Tammi Meissner writes a letter promising to encourage folks to get screened.

Gone Too Soon

Dear Aileen,

I can’t believe that it has been 13 years since you passed after a two and a half years fight against colorectal cancer.  you were so strong and so positive through all the poking, prodding, and chemo treatments.  I wish you had gotten checked earlier so that maybe your cancer wouldn’t have taken you from us.

I get emotional at every celebration and life event because I wish you were here.  Darian graduated from high school and is now in college.  She is going to become a nurse.  I feel part of this decision is based on how we cared for you during those two and a half years.  She is going to be great at whatever she does.  She is also getting married this August to a wonderful young man that I know you would have loved too.

Kiara is a wonderful artist and a Junior in high school now.  I can’t believe how time flies.  She will graduate next year and plans on attending college to be an art teacher.  She got her driver’s license last week.  Wow!  I thought she was going to take after you and decide to never drive.  Kiara and Darian remind me of you in so many ways.  They are kind, compassionate, and loving people.  You would be so proud of your beautiful granddaughters.

When I married Greg, I was and am still so happy.  I was so lucky to have, you, my mother-in-law, that was welcoming, accepting and taught me about unconditional love.  As I write, I am wiping away the tears, my heart aches and I wish that we and the rest of the family had more time with you and that you were here to attend all of these life events and celebrate them with us.

Because of you, my promise is to continue to educate everyone I can about colorectal cancer.  At the time you were diagnosed, doctors didn’t know that smoking was related to colorectal cancer, and I wish they did.  You know me, I try to make things interesting, fun, and educational…so I am going to try to get people to “Love their butt, bum, keister,” whatever they want to call it and have them get it checked.

The memory of losing you is still very painful, you know that we love you and that we miss you every day.  You know that I am stubborn, strong willed and determined and that I will share the information about the importance of getting screened for colorectal cancer.  I do this in your memory, Aileen.  You left us too soon and I don’t want anyone else to feel the pain of losing a loved one too early.

Love you always,

Tammi

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