Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saying goodby before I said hello

This afternoon I went to a memorial mass for Ken Coppola who died because we haven't found a cure for angiosarcoma yet. As I approached the entrance, I walked slowly behind an elderly woman who was trying to negotiate the slick side walks with a cane, at her pace I took notice of cars lined up along the side roads. There were so many people coming to say goodby to someone I never had the opportunity to say hello to. During the service, I tried to live as deep in the moment as I could, letting all five of my senses absorb what they could. I'll keep the smell of the perfume from the small woman with brown hair, brown eyes and a red scarf in front of me right next to the memory of her sweet voice which uttered the words "peace be with you" as she shook my hand during the service. The cadence of peoples sniffles matched the frequency with which they lifted their fingers to their eyes to wipe away tears as if conducted by the priest. The church itself, it's organ, stained glass windows, Eucharist cabinet, alters, sculptures, and pews will never leave my memory. Goodby Ken. I will keep you with me always. I made a promise to you once that I would do everything possible to keep your memory alive for Rocco. I will. I am. Your name and your picture will be part of everything we do and your little boy will grow up knowing that you made an impact on so many of our lives.

1 comment:

  1. What a truly wonderful story, Corrie. My roommate at Brigham and Women's Hospital had neurofibrosarcoma while I was first receiving chemotherapy treatment for testicular carcinoma. We spent about two weeks there and he was a great guy and helped me through some of the darkest days of my therapy. Sadly, he passed a few months later around the same time as my cerebral hemorrhage, so I didn't get the opportunity to attend his funeral. I will always remember him and I know that although I am starting the second year of remission, there are many who aren't so fortunate. I applaud all your efforts to ridding the world of these diseases and wish you all the best!