Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend

Me, 2 brothers, and our niece Belle.
This weekend was not only Easter weekend, but also the weekend of the 5k supporting melanoma research. I am so incredibly blessed to have so many amazing people in my life that all came together this weekend to honor my wife, their friend, daughter, sister in-law as well as honor and support all of the others there whose lives have been affected by this terrible relentless disease. Some of my family members flew and drove in from out of town to be here this weekend for support and comfort on the first Easter without Adrienne here with us. I am so grateful to have been blessed with such amazing, supportive, and loving family.

The run was very emotional for me and many tears, laughs and memories happy or sad were shared by us all. There were so many amazing people here whom I had only known through emails or stories they had shared on the 5k website, and it was so great to finally get to hug them and meet them face to face. My little brother decided to run it with me, as we both decided that we were there to support the cause and felt it was only necessary to put in some sweat and work in doing so. We talked and joked for most of the run, or at least until I was winded to the point that I needed to reserve my breath to continue running. At the very end of the run I was met by two very sweet ladies with tears in their eyes. They approached me and asked if I was Jesse Dill, Adrienne's husband. As tears filled my eyes and began streaming down my face I said yes through trembling lips. They were part of the family that started Miles4melanoma GA for their daughter, and little sister who lost her battle over 5 years ago. I don't  even think I was able to get many more words out of my mouth but just hugged them for a while and I felt as if I had already known them and their struggles. This was such an amazing moment and one that will not soon be forgotten. After the run they honored some survivors that come each year to participate and support the cause. This was so hard for me as they called out each name, I clapped, yet tears streamed down my face as I waited wishing and praying that Adrienne's was the next to be called. She should have been there with  me running by my side, and she should have been there to be called on stage as a survivor to be recognized for her strength. This all reminded me of a letter that I found in the notes on Adrienne's phone. I am thankful that I found it because I was unaware that she wrote it, but at the same time, it was very hard for me to read.  The letter was Dated April 15th 2014.... This was one year from her diagnosis, and almost exactly 4 months after she passed away. The letter read:  "Many of you know, many of you don't, but on this day 1 year ago I was diagnosed with stage IV Melanoma (skin cancer). In the past year I've undergone multiple surgeries, immunotherapy treatments, chemotherapy, radiation, etc. Today I am blessed to say that I am cancer free. There is no cure for my cancer so I know that this will be a part of my life forever, but no matter what the future holds, to be where I am today is a miracle all in itself. What a humbling year it has been"..... 
This is the Faith that Adrienne had, the courage, strength and strong mind that she had all while going through what she was. I wish to god daily that my wife could have read that letter to me last week, and that we would be looking back on this humbled as she said, and changed forever together. Now I am left here trying to put the pieces of my life back together after it was torn away from me without warning or remorse. I just keep telling myself, one day at a time, one breath, one hurdle, one prayer, one step, just baby steps.... I miss you my love and how you held me together, nothing is easy, simple or nearly as sweet without you.

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