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de (15-2-2012)

This is my dearest Auntie.

We saw each other on my home leave last August after I came back for a visit after serving the first twenty seven months in Romania Peace Corps. She always loves to go second hand shopping and is the family member who understands me best. She is funny and so generous, I can’t tell you how much. I returned to Romania after that time back home and Auntie was diagnosed with stage four brain and spinal cord cancer. It is an especially invasive type of cancer which takes its toll in many ways on the body. She is breast a cancer survivor who fights hard to keep going with a smile no matter what. We thought she would be fine, but now the cancer is taking over. She is in hospice and soon we will have to say goodbye, although we don’t want to at all. It is the hardest thing to find a way to reconcile our family life in the US and the work that we do here every day. No one said that the Peace Corps was easy and one of the most difficult things we have to bear are the choices we make to stay or to go. I will stay and the days will pass along with my Auntie soon. I will have the memories and feel some sort of solace in that she will no longer suffer. One of these days, someone will find a cure and no longer will anyone have to succumb to cancer. My Auntie Sandra shares a birthday with me and for this reason, I will thank God that he gave her to me every March 28th, remembering the times we spent together at the beach, having dinner or just talking on the phone. I pray she knows that we are all with her, either in person or in spirit when she closes her eyes for the last time.

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