As time started to go by as I circled the garage I began to feel helpless. I thought back to my grandmother who died as my family drove from the airport to the hospital she was staying at, missing her death by approximately fifteen minutes. It was in the cocoon of my rental car that I began to confront the deep grief inside myself as tears of self pity, tears of anger, sadness, and frustration began to pour out.
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The gathering is called a tea party, and there are a few different speakers who share their stories, and their struggles with cancer, or as cancer care-takers. Some local high school students sing a song, and they ask how many survivors are year-long survivors. Then they ask about five year survivors, then ten, and so forth. I’m sitting next to Jennifer knowing that she cannot raise her hand for any of these benchmarks; that she has her speech in hand and that she wore her new dress for the occasion.