Wednesday, April 16, 2014

miles4melanoma Letter

I received an email today asking me to share some information and photos of mine and Adrienne's story with the people attending the 5k to support melanoma research. Through tears, and memories, painful or precious, this is what I came up with.

I am Jesse Dill and I am participating in the miles4melanoma 5k in honor of my wife Adrienne Dill who was diagnosed with melanoma on April 15th 2013. Adrienne and I were married March 30th of 2012 in Savannah GA at Forsyth Park.  I truly never thought that beautiful day in March when we were at an absolute high, that merely a year later we would hit our absolute low with her diagnosis. It still boggles my mind and confuses me to the point of exhaustion. My wife, best friend, and Love, lost her battle Dec. 13th 2013, an unrealistic 8 months after being diagnosed.

Adrienne was loved and will forever be loved by many, not only for her contagious smile, but for her heart of gold and loving kindness.  She was involved in many charities & fundraising events even up to her last month’s here with us. One that I was unaware of was that she was writing numerous other cancer patients and sharing thoughts, support and prayer all while going through the battle against the wicked disease that took her from me.  This is a quote from a book that I read that was given to me by a dear friend while at Adrienne’s bedside in the hospital. “I strive to be grateful, not for the pain itself, but for the opportunity to respond, to form good out of what looks bad.”  With this situation that was dealt, for an unknown reason, Adrienne reacted with more courage, strength and Faith than I have ever known until this point in my life. While by her side through every surgery, treatment, and day long hospital visits, I did not hear her complain or get angry asking why this was happening to her. I do not possess that kind of strength but was able to hide my fears from her the majority of the time so that I could support her as best I could. One of Adrienne’s favorite bible verses, and now mine, is Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” I saw Adrienne’s Faith and relationship with God grow each day, as well as ours as a newlywed couple. In a situation such as this, it seems that anger towards God is something that a lot of people experience, and I would be liar if I said that there have not been nights where I have felt enormous amounts of anger. But Adrienne was not, and I am so thankful for that and so proud of her rock solid strength.
I guess that as confused as I still am, that the true reason that we are all here today falls back to that quote. “We are striving to be grateful, not for the pain and grief that we are going through, but for the opportunity to respond, to form good out of a point of darkness in our lives.” Every person here today has been through a dark time in their lives due to this disease that HAS to be cured. I saw a poster for this very same 5k at one of the first visits to the Oncologist and remember telling Adrienne that WE were signing up for the next one together. How my heart and so many others long for her to be here with us today to walk or run by our side in celebration rather than grief. We will always love you baby and keep your memories alive.  

Adrienne had an unbelievable love and gift for children, and we had many in our lives. Unfortunately, Adrienne and I waited a little too long before having children of our own, as we had planned to try at the beginning of 2014. This is a picture of Adrienne and I holding our precious Goddaughter Stella. She is missed but never forgotten by all these children and loved ones whose lives have been impacted by her.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing Jesse, you certainly carry a strong message of hope. God bless you man :-)