Kristi…Smiles From Heaven

I mentioned my friend Kristi in my last post whom I’ve never met and unfortunately will never meet in this life. Reason being, is that Kristi passed away from ovarian cancer in 2011. Her battle began in 2006 and she fought hard all the way to the end. I have come to know of her husband, Brian and their 3 kids Ashley, Nathan, and Emily. This pass April 17th would have been their 20th wedding anniversary. So you may be wondering how I feel as though I know them and how is it that I call her my friend. Well, since starting this blog I have searched the web for other people writing about their experience. I did this to be sure that I am sharing good information and for a source of inspiration for myself. Kristi and Brian have inspired me beyond believe. Even though they chose conventional treatment, their commitment to God, each other, their family and friends is so uplifting. Their blog is titled: Kristi & Brian: Living! with Cancer. I started reading it from the last post which is a video of the funeral service and how Brian and the kids are managing without Kristi, but then decided to start from the beginning. I read it every chance I have an extra moment. It is filled with ups and downs which Brian describes as a pendulum but through it all it’s filled with praising God. And yes, she is gone but I know one day we’ll meet her in heaven. She is now free from the pain and suffering caused by the disease and subsequent treatment.

I’m not sure if “treatment” is the right word. In my mind “treatment” should ultimately make you better and although the chemo in the beginning lowered her cancer counts it made her feel awful. It also robbed her of a few precious moments with Brian and the kids. I recall reading one of Brian’s post where he talked about the poison dripping into her body making her sick.

Here are his exact words:

“Chemo days suck. I hate ’em I hate ’em I hate ’em. We tell our kids never to use the word ‘hate’. Well, guess what… I HATE ’em…chemo days, not the kids…just to clarify. We arrived at the chemo clinic about 8:45AM. Then for the next 6 hours I just sit and watch as poison is poured into her veins. They say this is helping her. I’m sorry, this just seems like cruel and unusual punishment. Kristi sleeps most of the time. I wish I could say she sleeps ‘restfully’, but it usually isn’t. Her body has a reaction for usually the first hour where she has convulsions and her whole body twitches”

Then this is followed by nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, and on and on and on. I remember the days after chemo. I usually gave the visual of death but conscious.

Although she was not healed according to worldly standards, I know she was healed. Healing happens whether here on earth or in heaven with God. My sister in Christ, Brenda revealed this truth to me. Furthermore, I believe she and I both were and are healed from a lot of other things in our lives. You see trials in your life will heal you from many sins, past hurts, disappointments, loneliness and more as well as to mold you for God’s plan. You just have to be willing to seek God through it all. He will show you the way. Trials come to deliver us from something.

It delivered Kristi into a life of being bold and boisterous in Christ. She spoke candidly about her experience and how it brought her even closer to God and how she truly loved God. I believe it brought her and Brian closer together as it has done for Moya and I. I believe it made Brian a better father and husband, although he was already great at both. Her testimony is absolutely amazing. I love her for this. Here is a link to the testimony she gave at her church, Calvary in Michigan:

For me, it made me know for a fact that God is truly REAL! Before cancer, I believe I had the intellecual reality of God. I knew Him because of lessons taught and scriptures read but now I can truly feel Him in my heart and embrace the true love of God. God is love. I feel him in me and around me everyday. I was touched by my cousin Roz Bohannon. I had the pleasure of seeing her the other day and hadn’t seen her in a while, so I gave her a hug. I love my family dearly. My hug somehow reached her on the inside. She mentioned to my brother how sincere the hug felt. I know and told her this is God. He is in all of us. I can see and feel Him through and in others. Although, I knew this all along we sometimes slip into the world’s frame of mind and forget God dwells in all of us no matter how much flesh and sin has covered us. This is what I felt in Moya when we first met. I saw so far beyond faults. I recognized God in him and he recognized God me. On a side note, he had to be the finest thing my eyes had seen….wooooweeee!!! But I’m glad that was laid aside to see who he really was and still is on the inside. I remember being interviewed by JaQuitta Williams for a news special and she asked “Did you ever think it would be you?” I told her “not in a million years did I ever think I would be diagnosed with cancer. At the time, I worked in healthcare with a breast specialist. I was the one who helped support others who had been diagnosed. Another thing I remember vividly about the interview, is we were talking at the end of the hallway in the doctor’s office and we were talking about our experiences with breast cancer. I told her that this was one of the best times in my life and that I would not change it for anything. This was the beginning of me really getting to know God on a personal and intimate level. I felt His presence then and feel it even more now. He’s really (as most church folk would say)….showing up and showing out!!

This trial has brought me out and over past hurts and anger that I had no idea was so compounded on the inside. It has made me aspire to be a better wife and mother. And I am looking forward to being an awesome grandmother. It has brought me to say things I have never said in the pass. A simple “I’m sorry” with depth and meaning. Moya almost passed out I’m sure the first time I said this to him. It has taught me to forgive others for pain and offense they have caused. I have been delivered and I know God is still working out His master plan.

Lastly, it has made me reflect on how it’s just not me going through healing from cancer it’s my husband too. Moya is a strong pillar of strength for me but I know he needs the same support and maybe sometimes more. I know I would be absolutely insane if it was him facing this disease. Brian wrote how it effected him from a spouse’s point of view and I have to be honest some of his post were harder to read than Kristi’s. He was so transparent in his post. My heart would just break reading them all the time thinking, is this what goes through my husband’s mind or is this how he feels. I want to thank our friends and family for supporting him, sometimes he just needs someone to talk to vent and air his feelings and I understand it may not always be me that he needs to share his feelings with, so again I thank you for your ears and shoulders. I am also thankful to God for blessing me with him to go though this with. We both will continue to sing and shout His praises while as the sub title says…Kicking cancer’s butt!!!!

2 Thessalonians 1:4 O Lord, I want others to be able to boast to You about my perseverance and faith in any persecutions and trials I endure.

Signing out in true Kristi fashion: You better put your shades on!!!! His light is shining brightly through the both of us!!


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