one of your doctors the next morning.

Seeing Celia and Graham standing at the bottom of our drive way.

With big blue eyes,  bathing suits, cute straw hats and a pink terry cloth coverup for Celia.

Grinning from ear to ear.

Excitedly squealing about wanting to go  swim at Baba and D’s like any “normal”spring day. 

It was March of 2020, they were just thrilled school had been cancelled indefinitely for everyone.

 Their summer, in their little world ,had begun early. 

And what could be better.

But my head.

My heart.

Was in a world so far  away,

from the concrete I stood on,

I wasn’t sure I would ever return.

Kirby and I cried together.

We wish we could go back in time.

We want to be back dancing on the Lambda Chi house kitchen dance floor to Pat Green,

or better yet dancing  barefoot at each others weddings

(where you wore the garter around your head:) and I dropped multiple wine glasses 🤦🏽‍♀️.

We want to be back celebrating the births of all of our kids or just grilling on the back deck,

listening to Zac Brown and drinking Sweetwater 420.

Celebrating all the good parts of life.

Kirby said she reminded Kevin , 

That God did answer their prayers.

Prayers that he would feel good enough make it through

two exhausting but joyful days at Disney, with their sweet kiddos.

And that his meds were helping ease his stomach pain.

She came back around to grace , 

God’s grace in the small miracles.

She helped remind me in this hard season of missing you,

that her friendship is all the grace I needed in that moment.

I remember the day in November of 2019 like it was yesterday,

when  she and Alix showed up at Emory 

moments before you were placed on a ventilator. 

She dug to the bottom of her Mary Poppins purse and gave me

 a half eaten bag of almonds and a hair rubber band.

My last one had broken and my hair  had not been washed in two weeks .

And in that moment that rubber band meant much more

than whether or not my dirty hair was in a pony tail .

It was the only thing I felt I had control over,

as they gave you sedation and I wondered if you would ever come back to me.

She and Kevin are the friends that show up for us

with whatever small crumbs  , hair ties ,

they might have left at the bottom of their purse , soul , and heart.

And  one at a time…

each tiny crumb has put me back together.

What I have learned.

Is that it’s always better to show up scared.

(Countless people did that for me and you.)

They did that.

Show up worried you will say the wrong thing.

Show up worried you will bring the wrong food.

Show up with whatever half eaten snack bag and rubber band .

This is where God …

where love catches you.

Show up ,

even when it feels completely unbearable.

Because somehow,

 the love we shared at the joyful moments,

weddings, babies births, frat parties, 

feels the same…

as the love we shared yesterday.

While we ate Fresh To Order , blackened  shrimp salads ,

at the window table...has to be the window table... (something in our control)

in the lobby of Winship,

while we begged God for big Miracles  in healing on the side too. 

I always come back to the Broken Halo lyrics that we listened to on repeat ,

in our bed during  our last months together,

“Don’t go searching for the reason.

Don’t go asking Jesus why.

We aren’t meant to know the answers.

They belong to the by and by.”

We do't understand.

Maybe you have those answers now , Snooki.

Maybe we all will one day.

I’m writing and walking on the notes on my phone currently. 

Trying not to get hit by oncoming traffic. 

A car just drove by me with  the word-Snooki- on the license plate.

That was crazy.

But also gave me chills.

As Kevin and Kirby are navigating plan F for ( as I told Kevin F$&* cancer ) .

Give them strength.

Remind them they are praying enough.

That God does hear them.

Even when they are too tired, angry , or sad to even think of praying.

Let them feel peace in knowing

They are doing all that they possibly can .

Help us to keep believing in the small miracles.

Like blackened shrimp salads, fun days at Disney,

like Graham making it to school.

I did get a letter saying he had too many absences…whoops. 

 Kirby has gotten a few of those letters too and confirmed I won’t go to jail yet. 

We wished we got some credit for trying .

Be close.

Be close, God.

We need you.

We miss you, Mike.

And love you more.




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