One of my Facebook friends reacted to someone else’s cover photo. It happens all the time — I get a glimpse of a stranger’s life, by virtue of one of my own Facebook friends interacting with that person.
Except I knew this person. This person in the hospital bed, surrounded by her loving family, had been my Sunday School teacher (Young Women’s, technically) back in high school.
I don’t think I’d seen Sister Scholer since I went off to college in the mid 1990’s. We reconnected via Facebook years ago, but then I “defriended” her during one of my many Facebook purges — I had nothing against her; I’d just decided to cut out people I didn’t interact with on the regular.
I was shocked to learn that she died of renal cell cancer last Sunday, at the age of 63.
I couldn’t concentrate on work the afternoon after discovering that beautiful and heartbreaking hospital bed photo over lunch, and learning the story behind it.
I’m surprised on some level that it hit me as hard as it did, being that we hadn’t spoken in so long. She was just such a loving, magnetic, genuine person that she left a huge impression on everyone she touched.
She was diagnosed at the end of July and passed at the beginning of October. Life — and death — moves fast. Even so, in the photos of her with her huge family in the hospital room two weeks before her passing, she looked happy and vibrant and not anything like a dying person.
She was just about two years older than my Mom. Anything that forces me to acknowledge the mortality of my own family freaks me out, and this qualifies big time.
I guess it also kind of hit me in the You Think You Have Problems category, being that I’ve been so bothered about my son’s behavior lately, and kind of bummed about how being a parent has changed my lifestyle overall. Even if my son is a royal pain in the toucas sometimes, he’s generally happy, and we’re all healthy, and we really don’t have any major stressors right now. Kind of gave me a gratitude kick in the pants.
Keahi was a beautiful person, inside and out, and she will be missed.