Andrea died this morning, after a year long struggle with inflammatory breast cancer. I didn't know her. Before this week I had never heard of her. But somehow, in the time it took me to read her story, I was touched. Before she left us, Andrea left her final words here. Even in pain, spending her last days with her family, she was able to share a part of the world with all of us.
Somehow in reading her story, I felt a connection with Andrea, and that I'd found a kindred spirit. Andrea was a woman with tattoos and died hair. She wasn't a conventional soccer-mom type person, not the type of person that I feel that most people would look at as a traditional good mom. But she was a good mom, with 6 kids and she was also a Christian. I went through a lot of my life with the same stereotypes about Christians that a lot of people have, and Andrea didn't fit into that neat little box. Sometimes I don't feel like I fit either, but here I am. Motherhood is my choice, my pride, my purpose. All Andrea wanted was her family, and I understand that about her. I am sad that she didn't get to stay with them longer, but I am happy that she's no longer in pain.
If you have time, read Andrea's story. It's touching and amazing. If you pray, please pray for her family. I know that if she touched me this much in the past week, she touched them infinitely more. Despite being happy that she is at peace, this is most certainly an unbelievably sorrowful time for them, and I will be praying for peace in their lives as well.
Rest in peace, Andrea. You'll be missed even by those who didn't really know you.