Sunday, September 7, 2014

Shermaine Lee

I met Shermaine Lee on Sunday March 2, 2014 at the Caribou on Northside Pkwy in Atlanta for our first Free to Breathe Committee meeting.  We were the only two that were actual stage 4 lung cancer patients, so quickly we became friends.  The rest of the outstanding committee had either lost someone or had someone close to them diagnosed and were fighting with us.  But, Shermaine and I had a special bond.

We both had small children, an enormous amount of faith and fight.  She was a very devout Christian and it radiated from her every time we spoke.  Although our distance kept us apart, we still communicated frequently.   I think our biggest fear was always leaving our children so soon.  Not being able to watch them grow up.  I know it is mine, and it's what she was concerned about when we talked.  We never expressed the fear of death itself, because we both knew where we were going. We both knew our prognosis, but she always remained so positive when she talked with me about it.  We both didn't take "no" for an answer, and I knew that she never would.

On September 2, 2014, Shermaine went home.  Exactly 6 months after meeting her, she had made such an impact on my life.  As I sat at her wake this past Friday, I felt overcome with guilt.  I felt like I should've done more for her.  She was always asking how I was, and with the distance barrier, I didn't know how quickly her health was deteriorating until our interview at the end of July.

Now, please don't say I shouldn't feel guilty, because I'm stubborn and I will anyways.  I have this void now.  She was my lung cancer person.  We gave each other advice and cheered each other on.  I think she lifted me up more than I did her.  At the wake, I told her I was sorry for not being a better friend.

I know she's free to breathe and dance and laugh and run and she will have no more pain or sorrow and for that, I am thankful.  Because there is no doubt in my mind where she is.

It was amazing to see so many family and friends at her services.   If she made such a long lasting impact on me, I can't imagine how much she made on others.

Please keep her two sons (6 and 12 years old) and her husband, Rico, in your prayers.  Also, please keep her line sister Wendy and the rest of her family and friends in your prayers.  Shermaine was blessed with such an amazing support system, I'm sure it was because she was so fabulous herself.  Please also keep our dear friend across the pond, John Roberts and his lovely wife Tina in your prayers.  John has taken a turn for the worst.  Finally, please keep Tammy Swain Alexander's family and friends in your prayers.  She is now free to breathe too.  This beast of a disease is relentless.

I'm home now, resting today from driving to Atlanta Friday and back Saturday.  I would do it all over again for you Dr. Shermaine Lee.  I love you girl, and I'll see you again on the other side.

John 11:25-26
"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

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