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Cool Semi-Colon Thanksgiving Story (true and hot off the press)

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

After a very trying week in which I lost my boxer, Scout and oldest cat on the same day (Thursday) I was expending energy doing mindless things in the yard yesterday when it came time to take a water break. I came in and had a message on my answering machine from a man, Ed XXX saying I did not know him but I knew his daughter also named Lisa who died of colon cancer 5 years ago. He said I had sent a really nice note and he just wanted to know how I was doing. If I wanted to call back I could and he left his number.

Back then there were 4 of us Lisas that were fighting the ******* cells and I didn’t know exactly which Lisa it was. I called him back and asked a few questions and as soon as he mentioned her husband’s name I knew it was Fitlisa from Ohio who was very helpful to me when I began my journey in 2004. Ed lives in Ottawa, Ca. and with the Canadian Thanksgiving being this weekend he was missing his daughter and was going thru the scrapbook his wife had put together for her. He came across the on-line obituary registry that had been posted here that some of us left messages on.

The more we talked the livelier his tone of voice became and I'm sure mine did the same. He asked me if I might know some of the others that had signed the registry that were strangers to him. He started to read the notes and cites of people that referenced ACS, CSN, or semi-colons and it was fun how many I did know. Some had lost their fight but he loved hearing of those that had beaten the beast and were living their lives (Emily, Lisa Rose, Stacy, Spongebob, Kanga and Kanort were some of the people that had signed her registry). New houses, marriages, triathlons, kids growing up, healing bags, traveling, he loved hearing who was doing what 5 ½ years after he lost his only daughter.

We ended up talking an hour and a half and I learned so much more about my semi-colon buddy. It was so cool listening to the proud papa talking about his “daddy’s girl”. It was also nice to tell him how important his daughter had been in how I approached and dealt with my situation. The one thing I remember the most about Fitlisa is how gracefully she dealt with adversity and that she was so kind and caring to everyone on the site, even newbies like me.

Ed’s first wife and Lisa’s mother died of brain cancer in 1989 and he has since remarried for 20 years and another small world piece of the story is that his new wife and I worked together in Washington, DC in the early 90s!! Neither of us could believe that part of the story.

I told him about losing my wonderful dog and one of my cats that had been so instrumental in my healing within hours of each other just the day before and that his call was a shot in my arm and that it wasn’t a coincidence. We laughed about how things can happen that are so out of our control; cosmic kinds of things.

To me it is an amazing Thanksgiving story and I’m not sure who got the most out of the call, me or him. A day later and I am still pumped about it.

So to all you semi-colons out there, what you do and say to and for each other is so very important and sometimes you never know how, who, and when it may help someone.

Lisa P.

Oh and to all our friends up north, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Lisa:

Yours is an important story about kindness and compassion. I'm so glad that you and your friend's father were able to connect and comfort each other.

You wrote: "So to all you semi-colons out there, what you do and say to and for each other is so very important and sometimes you never know how, who, and when it may help someone."

Words of wisdom to be sure.

In my family's case, you reached out to comfort my husband and me during a profoundly difficult time--no judgments, no qualifications, no hesitation. I am forever grateful to you.

I'm sorry to read that you lost your beloved dog and cat. It is impossible to overstate the impact of the companionship of a loving pet during illness and grief or, for that matter, during the everyday struggles that confront us all.

Hatshepsut

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

l agree with you , some times just a word can help more than a million dollars !
Have a nice weekend.

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Thanks for sharing- it was very nice of you to talk to him at length and, like you said, you probably got just as much out of it as he did.

Take care and continue to enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend-

From another Lisa who plans on beating this!

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

I fully expect you to join us other Lisas in the NED club. You are doing great!!

By the way, you sure can tell that those are YOUR kids, nice photo.

I'm American but 4 years ago I was fortunate enough to spend time in Canada over the their Thanksgiving weekend and then came home to be able to celebrate ours a month later. After the call yesterday I feel like I am doing that again this year.

You keep up the fight, my respect for you grows every day.

Lisa P.

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Another example of how this online board can become more than just distant strangers swapping stories, one that I found hard to believe! This is just an awesome story all around!
mary

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

You had such a tough year last year but persevered and look at you now. I think I read recently that you were having some pain issues. I think I read that it was due to narrowing in the GI tract. After my peritonitis and having a tube down my throat for 3 weeks my throat narrowed and food would get stuck in my throat. I asked my doc if he could stretch it and they did and it was instant relief.

One of my bestest semi-colon buddies Lisa Rose was having problems with narrowing in her rectum from radiation and finally talked to her doc about it and they were able to stretch hers during her recent colonscopy. She is still giddy with the results.

Not sure that will help you but wanted to mention it anyway just in case.

And you are right, had I not been on the phone with Ed and had the experience I'm not sure I would believe it either. I find myself crying missing my sweet Scout and then think of that phone call and smile thru the tears. God is good!

You take care and keep "paying it forward" like you do here. That's how I was taught way back when and will always try to help when I can offer something of value.

Lisa P.

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

I am hoping that stretching will give me some relief as well! I see my gastro on wednesday and have much hope for some relief after that!
mary

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

It sounds like that call came at a good time for both of you. I am so sorry for the loss of your pets. I think that despite this great loss, you helped ease the pain for one Canadian father on Thanksgiving weekend. I am sure he misses his daughter everyday, but holidays can be really difficult. I am really glad you two connected and thanks for sharing this lovely story. I spent 2 Thanksgivings in the US when I lived in Cincinnati from 1986-1988. I was able to come home for Canadian Thanksgiving + enjoy US Thanksgiving too - it was wonderful + I love turkey. Thanks for your Thanksgiving wishes.

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

Oh, Lisa.

That's a beautiful, beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it! This group has been so helpful to me, and you are one of the best. Always compassionate and sweet and friendly.

I'm so sorry for the loss of your pets, but I am so glad you had that amazing telephone call.

*hugs*
Gail

dmdwins
Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

Stories like that just warm my heart. Thank you for sharing it with us here. It is amazing how people touch our lives and we can touch theirs with just a few minutes of our time.
It was nice to see your smiling face again. I think of you and hope you are going well.

I am so sorry for the loss of your pets. They can be so special. One day I will have to share my story about how just before my dx we got a puppy for my girls...actually we ended up with two...and what a blessing that little extra puppy was. He ended up being my chemo Buddy(that is his name too). As you said God is good and seems to give us what we need when we need it!

Smiles,
Dawn

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Great to hear from you again!!! How are you and the girls. Scout was 1 1/2 when I got sick, she was only 8 when I had to put her down Thursday. A 14 year relationship had just ended and I was living with just my babies when "it" all happened. Scout was my Buddy and so much more just because I needed her to be. There were days I didn't want to get out of bed but I did just to let her out or to feed her and I swear she helped me survive. She would literally bark at me sometimes just to get a rise out of me, just like a caregiver would. She was my quasi-caregiver, just couldn't cook or clean!

Hope all is great up your way and send me a note about what's up when you get a chance.

Love, Lisa

sasjourney
Posts: 395
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Lisa,

What a touching story. You really made a difference to this family and I know it must warm your heart. Thanks for taking the time to make a difference in our lives. I am so sorry to hear about your pets. I lost my "Casey" (sheltie) a week before my dad died. I was in Texas with my dad when he died so I never got to say goodbye and I miss him everyday. We now have a wonderful golden retriever named "Riley" that just turned 3. He has been a great companion during my chemo, too.

Take care!

Hugs,
Sara

mom_2_3
Posts: 964
Joined: Nov 2008

Lisa,

What a great story. Thanks for sharing it. I am so sorry about the loss of your pets. Our animal friends play such an important part of our lives. I still miss one of my cats that passed 4 years ago Thanksgiving.

Amy

coolvdub's picture
coolvdub
Posts: 410
Joined: Aug 2009

Lisa,
What a great story of encouragement. It really is a small world, it just comes full circle at the times when we need it the most. I'm sure the unexpected catching up was good for the soul on both sides. I'm sorry you lost your pets, they become like children to us. So I know you must be hurting. We have a new puppy at home right now, Sheri and I adopted Bailey from a local rescue while I was mending fom my colostomy surgery, she is a blessing.

Don

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

And, yes, I firmly believe that people are placed in our path when we need them the most...

After all, you were for me!!!

Hugs, Kathi

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Hey honey,

My heartfelt condolences (again) on your loss of Scouty and Ginger. You know how I feel about that. But what I want to reiterate is how fortuitous it was that Ed couldn't get a hold of me b/c I wouldn't have been able to give him all the updates and personal connections that you were able to share with him, giving him a richer experience and more joy reliving FitLisa's memory and her connection to CSN from that time.

You totally ROCK the whole Semi-colon gig, girlfriend!!! You were the PERFECT one for him to call since you are the hub in which the rest of us (Baby Lisa, Kay, Sponger etc) revolve.

Yes, cosmic. No doubt. God IS good! All the time.

I just had to chime in here and underscore your statement:

So to all you semi-colons out there, what you do and say to and for each other is so very important and sometimes you never know how, who, and when it may help someone.

Amen sista!

peace, emily (who also wants you southern gal to know it's 80 degree in Wisconsin in October!!!)

ps. Happy Thanksgiving to all the Canuks. :-)

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2589
Joined: Jun 2006

what a very beautiful story you have given us. I agree with so many here that losing your darling pets is one of life's most difficult tasks....we just love them and they love us so much in return. I am so sorry you had a double loss this week Lisa.

but thank you so much for the Thanksgiving story with the Ottawa dad. glad you were able to fill in so many gaps for him and yes I am sure he misses his daughter so much.

You have always been a rock for me Lisa....I wish you continued good health and send my deepest wishes, hugs and a smooch

maggie

lesvanb's picture
lesvanb
Posts: 911
Joined: May 2008

You have been an inspiration to me throughout my journey here and I also hope to follow in your footsteps with your compassion and care for those around me and with working with your cancer so now it is dormant.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

All the best, Leslie

PS I'm so sorry that you have lost Scouty and your cat. My animals are very much a part of my healing so I greatly empathize.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Wonderful story, glad you touched his life.

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