Monday, February 27, 2012
The past couple weeks have been very difficult for me. Last week I lost my dear friend, Tua to cancer. I have known Tua for 10 years. We worked together and became very good friends. I feel so blessed to have known her. I first met her as a newly divorced woman who moved down from Logan to Salt Lake to start over. About a year after that, she met and married her husband, Papu "Bobby". Then a couple years after that, I saw her become a mother to a sweet little gir, Kaitlin. A year or so after having Kaitlin, she wanted to try for another baby, but sadly she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy treatments. Around the same time, Tua found the Gospel. She was so eager and took ahold of the Gospel with all her might. She couldn't wait to go through the temple. I was there at her baptism and saw the excitment and joy and peace that the Gospel brought to her. A couple years later, they found cists on her uterus and she immediatly had a historectomy with out much thought. It was upsetting to see her go through what she did, especially seeing how she had to give up the idea of having another child.
Exactly a year after she was baptized, she went and had her endowments taken out. She LOVED going to the temple. I don't think there was any place she felt more happy and at peace.
A little over a year ago, we celebrated her 5 year bench mark of being cancer free. She had beat it!!! We were so excited for her and had a celebration at the office.
Two months after that, she was having abdominal problems and thought she had apendisitis. She went to the Doctor and found out that she had stage 4 bone and lung cancer. After alot of tears, she made a resolution that she was going to fight this as long as she could, she wanted to be here for her daughter, to watch her get baptized, graduate, married. She didn't want to go and miss those moments. Unfortunatly, she lost that battle 3 months before Kaitlin is to be baptized.
We were able to go and see her a couple of times during her final week. It was surreal to see Tua in that state and to know she was that close to the veil. Part of me was so happy for her, she served her purpose, she found the Gospel and was ready to go, but on the other hand, my heart broke for Kaitlin, she needs her mom!
We attended the funeral on Saturday, along with (I believe) the entire samoan/Tongan/polynesian community! It was overwhelming to see the amount of people she affected and that loved her. She truly was "one of a kind".
I am so greatful that I was able to be apart of her life for 10 years. She taught me so much about compassion, tolerance, kindness, generosity and of course, Love. She exemplified what it means to be a "true deciple of Christ". I only hope I can be half of the woman she was. She always had an amazing attitude. She fought till the end.
At the service, I was touched when a cousin of her spoke about her final moments and how she had become so dehydrated and that she was incapable of crying. However, as she was taking her final breaths, they brought Kaitlin to her side, told Tua, "Kaitlin is here". She turned to look at her, opened her eyes and as she look at her, a single tear streamed down her face, and then she was gone.
I will miss my Tua so much. In sunday, for the closing hymn, we sang, "Till we meet again" That is my prayer, that someday we will meet again, and I can once again recieve one of her big samoan hugs and tell her how much I have missed her and love her!