Nov. 20: It’s just not fair

From afar, I am watching a woman my age—a wife and mother—lose her fight with cancer. Although I wish I could say I knew her well, I can’t. We went to school together but never really got to be friends. My mom worked for her dad for years. She’s part of a good friend’s extended family. But what I remember best about her—even knowing her as little as I do—is that she’s a truly kind and decent person. She’s the kind of person that when the news of her diagnosis began to spread, even people who didn’t know her at all were saddened. It’s been heartbreaking to watch her family struggle with the ups and downs of her illness over the past year, and the reality that the miracles seem to have been all used up is so very, very tragic.

I wish I had some brilliant words of comfort for the people who know this family. I don’t believe in all that “God has a plan” mumbo-jumbo—some clouds don’t have a silver lining, and some things don’t work together for good. I understand the path that grief can take, though—the path it took for me, anyway. And for the family and friends of this lovely woman, I can offer a supportive ear. Maybe a shoulder. Probably even a casserole. For the rest of us, I share these very wise words:

“May you live every day of your life.”
(Jonathan Swift)



  1. Jen, what a beautiful tribute to Jonna. Thank you, Sweetheart.

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Jen, of not taking life for granted.


  3. It is really amazing, the impact her illness has had on those near and far, many who are close or just watching from afar, like me. Thanks for your post, Jen.


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