Last week was Thanksgiving week. The kids were out of school for a full week.
And it occurred to me, last week, I hadn't heard from one of my best friends in a while. Last time I heard from her was toward the end of October. So I checked her FB page to see if she had a lot of stuff going on (if not, I was going to call her).
Found out she'd passed away right after I'd talked to her last.
I knew it was coming. She'd been fighting metastasized inflammatory breast cancer for the past nine or ten years. It had spread into her ribs, spine, skull, and brain. And wasn't responding to treatment any longer.
I'd been praying for what was best for her and for her son. I can't imagine this was what was best for her son, but she'd been in a lot of pain for a while.
Not all of it physical.
She'd married into a local group of polygamous Mormons about fourteen years ago. I told her at the time that I didn't think her intended spouse wanted her for anything other than leverage to keep custody of his step-grandchildren (guess who proved right). And then, right about the time she pushed things into a good health place for her, her husband decided to bring in a second wife...and refused to support her in round two of cancer fighting.
I hold him partly to blame for her recent fight--she'd fought the beast into remission once, and spent three years cancer free before it came roaring back and took her. I think that the stress of the so-called "sister" wife playing seraglio politics (and my friend REALLY didn't want to, and was open to a plural marriage of equals); a running fight with the step daughter, the step-grandkids, and their social worker; and an unsupportive spouse suppressed her immune system enough that...this time, the cancer won.
So yeah, I'm grieving. I'm grieving, I'm angry, and I'm off-balance.
And it's really made me angrier with my mother. It's really hard to catch inflammatory breast cancer before it spreads. Mom didn't have inflammatory breast cancer. She just...made the choice to not bother having it dealt with while it was small, and isn't bothering to try fighting it now because she didn't want to deal with the cancer die-off symptoms.