Over the weekend, a college friend of ours, CAM, died after a five year battle with a rare and painful form of cancer. He leaves behind his wife Becky, another college friend, and three young children. I have been struggling with how and even if to write this post. My heart is heavy and we have not been in close touch with CAM and Becky in recent years. We have followed their journey through other friends who have remained in close touch and through internet updates. I find myself overwhelmed with thoughts of those friends and family who are suffering a much closer loss than we are.
I think back to CAM and Becky in college, the time when I knew them both best. Young, healthy, happy and strong. I picture them at their wedding, radiant and so clearly in love. I also remember their wedding as a day when the bus we rode from the ceremony to the reception got lost. By the time we arrived at the cocktail hour, there were more cocktails than food but that is a post for another time. We remember arriving at their wedding having just been recently engaged. In the midst of CAM’s day, he wanted to talk about our engagement. He wanted to take time to talk not about himself, but about us. That was CAM.
I could easily write about CAM and Becky’s spirit, their dedication, their love. I could write about the incredible community that surrounded them during these past five years. I could write about the power of friends and family. I could write about the healing power of faith.
I started this post with the standard phrase. I had written ‘CAM lost his battle.’ And then I sat and looked at that sentence and it felt wrong. I deleted it. I wrote it again because he had lost hadn’t he? Cancer had won. A wonderful woman, three dear children and countless friends had lost a wonderful husband, father and friend. But it still didn’t feel right.
To ever say that a man as caring and strong as CAM had lost was wrong. While is true that the world has lost him, we have also gained so much from his time with us. We have gained love, strength and faith. Cancer did not win and CAM did not lose. CAM came to this world and he gave it all he had. He led a big life. A meaningful and powerful life. He won.
Rest in peace, CAM. And peace and love always to Becky and their sweet children.