As we “say a little prayer” for Aretha Franklin, I ask that the family of Oi Yin Gonzalez and the countless families affected by cancer be lifted as well. As I viewed the marvelous orange display of last night’s rare and powerful lunar eclipse/winter solstice combo, I thought of them and the possibility of the miraculous as well as the gift of acceptance.
Please view the video below from the Cancer Respite organization, For Pete’s Sake:
I met Oi Yin and her family years ago when she and I were in the bridal party of our dear friend, artist Fran Mack. She and her husband, Rafael, both engineers, were about as lovely a couple as I’d ever come across. Deeply in love, devoted parents to two small children, their’s was a life that was golden. In 2006, Rafael visited the doctor with the complaint of back pain (that he’d attributed to strain from having moved heavy furniture.) The non-smoker was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer and given the prognosis of six months to live. Widowed at 36, Oi Yin, in characteristic positivity forged the best possible life for her babies, a life that honored their father’s memory, embraced his family and yet allowed them to move forward. When new love Jeff proposed marriage in January, she accepted. They were stunned by fit,former distance runner Oi Yin’s diagnosis in March of pancreatic cancer. It seems unfathomable that so much should be heaped on this family and yet Oi Yin with her beautiful, open, indomitable spirit once again forges ahead, preparing her children for the possibility of life without her whilst fighting the good fight with aggresive treatment and holistic therapies. She was given seven months in March, and now as the year draws to a close, she is still vital through wearying treatment and creating a special holiday for Sienna and Derek.
I saw her last summer at the annual memorial softball game held in honor of Rafael. She, a bit frail after treatment, resolved nonetheless to play. And she did for a bit before assuming the mantle of pep squad, gratefully cheering on all who came out in Raf’s memory. She is truly a remarkable woman. She shares her ethical will to her children on Jeff’s Psychology Today blog.
In this season of copious spending I hope that everyone who reads this will feel compelled to give the extent of their ability. Donate to For Pete’s Sake at TakeABreakFromCancer.org by 12/31/2010 to help reach the $8,000 matching funds challenge; and/or if you’d like to donate directly to Oi Yin’s medical costs and the trust for the children, visit Gonzalez Family Trust.
Thank you for reading. Wishing all a happy, love-filled holiday season!