Lisa,a small frail blond girl of thirteen sat anxiously in the waiting room for the doctor to call her back. Normally, she was up early doing laps in the pool for the fun of it, but lately she had just been too tired and worn out. The large bruise where she had fallen down the stairs when she had become dizzy was taking longer than it should, to heal. This was the second doctor and second round of tests that she had endured. She just wanted this to be finished.
School started in two weeks, and she was ready to get back into a routine and see friends that had drifted apart over the summer. The doctor had called her mother back, but not her. She was beginning to fear that something was wrong. Lisa took one look in her motherís eyes when they called her back, and she could smell the fear. The doctor gave her a diagnosis of leukemia. That was a type of cancer, only old people get cancer. This could not be happing to her. Most of what he said went over her head as she sat in shock.
School started and she managed as best she could, to stay focused and live life as a normal teenager. Slowly, at first word leaked out as to why she was missing so much school. She must have been covered in a smell of fear and death for she noticed the other kids avoiding her. They no longer want to talk to her or be near her. She was not sure if they just did not know what to say or did not want to know that they were mortal. Only a few would dare to stand by her side and call her friend. The others were not willing to sit by the hospital bed, be woken in the middle of the night, or face the possibility of her death.
At sixteen, she no longer smelled the fear of death, but welcomed the smell of life. The treatments had made her sick and were painful. She had gone through two bone marrow transplants; but not having found a perfect match, neither had taken. She had watched as her father had stolen and sold her medicine. Mom had struggled to keep a job and be there with her at the same time. Her step-dad died just as she had gotten out of isolation, and she was left alone as the paramedics took him away. How many roommates had she lost to death in these short years? She had never known so many brave souls.
Now the cancer was back a third time, and was chocking her heart slowly strangling it until it could no longer beat. It would take her life, but it would not take her joy, her smiles, or her memories of those that loved her. A friend took her to the prom, and she danced in a wig, because her hair was gone. She had found love with a boy brave enough to dare. She had spent time sharing dreams, and hopes with friends and pasting picture in a scrapbook while they babysat, both her and her nieces. This angel held death at bay until she could make the yearly camp and place a lighted candle on the river for those that she would join. Some souls are just so precious that God not be long departed from them. I have no doubt they are all in heaven now, dancing on the stars and smelling the victories of life.
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