I got an email yesterday morning that my Aunt Ginny passed away.
I had just crossed the finish line of a half marathon, pulled out my phone to take a picture and saw the preview of the email on my home screen. I aimlessly wandered around for a few minutes until I happened to run into my friends Jenny and Adam, who I wasn’t expect to see at the race. I burst into tears. They looked at me with concern and puzzled. Why is Kim bursting into tears after this race?! It took me a few seconds to get the words out of my mouth, “I just got an email that my aunt passed away.”
Maybe you remember my trip to DC for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon back in May. I was able to see my Aunt Ginny one last time back then. Obviously I hoped it wouldn’t be the last time, but living so far away, it is hard to see loved ones frequently. My Aunt Ginny was diagnosed with Mesothelioma some time in 2012. For those non-medical professionals like me, Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the lungs. According to Wikipedia,
Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked in jobs where they inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers, or were exposed to airborne asbestos dust and fibers in other ways. Washing clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos also creates a risk for developing mesothelioma. Unlike lung cancer, there seems to be no association between mesothelioma and tobacco smoking, but smoking greatly increases the risk of other asbestos-induced cancers.
My aunt didn’t work with asbestos, but my uncle, her ex-husband, was a contractor, so maybe she had exposure from him, but they’d been divorced for several years before she was diagnosed. At any rate, when they diagnosed her in 2012, they said she wouldn’t make it through the holidays, but she was a fighter and pushed through the holidays of 2012 and just past her birthday in 2013. My Aunt Mary, Aunt Ginny’s twin sister, put her law practice in Memphis on hold for quite a while and took time to be with my Aunt Ginny and her new husband, Mike. Aunt Ginny’s daughter, Susan, flew in from the Pacific Northwest on Saturday night. Just a few hours later at 4:40 AM on Sunday morning, my Aunt Ginny peacefully passed away, surrounded by loved ones.
I love you and I will miss you, Aunt Ginny. While I mourn your loss, I am glad your suffering is over.