Rest in Peace, Sweet Maria

Monday, March 23, 2009

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Oh Dear Readers, you have no idea how much I hate writing posts like this. Yet, I find myself doing it way too often. My heart is heavy today and it probably will be for a long time. And I hope that, if you’ll allow me the indulgence of getting it off my chest, I might be able to make some sense of it.

You see, I lost a dear friend on Saturday. Another bright and vibrant young life devoured by cancer. Many of you may remember last May, when I year told you about our legal assistant and good friend, Maria’s cancer diagnosis. Doctors found that she had a precariously positioned tumor in her neck, wrapped around her jugular vein. Conventional surgery wasn’t an option.

The next ten months were a harrowing and painful journey for her. There was chemo and radiation, and more chemo and more radiation. There were two CyberKnife procedures, a highly sophisticated robotic radiosurgery system used to attempt to reduce or eliminate certain lesions and tumors in the body that are otherwise considered inoperable. The tumor had crushed Maria’s vocal cords, so there was reconstructive surgery and speech therapy as well.

The second CyberKnife procedure was considered to be very successful. Finally, there was a small sliver of light at the end of a dark and miserable tunnel. Things were starting to look up for Maria. Then, the unthinkable happened.

Two weeks ago, Maria began having a lot more pain than usual. She was also having trouble with her vision. After undergoing some tests, her doctors told her that there was now a large tumor on her brain. They also said that they thought they could get it all. She was immediately scheduled for more surgery. But, by the time they got in there, that f*%#ing devil cancer had already taken over. There was nothing more they could do, except send her home to wait.

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Maria died early Saturday morning. She was only forty-one years old. She was gentle and kind and warm and smart and funny. She was incredibly beautiful, inside and out. She was an angel among us.

Rest in peace, sweet Maria. Thank God, your suffering is finally over. We love you and will miss you more than you’ll ever know.

Rest-in-Peace

64 responses to Rest in Peace, Sweet Maria

  1. On March 23, 2009 at 11:31am, Maria said...

    Sorry for your loss. Great tribute to your friend. Cancer is so terrible. My thoughts go out to you and Maria’s family and loved ones.

  2. On March 23, 2009 at 11:36am, Colleen said...

    Im so very sorry Susan…..aaaarrrggghhh CANCER!!!! Loving thoughts and prayers are with you and Maria’s family. Hugs xxx

  3. On March 23, 2009 at 11:53am, Laurie said...

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss! Such a beautiful post for your friend.

  4. On March 23, 2009 at 1:00pm, City Girl said...

    I am so very, very sorry for your loss.

  5. On March 23, 2009 at 1:04pm, Nina Timm said...

    I can see in your writing that your heart is very sore! I will remember you in my prayers!

  6. On March 23, 2009 at 1:09pm, girlichef said...

    I’m so sorry for your loss :( Cherish the good times…

  7. On March 23, 2009 at 1:18pm, Jane Flanagan said...

    I’m so very sorry for your loss!

  8. On March 23, 2009 at 1:39pm, pinkstripes said...

    My thoughts are with you. :(

  9. On March 23, 2009 at 1:50pm, Peter M said...

    Susan, sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I will never understand why young people are taken from us so soon.

  10. On March 23, 2009 at 1:52pm, Snooky doodle said...

    I m sorry! I ll pray for her.

  11. On March 23, 2009 at 1:58pm, Bellini Valli said...

    A very touching post Susan for someone who obviously left her touch on your life.

  12. On March 23, 2009 at 2:00pm, The Food Hunter said...

    I’m so sorry for your loss and will keep you in my thoughts

  13. On March 23, 2009 at 2:05pm, The Duchess of Wessex said...

    Gracious! I cannot imagine but for you pain and loss I send you my sincerest condolences.

    May the sun shine again for you soon. You bring so much sunshine to so many…

    Best,

    Janet

  14. On March 23, 2009 at 2:26pm, Farmer Jen said...

    I am so sorry to hear of your friend’s death. I can tell that she was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Yes, I agree, these things are happening way too often lately.

  15. On March 23, 2009 at 2:37pm, Donna said...

    Susan, she is younger than I am. I am sorry for your loss. I am working on a project that I hope will help cancer patients. Please check out my blog, http://stitchingforacure.blogspot.com
    I would like to make an ornament in Maria’s name if that is ok with you.

  16. On March 23, 2009 at 3:28pm, Tanya said...

    I’m sorry for your loss, Susan. It’s so sad when someone is taken far too early. My thoughts are with you.

  17. On March 23, 2009 at 3:52pm, Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss! That’s so unfair…

    In thoughs with you,

    Rosa xoxo

  18. On March 23, 2009 at 3:57pm, Karen @ Mignardise said...

    A lovely post for a beautiful young woman. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Too many (young) people I know are struggling with cancer too.

  19. On March 23, 2009 at 3:57pm, Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

    Susan my deepest sympathy. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap your head around the the awful things that can happen in life. I hope you find peace.

  20. On March 23, 2009 at 4:21pm, Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

    So sorry about this terrible news…:((

    Peace for her….

  21. On March 23, 2009 at 4:44pm, Amy said...

    What a wonderful tribute to your angel friend…My heart goes out to her family. I am thankful she is no longer in pain,but that doesn’t lessen the hole left in your heart.I have a 38 year old friend with 2 small children who is battling breast cancer, she is such an encouragement to us. May God’s peace comfort you…

  22. On March 23, 2009 at 4:55pm, Jen Yu said...

    Sweetheart, I’m so sorry. These things never make any sense. Sending you a hug. xxoo

  23. On March 23, 2009 at 5:34pm, Haley said...

    I am so so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and Maria’s family.

  24. On March 23, 2009 at 6:34pm, 5 Star Foodie said...

    I’m so sorry about Maria. It’s just very sad.

  25. On March 23, 2009 at 6:51pm, MaryBeth said...

    I am so sorry to hear that Maria has left us, it is hard to see anyone go but really hard for someone who is so young. I am the same age and could not imagine being sick and leaving this earth at such a young age. My love and wishes are with you.

  26. On March 23, 2009 at 7:41pm, Andrew's Mom said...

    Maria and her family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers.

  27. On March 23, 2009 at 8:20pm, Proud Italian Cook said...

    Oh Susan, I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend! I hate cancer,I know how you feel, I lost my 27yr old neice to it. So young. Too young.

  28. On March 23, 2009 at 8:37pm, Meg said...

    I know this is a very hard time for you! My prayers go forth to you and her family and friends. HUGS.

  29. On March 23, 2009 at 8:43pm, Ronda said...

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your good friend, Maria. It is such a horrible thing, that cancer. I have a few co-workers and friends with it right now, and sometimes, I just don’t understand.

  30. On March 23, 2009 at 8:43pm, Cathy said...

    I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. What a tragedy. My heart goes out to all who loved her.

  31. On March 23, 2009 at 10:13pm, Kris said...

    Oh, I am so sorry for your loss, reading your post was heart breaking. I know how painful it is to lose someone close to you, especially when it is so far ahead of their time. I still hope for a day when they can eliminate cancer for good. My thoughts are with you and this young woman’s family.

  32. On March 23, 2009 at 11:05pm, Stephanie said...

    I’m so sorry.

  33. On March 24, 2009 at 1:54am, Fara said...

    i am so sorry for the loss….

  34. On March 24, 2009 at 3:09am, Sophie said...

    I am sorry for your loss,….What a beatiful tribute!

  35. On March 24, 2009 at 7:11am, Cristine said...

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  36. On March 24, 2009 at 7:24am, The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

    *Big hugs* I’m sorry you have had to experience such a tragic loss. Wishing you peace and good eating in this time.

  37. On March 24, 2009 at 7:36am, Jennifer said...

    I am so very sorry for your loss. She was SO young and so beautiful. I’m so sorry that you are having to go through this, Susan. Prayers and hugs to you.

  38. On March 24, 2009 at 8:20am, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of the hugs, prayers and good wishes. It means so much to me and to all of us who loved Maria. I am very lucky to have so many friends and readers as wonderful and caring as you.

  39. On March 24, 2009 at 9:03am, Ingrid said...

    I’m sorry for your loss as well as that of her family. Your tribute to Maria was so moving.
    ~ingrid

  40. On March 24, 2009 at 9:18am, Laura P. said...

    so sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts are with you and her family

  41. On March 24, 2009 at 11:17am, The Italian Dish said...

    Life is precious and sometimes much too short. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  42. On March 24, 2009 at 11:32am, Ciao Chow Linda said...

    So sorry to hear about your friend’s death. What a tragedy. A big hug to you and all her friends and family.

  43. On March 24, 2009 at 1:13pm, Simple Simon said...

    So terribly sorry for your loss. Your love for your friend is clearly evident.

  44. On March 24, 2009 at 1:57pm, onlinepastrychef said...

    Oh, Susan! There are no words.

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I’ve lost two very dear people to cancer, my brother at 31 and my husband’s and my best friend at 37.

    I understand the anger and helplessness. I will be keeping you and Maria’s family in my thoughts.

    Take care.

  45. On March 24, 2009 at 4:07pm, Erin said...

    I’m so so sorry to hear about this, and sending warm, loving, supportive thoughts to you and yours.

  46. On March 24, 2009 at 5:10pm, Tiffany said...

    I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing a bit of her life and her struggle with us.

  47. On March 24, 2009 at 5:49pm, J.Danger said...

    Oh Susan. You have had quite the luck lately. I am so sorry that you have suffered yet another loss. I hate cancer, I hate cancer with a passion and I cannot wait for the day that it has lost its death grip on humanity.

  48. On March 24, 2009 at 7:36pm, Kalyn said...

    What a tragedy to have such a lovely person die at such a young age. My thoughts are with you.

  49. On March 24, 2009 at 8:42pm, Manggy said...

    My deepest condolences, Susan… I can indeed see she was an incredible beauty. May she rest in peace.

  50. On March 24, 2009 at 9:17pm, noble pig said...

    OMG that is so awful. It seems so unfair and she is so, so young. I am so sorry she had to suffer, it’s terrible. I know you are hurting and may she rest in peace.

  51. On March 24, 2009 at 10:14pm, Katrina said...

    So sorry to hear this! She does look and sound like a beautiful person. TAke care.

  52. On March 25, 2009 at 12:15am, Jude said...

    So sorry to hear about your loss.

  53. On March 25, 2009 at 8:33am, sunita said...

    Losing a dear one is always very hard…my sincere condolences to you and Maria’s family.

    Take care, dear Susan…

  54. On March 25, 2009 at 8:46am, Lisa said...

    I’m sorry if this sounds brash, but cancer can go F@#K itself! My sister was diagnosed with Hodgkins a few years ago at a very young age, and although she seems to have beat it, and I’m grateful as hell, I’m so sick of cancer taking the lives of such vibrant, young people or people of any age! The death rate of cancer for people under 50 has multiplied like crazy the past 15-20 years, and many of the victims never smoked and lived healthy lifestyles! I keep donating money so they can find a damn cure, and although improved in certain cancers, they don’t seem to be making as much leeway as one would hope.

    OK – RANT over. I’m SO incredibly sorry about the loss of your beautiful friend. My heart goes out to you, her family and anyone else that was close to her/knew her. Your tribute to her was wonderful, and no doubt she’s read it from up above with a smile.

  55. On March 25, 2009 at 11:46am, The Food Librarian said...

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you, your co-workers and her family.

  56. On March 25, 2009 at 10:13pm, Tangled Noodle said...

    So sorry for you loss and my deepest condolences and prayers for Maria’s family. This was a lovely tribute to her.

  57. On March 25, 2009 at 10:34pm, Miss Jean said...

    Words cannot express my sorrow for the loss of your friend. Cancer has taken too many of our loved ones. My prayers and sympathy to her family.

  58. On March 25, 2009 at 11:17pm, heidileon said...

    Hi Susan,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. She looked so alive and beautiful in that picture, I’m sure that’s the way she wanted you and all her friend remember her.

    Lots of love and hugs to you and her family!

  59. On March 26, 2009 at 2:23am, Tish said...

    That is so sad :( My sincerest condolences to you and all involved.

  60. On March 26, 2009 at 8:29am, Kristen said...

    This breaks my heart, on so many very different levels. Thinking of you!

  61. On March 26, 2009 at 5:09pm, Nicole said...

    My condolences.

  62. On March 27, 2009 at 1:17pm, Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

    So sad to read this — what a beautiful woman, and so young. I did a post a few days ago about “CURE Magazine” which is a FREE quaterly publication aimed at people who are, or have battled cancer, and their families. I am a thyroid cancer survivor so it’s a topic that is always in my mind.

    I hope one day there will be a cure!

    My condolences.

  63. On March 27, 2009 at 5:25pm, Nicisme said...

    I’m so sorry to read this Susan. Very sad. Take care.

  64. On March 27, 2009 at 11:47pm, Y said...

    Very sorry to hear about your dear friend.

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kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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