Saturday, December 19, 2009

With Gratitude and Thanks: Scott's Beloveds


alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5417070317258440050" />

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of and miss my brother.
He lived an extraordinary life; a life of purpose, determination and graciousness.
The loss of Scott, his life shortened, stolen by the wretched, insipid and indiscriminate
Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer continues to break my heart. It always will.

However, I know that I am not alone in my grief and sadness-
I am not alone in loving, caring, missing or being touched and changed by his unique voice. Scott, indeed, was loved, respected and revered by many.
The rest of my family, his students, his incredible friends and those dearest to him were all shocked and saddened by his death. Also, of equal significance, is the profound effect, the indelible memories of love, learning, laughter he left us with.

Yes, his was an amazing life. How grateful I am that Scott lives on through his works, words, beautiful mind and expansive heart. His relationships were as unique as they way he shared them. Which is to say, each of us knew and loved Scott individually, in our own unique and distinct way and for various reasons.

As the third Anniversary of his death approaches, I am not only reminded of Scott
but also of his loving friends, especially those who loved and cared for him both before his diagnosis and until the moment of his death.

When I flew in to Seattle from Salt Lake, I immediately had to take Scott to the Emergency Room. He was in so much pain and was having difficulty breathing.
He remained in the Hospital until 4 days before he passed away. Many, indeed most, of those memories are harsh and sad. Watching him die, not wanting or able to eat anymore, barely being able to move and sometimes, not able to speak, especially during his last days, are filled with images, feelings of hopelessness and such sorrow.
At times, I was totally paralyzed, often having to leave the hospital, as I could not watch him die.

I continue to have trouble forgiving myself for being so weak-for not being able to “be” and remain in the present for Scott. I just kept falling apart, bit by little bit. I am hoping Scott has forgiven me for that; that he knows and is aware of my heart and true intentions. Knowing Scott, I can only believe that he has and understands.

This post is one of gratitude and thankfulness to all of those who loved and cared for my brother, most especially, his “Seattle Family.” Those precious, courageous, caring, selfless, thoughtful and strong individuals who were with Scott during his illness, daily, indeed, those who were with him until the moment he died.

I don’t know, nor did I meet many of Scott’s friends and colleagues that lived in Seattle but the ones I met, especially those who cared for and watched over Scott during his last days, I wish to thank you. There are not enough words, or words that adequately express how much I appreciate your loving my brother.

To Frank Chiarella, one of Scott’s best friends, indeed, his brother, (mine too) who brought so much love, laughter, balance and incomparable friendship for so many years. I love you big guy, forever and always, just as you know that Scott did. You were beloved to him-but I know you already know that. Also, I want to thank you for the years of friendship and support, you have and continue to be for me. Yes, “You are my favorite thing.”

To Ted Mack, a dear colleague and friend, who was with Scott when he got the horrific news of his diagnosis; you planned birthday parties, spoke at Scott’s funeral, took turns taking Scott to Chemotherapy appointments and supported and loved Scott for so many years. You came to love and care for our Mother as well, for this and many things, I am forever grateful.

To Gillian Harkins, a colleague and dear friend. You are dear to me. So often Scott would write and speak of his closeness, respect and friendship with you. When we all went to dinner one night, I remember seeing my brother smile, hearing his laugh, just as he did before his diagnosis. It made me giddy and I smiled. Also, for your hours at the hospital,
whether taking Scott to his Chemotherapy appointments, or practically living in the hospital, when he became so, so ill. You were always there, often giving no thought for the many things you needed to do, your teaching obligations.
I will always love and appreciate you and remember with fondness, yours and Scott’s friendship.

To Kim Luu: How does one thank the person who was with Scott the moment died? The person who loved, cared for and lived with him, “In sickness and in health?” Truly, I have no words. Your strength of character, selflessness, your ability to minimize Scott’s anxiety-These are moments, characteristics that always amazed me. Please know, forever know, you are and will always be, loved and appreciated by me and my family. You were so often the conduit between and for, giving out vital information to us and all those who loved Scott. You are an amazing woman. I hope this finds you well and happy. And yes, yes, I thank you for everything-for the loving care you gave to Scott.

Indeed, all of these people, brought me and my family comfort and piece of mind, knowing that you were there with him. It helped calm my grieving Mother’s heart, as she was ill herself, and could not be where she wanted; With Scott, her only son and favorite person. She died soon after Scott’s death; Not so much from Leukemia, I think, but from a broken heart. I miss her, too, just as I miss and love my brother.

When I think of all of you, this poem by Emily Dickinson frequently comes to mind.
Please know, forever know, that you fine people not only “eased” Scott’s pain and mind but also that of his family.

"If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.
If I can ease one life the aching, or cool one pain, or help one fainting robin unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain."

-- Emily Dickinson

For that and many things, I thank you, Scott’s family thanks you and we will be forever indebted to
and appreciate the love, light and life you gave to him.

With love and gratitude,

Sheri Swaner

Harold Swaner, Sue Swaner, Stacey Swaner Moore, Susan Passino, Kerry Moore, Deborah and Garth Swensen,
Mike and Whitney Luna, Matt Luna Whitney Moore Wilber (Alan,) Dayne Moore and all of Scott’s darling
Great nieces and nephew.

No comments: