When I found out I had Stage 3 Melanoma, I was a little devasted. My Uncle Brian "Stewart" had found out that he had Stage 4 Lung Cancer not long before I got my diagnosis. I talked to one of my aunts that lives close to Stewart. She told me that "Stewart" had said that we would fight together. Maybe I didn't realize the significance that statement would have. I felt a bond to him. He had to know how I was feeling. He had been there. When I did the Cancer Half I carried his name with me. I guess it isn't surprising to anyone that when I found out he had passed away, I was so sad. He was truly one of the kindest men I had ever met. Sometimes I feel like there aren't many good men like "Stewart" around anymore. I loved him and his passing was hard for me to swallow.
Aside from knowing that cancer literally eats your body, knowing that his family was feeling so similar to how I felt when my mom passed was too much. It is so awesome to be able to spend your last minutes together, but it is hard. Watching someone you love be unable to get comfortable, or knowing they are in pain because their face is scrunched up and you can tell they are hurting. My heart ached for the whole family as they cared for their father and husband.
I decided I wanted to go and Kate was feeling the same so we decided to deliver flowers to my aunt CoraLu in person. It was so nice to visit and be able to love them and let them know we were there for whatever they needed. I hope that they felt our love.
Here are some of the cute pictures from the Celebration of Brian Stewarts life.
When Kate and I got to Aunt Cora's house, she sat down and said, "I have bad news. Your father might be coming." Kate and I in unison said, " We're fine. We can be adults." I believed my statement to be true. However, I worried all night that he would make a scene and ruin the funeral for my aunt and cousins. I got up the next day prepared to push my worry aside and celebrate "Stewart."
It turned out that my father didn't come. I did hear that he drove by but he didn't do any of the things that I had envisioned in my head. I was so grateful for that. Brian Stewart was so loved by neighbors, friends, family etc. I watched that room get so crowded and hold a steady flow of people that Stewart had touched at some point in his life.
Stewart was a great man. I didn't see him often but when I did he was fatherly and loved me. I am a better person because I knew Stewart. And I am grateful everyday for his cute family. I have loved getting to know all the crazy kids.
Until we meet again...