Like the Gods On Mt Olympus
(An email from Brenda Cumming's daughter to Bob Richardson '61)
I'm Brenda's daughter.
Jerry, my stepdad, was diagnosed with lung cancer (which spread to his brain) in June 2010 and then Mom was diagnosed with colon cancer, that had spread to her liver and lungs, in October. They both tried to slow down the cancers' progress with chemo (and radiation, in Jerry's case), but it didn't work. Mom actually fared worse during the chemo treatments - I think her liver just couldn't handle it. They both used hospice at the end, which meant they were able to be at home. I helped them both throughout the last year and was so honored to be there right to the very end. Mom's liver just let go, in the end, I think.
We were able to take a wonderful trip out to where her brother Bill lived, Friday Harbor on the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington state. My brother and I were able to share some amazing memories with her. A week and a half after we got back, she really began to fail. I was with her, along with my daughter, right up to her last breath.
One of her biggest goals, besides getting out to visit her brother and his beautiful boat, was to get out to the Crawford reunion. I was hoping to make the trip with her. The Crawford crowd was always a little like the Gods on Mt. Olympus to me, the names and stories like fables. When I've met some of her many friends, like Paul and Nelly Dean, I felt like I was meeting folk heroes. Mom's experience there was one of her favorite memories. I know she was disappointed to
realize that she wouldn't make it out there. My dad, Lee Young, will be at the reunion. I told him I wanted to be his date so I could meet everyone! Im not sure if I'll be there, but I know my dad will send her love to everyone there.