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January 19, 2015: Yet another Bright and Shining Star

Today there was a set drop in time at the local mortuary for our friend Carol Clemens, who passed away this past weekend, after battling cancer for two year. I didn’t go to the visitation because I didn’t know about any of the specifics. For sure, she would not have allowed herself to be put on display, either in casket or in urn form. All I could picture is my walking into a room that contained some flowers, maybe some photos, and people, lots of people. There would be some people I knew and did not want to see, and other people who I did not know and would not want to see. I might also be asked to sign a guest book. The question might then be, who was going to get this book?

Carol's iPod painting

Today was a day that Carol would have enjoyed. The sun shone brightly, it was windless, and the temperatures were in the high teens. All in all it was a beautiful Alaskan winter day.

Pete and I went for a ride this afternoon. I’d be lying if I said that I’d been planning to specifically think about Carol at this time. Instead, I have been thinking about her for the past few days.

The most important life-lesson that I learned from Carol was to take quick, decisive action if I am ever diagnosed with cancer, or think that I have cancer. She knew that she had a lump in her breast long before she had it checked out. And yet for some odd, inexplicable reason, she tarried before going to the doctor. I then one day got a call from her. Her first words were “I have terminal breast cancer!” I later learned that she had invasive ductile carcinoma, and that this is not necessarily fatal. But Carol seemed to think that it was.

Carol decided shortly after getting a mammogram to forego getting a mastectomy (would be harder to find a man if she was lacking a breast) and decided to forego chemotherapy. Would be harder to find a man if she didn’t have hair). She was interested in our neighbor Jim, but he was not interested in her, I think because he thought that she was too high maintenance.)

The chemotherapy also supported her belief that fighting the cause of a disease, that is a toxin-based illness, with another toxin, was nonsensical.

Carol instead decided to treat her illness in a holistic fashion. Her diet soon consisted of juiced vegetables. And she began giving herself coffee enemas. I never saw much sense in the enemas, but I supposed that an organically-based juice diet, if used in conjunction with an overall broad based diet, might help fight the disease.

The saddest thing of all was that Carol became a hypochondriac shorty before she learned that she had cancer. She became obsessed in talking about other health issues, such as a sore back. Then, after she learned she had cancer, she became even more obsessive.

I suppose that it’s far better now to focus on the fun times that we had together. We once went to the state fair at closing time. There we sought out bargains and talked with vendors. Carol spent a lot of time in the vibrating chair and purchased a vibrating pillow. I also once went with her on a walk over at the Wishbone Hill area – we were looking for the mine site. It was pouring rain. I remember Carol speculating as to whether or not an asteroid would ever hit the planet.

Carol also came over one Thanksgiving and rode Signy. It was a cold, snowy winter day. The good mare didn’t flinch when several very noisy snowmobiles came flying over a berm. After, we all had Thanksgiving dinner together – we pulled the food she brought over up to the house in the manure sled. She was an excellent cook before she took exclusively to juicing.

Together, she Pete and I went to Anchorage where I purchased a camera and also went to see one of Michio’s exhibits. After, we went out and ate sushi. Carol was built like a rail – and gosh she could eat. She was always picky about what she ate, but when with us she bent the rules.

Lastly, Carol remained a good friend when the local comprehensive plan went down and some in our area turned on me. I was then, and still am most thankful for that. We never ever talked about this. Rather, we just kept doing stuff together. I think the unpublished plan has some of her photos.

The best thing of all is that people live on in the thoughts of those they in one way or another touched. This is true of Carol who is now (like Siggi and Signy) a bright and shining star.

Next: 20. 1/20/15: Light Returns

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