Tug of War

A friend in Mexico says that cancer is like a tug-of-war between those in this life and those in the next.

My friend Sarah Bertagnole is now on the other side. She was my friend and mentor – I have written about her several times before. I was able to talk with her a couple of days before she passed away and she was in good spirits. She felt very good about the treatment that she was getting, but her transplants had not been effective at keeping the myeloma away and the medications she was on did not either.

She is truly an amazing person and the wife to Nathan and mother to 6 wonderful children. I had the opportunity to attend her funeral in Wyoming last month. What struck me the most was the giving and helpful nature of her entire family – Nathan, her children and the extended family. Nathan called me to let me know the news, which was surprising that he had the presence of mind to do that with all of the details that he had to work through. When I arrived, everyone wanted to know if I needed something! A glass of water, a plate of food, a place to stay. What an amazing family and what an example to me of graciousness in times of trial.

Sarah taught her children well. She cared for them, fed them and loved them. You could tell that this was a remarkable family that always strove to look outside themselves and serve others. It had become part of their nature.

Sarah was outgoing, funny, and kind. The reality of the situation was always present, but she had a positive outlook always. She was full of hope and was always trying to lift up others around her.

I will miss my dear friend. I pray for her family and know that they will be blessed as only they can be by a wife and mother looking down on them smiling.