Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cancer sucks

I met the mom & dad pictured here 1995ish - 20 years ago.  They both had big personalities and even bigger hearts. They had big laughs and gave big hugs. They had a big circle of friends, and I'm fortunate that I am one of them. 

For a two to three year time period in my life (which I consider a very special time period of my life), the two of them were there frequently.  I don't know if a week went by that I didn't see the two of them at least 3 or 4 times each week. That I didn't get a hug from Lumpy, that Kristi's smile didn't radiate the room.  I think of this couple and have such positive memories.  Memories that include dancing, laughing until our bellies ached, Mexican food, and drinks...lots of drinks. 

One night in those years, Kristi, Kari, and I drove across town to The Tattoo Consortium in Bryan, Texas. I might have been the instigator of this little trip. A few hours later the three of us left, emboldened and forever bonded with our permanent ink, that were only about the size of a quarter. 

When we showed our tattoos to our boyfriends at the time, mine announced that I should have "WT" tattooed as well for "white trash". You see, his jackass opinion was one tattoo was okay (I already had one), but two signified white trash. It was Kristi who told him that it was my body, my choice, my tattoo ... Sprinkled in with a few other choice words. Lumpy grabbed Kristi, showered her with support and affection, shouting "tell him, baby!"

Kristi & Lumpy married in a wedding that most likely will go down in College Station history as the most fun wedding ever. They started a family and had two gorgeous kids.  Then........

In 2006, Kristi was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma. She battled, and it went in remission for six years. It came back, as that evil bitch cancer likes to do. Kristi fought it with a vengence.  She was nothing less than a warrior!  So courageous.  So determined.  Never wanted to give up.  At 37 years old, Kristi's time on Earth was cut short. Lumpy lost his best friend and partner in life. Two beautiful kids lost their mother. We lost a fighter, an inspiration, and a smile that can never be duplicated. 

I spoke to one of my closest friends who is a mutual friend of Kristi and Lumpy.  We agreed that this was hitting us even harder than expected.  Kristi had closer friends than us.  So does Lumpy.  But, they aren't the kind of people to make you feel that way.  They are the kind to make you feel like you are the most important person in their world when they speak to you.

I wrote this message to them last week (before Kristi passed).  I know Lumpy got it because through all of this, he found the time to reply "Love you girl!!!" 
"I don't expect you to be reading this at this time. It really is probably selfish of me to send. It is a way for me to deal with my heartbreak and sadness for your family. I want you to know I am praying for comfort and peace." ... "The two of you as a couple have battled and withstood things together, that many didn't think you could get through. You are an inspiration. You have impacted my life. You have taught me to be grateful. To show strength even when I don't know where I can find that strength. To love completely. To appreciate every day. To smile. To hug those that matter. I love you both. I really do. I wish that I could do something more for you to help you throught this time. Lots of love, Erin"

August 15th is a Celebration of Life ceremony in honor of Kristi.  I've already decided that I'm going to find a beautiful place, probably next to the Pacific Ocean (after all, that's what physically separates us right now), put my feet in the sand, and toast these amazing people.  If I can't be there physically, I will be there in spirit.

I'm thankful for that quarter size, not so fancy, sunshine tattoo.  Because of it, I am forever bonded to those two girls that I was with, and I get to have conversations like this:

KRK 1978 - 2015


  1. Miranda Devenish-BenefieldAugust 4, 2015 at 10:48 AM

    Erin, I was lucky enough to have worked with Kristi as a sub at Bryan High School from 2002-03, and to have worked with Lumpy at Kristen Distributing from 2001-02. I envy you for your friendship with Kristi, and could not agree with your sentiments more. Cancer SUCKS @$$ and there's no other way to put it. Thank you for your words. :-)

  2. Cancer does suck, no other way around it. I absolutely feel the love you had for her, though, and this is such a touching post. Sending you hugs over the ocean!

  3. Oh this is heartbreaking. I'm so sorry--to you and anyone else that knew her. I hate cancer. It takes too many people. :(

  4. So so sad, I hope you find peace in your personal memorial service. Virtual hugs even though I don't know you because I'm a hugger and you need a hug!

  5. I've been saving this post to read at a time where I feel like I'm able to, without getting too upset.

    This is just so sad to read. So young, cancer has taken another life.....

    I love what you have planned for the 15th and what you're doing in her memory. There isn't any part of my being that doesn't believe she'll be with you on that spiritual journey.

    Oh Erin, sending so, SO many hugs and kisses!


  6. Wow, she sounds like an amazing gal. I'm sorry that she was taken so soon. I am sending many hugs to you during this time. I really feel for her husband & children. :(

  7. So sorry for your loss! I'm glad that you have such wonderful memories to comfort you through the devastation.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss. She sounds like an amazing friend.

  9. Erin, I am so so sorry for your loss. Kristi sounds like an amazing person and friend. Big hugs girl xoxox

  10. I'm so sorry, friend. There are no other words.

    What you're planning to do on the 15th is wonderful and I'm confident she'll know you're doing it.

  11. I'm so sorry. There's nothing else to say and I won't try.

    Sending you peace and love.

  12. I'm so sorry for your loss! I don't think there's any words to describe the feeling of losing someone you're so close to. Thinking and praying for you!

  13. I am so sorry, Erin! That's heartbreaking! I am sending you and the family lots of love and big hugs!


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