In his email that accompanied this week’s guest column, our friend Paul Curran apologized how this sad entry includes just two photos, at top and bottom, because of its sad tenor. Indeed, it is a story steeped in sorrow about a friend’s family hardship that touched Paul’s life this week. As always, Paul tells it simply, with heart and soul. No extra photos needed. Please sit down and read.

Your Barrista -- Paul Curran

Your Barrista — Paul Curran

Welcome to the weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul, I’ll be your barista today and I’m happy to be here at Mark Bialczak’s Little Bitty in Syracuse, New York. Please come in and go through to the living room. Mark, his wife Karen and their pooch Ellie B, have prepared a nice, air-conditioned, comfy place for us so I can tend to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. The weather this morning is sunny and hot with a high just over 90 F. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our worldwide readership and adult beverages for those who wish something stronger. We can relax with a cuppa in the air-conditioning while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. Ellie likes to be patted, so please indulge her when she greets you. How has your week been? Have a piece of cake (or any of the sweets on the next table) – electronic sweets are all calorie-free!

Yum Yum!

Web site: http://www.thegreenwichlondon.com/restaurant/afternoon-teas

There are times and occurrences in our lives when even if we are not close, they have a huge impact. One such event occurred in my life this week. My friend Frank, who comes to visit each evening for a coffee and a chat, has often mentioned a young niece of his named Lexi. Lexi was 8 years old and she was totally engaged in life, belonging to numerous groups – including Girl Guides – having a positive and playful presence, cheering people up wherever she went. Lexi did well in school and had many friends who cherished her friendship.

Late last week when Frank and I were talking, Frank mentioned that Lexi had a hard lump in her abdomen that had developed quickly. Having met and beat the Big C, I cringed – fast-developing lumps are never good news. Last weekend I saw Frank and I asked about Lexi. He seemed sad and said that she had gone to the doctor Friday and he had sent her immediately to CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) here in Ottawa. He didn’t have any more news. Then Sunday we chatted and he said that Lexi had been moved to the Children’s Hospital in Toronto – one of the best in the world and THE best in Canada. All the family had gone to Toronto to be with her.

Monday Frank said that Lexi had been diagnosed with a form of Fibroblastic Leukemia. He said that it had metastasized and was at stage 2. I winced and explained that any cancer I knew of that had metastasized was at least stage 3 and likely stage 4. Frank asked how many stages there were and I explained there were only 4 and 4 was terminal. I wondered out loud at how this young vibrant child now had God-only-knew how many weeks or months to suffer, with the pain increasing daily. I expressed my sadness at the suffering that was all that was left in her life until her death.

Tuesday Frank dropped by to say that the family had moved to Ronald McDonald House at the Toronto hospital (about 250 miles from Ottawa). They were being treated extremely well and Lexi was undergoing tests. The extended family had landed in Toronto to provide support – Mothers in law, grandparents, uncles, cousins, etc. The doctors had relabeled the cancer as Stage 4. There was great discussion about whether or how to address the discussion of death with Lexi. I shrugged and said I supposed it depended on how much she knew about it, what she had for faith, what she currently understood. No timeline was given by the doctors. All visitors were instructed to be positive and upbeat when in Lexi’s presence.

Wednesday, the funeral for the interment of the ashes of a beloved aunt was put on hold indefinitely as the family focused on Lexi. More tests were being done and the results were not good. There were multiple tumors throughout her abdomen. The doctors were beginning to slowly ease into the news that there would be no treatment other than palliative care.

Thursday evening, while being prepped for further tests, Lexi suffered three seizures in a row and died within minutes – six days after entering the hospital and with only 8 years of life lived.

Between the tears of loss there was a sense of decisions made above the human level to make this short and pain-free. There was no record in medical science of anyone surviving a cancer as advanced and aggressive as Lexi’s – just a matter of how long the suffering would go on. And her sweet soul was not to suffer.

The Girl Guides have organized a large event for Canada Day when they will be selling lemonade in Ottawa all along the parade route and in conjunction with various events and concerts. They will be labeled for Lexi and all the proceeds will go to cancer research.

There are days when I have a pity party for my own health concerns but I am virtually pain-free and my ailments will not affect my length of life by much if at all. When I think of Lexi’s young life and her short fight, I feel childish and silly complaining about my problems. She was so brave and innocent.

Have you had any eye-opening losses that have changed your attitude? I suppose many have. The only relief I can feel is by knowing she is with God and her soul continues even as we are burying her body.

That’s about all we have room for this week folks, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and pat Ellie B. Sweets anyone? Please join me in thanking Mark, Karen and Ellie B for their invitation to tea. We are all honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Mark’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week.

Lemonade Anyone?

Web Site: http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/girl-guides.html

25 thoughts on “Lexi

  1. Oh my heart is heavy for Lexis’s short life, for her family and all who lived her. What a heartbreaking story.

    And you’re right; such a story puts all our troubles into perspective…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. this is such a sad story, paul and takes me back to when i lost a young nephew. it is never the same for the family and has an impact on so many people whose lives are touched by these special angels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed Beth, it has quite an impact and I am just a friend of one family member. I would imagine that it would have devastated the parents and brothers. thanks so much for your read and comment Beth.


  3. Yes, very hard to hit the like button. These types of events do tend to put things in perspective. My heart hurts for Lexi’s family, but I must admit, it’s a blessing she didn’t suffer. My father-in-law died from bone cancer over 20 years ago, and he suffered, and though I hated doing so – made me feel like I was giving up hope – towards the end I began for praying for God to take him and release him from his pain. I will include Lexi & her family and friends in my prayers. Beautiful tribute, Paul . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for dropping by Sadie for a read. Yes, it is hard on Lexi’s parents but even her Mother admitted that if death was inevitable it was better to pass without pain. thank you for the prayers – I will pass along your condolences.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, Paul. How very sad. I cannot imagine the grief the family feels. Please pass along my prayers of comfort, and give them an extra hug as well. What a poignant reminder that life is indeed short; we must remember to tell our family and friends often how much we love them, and forgive and offer grace always. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for dropping by Susan. I will indeed pass along your love and prayers.And you’re right, when life strikes a blow like this ,it is a clear message to us all to not hide our light under the basket for we never know when the Father will bring us home. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So sad, Paul. As a mother who spent an inordinate amount of time at our children’s hospital, I can imagine the pain, stress and grief everyone went through, and continues to go through. My child survived, I don’t know what I would have done if she hadn’t. My heart goes out to those parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for dropping by CM. Indeed one can’t help but wonder how it would feel to be in their shoes. I shall pass along your condolences. Thanks again for reading and if you happen to be in Ottawa on Canada Day,you know where to get your lemonade.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful and poignant tribute to Lexi. I can’t imagine how her family must be reeling. Thank you for the gentle reminder of what’s important in life.
    Hello Mark! Sorry I’ve been away for so long.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Paul, yes very hard to click like on such a sad post. To see a young life slip away in less than a week how awful. There is a blessing no run up of nasty treatments or worrying just bang ! then news but also mercifully and swift release. I am sending strength to the poor shocked family. I have lost friends to cancer, I have seen some them recover and beat it too. Lets pray we can find a cure soon. God keep Lexi safe and happy.She will live on all those she knew hearts.
    Very sad Paul ,yet beautifully written. Could I have a brandy please. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Morning Paul-hard to click like on this one-wanted to acknowledge none the less. Sad-very sad, whenever I learn of a young ones life cut short. As a mom to five you always worry because they are suppose to outlive you! I’ll pass on the cuppa this am as I watch mine still asleep with thoughts of your friends child. Gatorette.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks so much for the opportunity to write Lexi’s story here Mark. I hope all is well with you and Karen as well as your readers.


    • This essay may be the most important you’ve given us here, Paul. We cry in the memory of Lexi and for her family and the friends she made in her short life. And we’ll remember to be good to others, thinking of her too-short time here, too. Thank you, good sir.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.