The Power of Cancer

We lost a friend to cancer yesterday afternoon. Crissy was the wife of one of my husbands high school best friends. She had a daughter, Gracie, six years ago and then found out just shortly after that she had cancer. Cancer has been a part of her life since then. Crissy fought a very valiant fight… always keeping things real and soldiering on.

Tonight, as I reflect on Crissy and her life, I cannot help but think what power cancer has over people. The power of cancer is a scary thing.

  • Cancer has the power to make a woman who is full of life… outgoing, boisterous, and funny… lose all of her external spark and vibrance.
  • Cancer can make a mother, who knows that her time is short and fearing the memory of her will be lost, plead with people around her to “No matter what, please let Gracie know I was a great mom and I loved her very much.”
  • Cancer has the power to make a man throw out the notion that showing emotion is not acceptable. Distraught at the thought of life without his partner, cancer has the power to make a man overcome with the desire to make things better and to wish that he could do anything to turn back time. A widower at the age of 34, cancer has the power to make us all realize how truly unfair life can be.
  • Cancer has the power to make a husband cling to his wife. After spending time and being witness to what his friend is going through, cancer has the power to make a husband plead with his wife “no matter what happens, please don’t die before me.” Cancer makes us realize how lost we would be without one another.
  • Cancer has the power to make a precious six year old girl, who has never known her mom without cancer, be forced with the harsh reality that this time it is different. Mommy won’t be coming home with you tonight to tuck you in and dry your tears.
  • Cancer has the power to bring people together, to fight for the cause and to hopefully bring a cure home soon. Like the LiveSTRONG day A Taste of Yellow Event, hosted by winosandfoodies…I can guarantee the food blogging community will do their part to raise the awareness of the devastation and power of cancer.

I know that Crissy is now a spunky, beautiful angel, lighting up heaven’s gates. Crissy will be missed by all who knew her, and will be remembered for her strength, smile, character and most of all… the impact she made on her daughters life in the short amount of time.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

45 min | 20 min prep | SERVES 10 -12

1/2 cup sweet creamy butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, separated
1 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 grated lemons, zest of
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F Coat muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add the egg yolks, one at a time.
  4. Beat well after each.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, poppy seeds, and lemon zest.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating two times with the buttermilk, then lemon juice, and then vanilla.
  7. Beat just until smooth.
  8. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  9. Gently fold them into the muffin batter until blended.
  10. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, 3/4-full.
  11. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely.
  13. I sometimes sprinkle the muffin mixture with sugar prior to putting in the oven just to add a little extra sweetness.

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Comments

  1. says

    I came here to congratulate for the move… and ended up crying like a baby, what a beautiful entry, I admire what kathryn said here too it complemented your message. Take care of that baby, she needs her mommy’s friend by her side now.

  2. says

    Your post is heart wrenching and wonderful at the same time. I am very moved by your words. There are no words able to fill the void left by your friend but I love the image of her as a spunky angel. I thank Kathryn for her reply here and wish to echo the sentiment. The love she left behind is not lost.
    xoxo
    Gabi

  3. says

    I am so sorry for your loss….and, as so often happens here, I feel that I can really relate to your words. In fact, reading your post I just realized that in a couple of weeks it will be exactly forty years since my mother died of cancer and left behind a six year old daughter, an eleven year old son and a bereft husband. What you say about the power of cancer is so honest and true.

    My heart goes out to Gracie and her dad. Though Crissy has joined my mother in a place where cancer holds no sway, she is still a part of Gracie and her dad and always will be. I feel certain she cannot be forgotten.

    Thank you for your beautiful post and for helping make us all aware that cancer still takes too many people too soon.

  4. Lisa says

    Tears fall as I read this, and find myself at a loss for words….
    My heart goes out to little Gracie and her dad, and to all her loved ones.

  5. says

    Oh K, I am so sorry for your loss- and so sorry for Crissy’s family. Cancer…man. I don’t even know what to say except your post totally made me tear up. It’s the scariest thing in the world and I’m beyond grateful I don’t have it. Over the rainbow, and it really puts all the little things into perspective, you know what I mean??

    I can’t help but think about Gracie tonight. Poor baby girl. And her husband…I don’t care what ANY man says, macho or not, it’s a scary thought for any man.

    ((((HUGS))))

  6. says

    Kristen, I’m just catching up on your posts and came across this one. There are no words. My family has been touched by cancer, too. We’re the lucky ones though, as my brother is “cancer-free.” At least as of now. You just never know…

    I am so sorry about your friend. Life is so damned fragile. Hug those you love. Smile at those you don’t know. Be kind. Be there. What else can you do?

  7. says

    What a riveting story. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and Crissy’s. Every time I make lemon poppyseed muffins I’ll think of all of you.

  8. says

    This is beautiful. I think Crissy must be in the “spunky angels club” with my friend Sheena who left two little boys and a sad husband too.

  9. says

    What a beautiful moving post, words cannot express the sadness I feel for your friend’s family, Gracie and Crissy’s husband. No one deserves to go through this sort of pain.

  10. Rachel says

    Very well written Kristen. I was reading it and crying. My mom just beat the second part of her cancer (just finished her radiation last Friday) so this hit close to home. At the worst, when we didn’t know what was going to happen, I would cry thinking that my children would never get a chance to know how much she loved them. I can’t even imagine how hard this most of been for your friend. My heart goes out to the whole family.

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