Britton, the first of 4 cousins, was at my wedding, a little over a year and a half ago. He had informed me that he was going to unbutton his shirt, juuuust a little more, but he was afraid that we’d see his Superman S.
That was Britton. He was always cracking us up. Since he figured out what a joke was, he was telling them. Sometimes his jokes were gross – I mean, he was a 13 year old boy, what did you expect? But he was always laughing. Even when we found out about the cancer, just a few months later.
Cancer was not a new thing to me. One of my very best friends in 6th-12th grade was in remission when I met her. The leukemia came back in 10th grade, and I remember visiting her in the hospital. My mother in law had breast cancer only the year before. I looked up my a summer drama coach and read found an article about him beating lymphoma. A high school teacher’s husband had brain cancer and changed his diet and got magic robot surgery…. Cancer – not scary. There’s the drugs. There’s the steroid “cancer face”. There’s pain. There’s praying. And there’s a lot of doctor visits. But eventually, the cancer is gone. And then life goes back to… well, not perfectly normal. But it goes on.
So I was prepared for his hair loss. I was prepared for his physical changes. I was prepared for his tiredness, and the side effects of the drugs. I was less prepared for when his face was paralyzed. But I just knew he was going to pull through, and we just would enjoy this time with him while he went through this crazy experience.
Britton went to Heaven right after Thanksgiving.
Death is just so final. You can’t write letters or hear about what they’re doing now. But I can imagine. He’s cracking up David and Gabriel, for sure.
I’m sorry that my kids will never meet you. I miss you so much. Christmas really sucked this year without you. I can’t wait to see you again one day, Britton. Maybe I’ll be able to beat you at a video game by then.