I wanted to take a moment to remind you of something that you should already automatically know… Life itself is a very precious thing!! We are not promised tomorrow, and so much can change in the single blink of an eye!
Over the course of our lives we will meet possibly hundreds and hundreds of people, and there will be some that you choose to become good friends with. Many years ago, I got to work with one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever known, Dana. We become pretty good friends during the time we worked together, but as it often happens- jobs change, life happens, and so we drifted our separate ways. Being in a small town, we did still run into each other from time to time and every encounter was bittersweet filled with a hug or two and catching up on what life had taken us through.
Dana was a very outgoing person, and she loved life, her family, and God above. 2014 started out just as any other year would, though she had some health pains that just didn’t want to get better. Several month into 20014, in an effort to get relief, she finally underwent a CT scan to try & figure out what was going on. That’s when it was discovered that she had Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer.
In July of that year, she married the love of her life. Despite her diagnosis, I have never met a stronger, more inspirational person in all my life. Over the next several months, our small town had rallied around her with such support….in an effort to ease what burdens they could for Dana & her family. As the holiday season approached, a local photographer that Dana had used often, once again took their Christmas 2014 family pictures
. Kevin & Dana were very proud of their children, the love of that family always evident. During this photo session though, Dana fully embraced her prognosis, and the photographer was able to capture the most beautiful picture ever. .
Almost instantly, the photograph went viral as all of those that knew Dana changed it to be their profile photo on social media in support of Dana’s courageous fight this devastating disease.
Sadly, on April 26, 2015, at only 38 years old…heaven gained one extraordinary angel. Dana’s battle with cancer had rocked us all. To see her strength, and the strength of the rest of her family during all of it…it was overwhelming. Once again, Ashley Wright, of Ashley Wright Photography, took one of Dana’s wedding photos and created an amazing photo that everyone instantly adopted for social media again.
Her family has been so remarkably strong during the loss of Dana. The reason I chose to share this story is because this family has been rocked by tragedy yet again. And it serves as a reminder that we should never take things for granted. Over the weekend, at only 47 years old, her husband, Kevin passed away from a heart attack and was laid to rest today.
Two angels have reunited again, but it is with a saddened heart that now their two children must carry on without them. There is plenty of family there to insure that they are well taken care of as they continue to grow up and mature each and every day.
So, go home tonight- and let those that mean the most to you know just how important they are, and just how much you love them. The most valuable lesson I learned from Dana and her journey – was that faith can lift you up and give you strength to battle anything that comes your way. Always believe that your life has purpose….even in death, there is purpose. Godspeed to her family during these difficult days. May their faith continue to lift them up and give them strength to live out their purpose in this life.
I humbly dedicate this post to Kevin & Dana Clemons…May their wings span wide and give comfort to Destynie & Kyler when they need it most.