Yesterday, we lost our beloved oldest daughter, Lisa, to a particularly virulent and aggressive form of ovarian cancer. She was gone in less than a month from the time of her diagnosis. We were with her every step of the way, believing she would find the strength to pull through. The doctors and nurses at UWMC were kind and caring and did everything they could to save her. But in the end, it was not possible.
Lisa was amazing in so many ways. She loved nature. She cared about all animals great and small. She could talk fluently about their habits and behavior. No creature was too bizarre or weird for her not to find something to like. In her life view, the natural world mattered and deserved protection and love.
She had an encyclopedic knowledge of plants and fossils and shared it with all of us. When they were younger, she took our son and grandson on expeditions across the western half of the US to hunt for and study and sometimes collect specimens. She taught food preservation classes. She canned applesauce for the food bank. We always joked that when the world ended, Lisa would be the one to survive because she would know how.
But none of this touches on how much we depended on her to preserve a balance in our family. She was in so many ways the pillar on which we all leaned. Her leaving creates a gap in all our lives, and just now we can’t imagine who will be able to fill it. Her place in the family was that large.
Losing a child feels wrong. It feels like a violation in the natural order of things. Lisa’s passing has devastated us. It will take time to recover, but we will find a way because that is what Lisa would expect of us.
Peace and Love, Terry and Judine.