Today we say goodbye to my other mother-in-law, Kathy LaBouff. In February she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After months of aggressive treatment, she was told everything was clear. She was well. What they didn’t know at the time was that the cancer had spread to her bone marrow. From there, the cancer managed to spread throughout her body largely undetected.
In recent weeks she and members of her family were able to take a trip to Arizona to see what they could see. During this time Kathy had developed a cough and breathing problems. She was advised to seek emergency help on arriving back home in Tulsa. There was something happening the team at the walk-in care couldn’t figure out.
She was admitted in Tulsa with what should have been pneumonia. It turned out the cancer had finally metastasized to her lungs. She never left the hospital.
I hate it when people call being ill with cancer a “battle” as if those it takes did not fight hard enough. Kathy did not “lose” her battle or her war. There is no fight. Cancer is a disease to be treated. Personifying the illness does a disservice to the memory of the people we lose. There is no battle. There is no victory.
I always saw Kathy and Mark as a vision of Jordan’s and my future. Jordan is almost a carbon copy of his father, so that part is no stretch. I saw some of myself in Kathy, but I more saw someone to aspire to. To emulate.
The Kathy I knew was incredibly kind, but equally fierce. She loved wholeheartedly and was genuinely loyal. She was classy but full of a sense of adventure. She had spunk and sass. She never wanted to stop doing and going.
Now the world is forced to go on without her in it. Her loved ones will wonder how it is that the earth didn’t just stop when she was taken. But with faith and love and hope that mimic those Kathy had herself, we can live our lives knowing we have been changed for good just for having known her.