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Your life really ISN'T that bad...

September 28, 2011 - Jennifer Brookens
I'm home on my lunch break, trying to pull myself together. As a crime reporter, I've written about the worst crimes; murders, rapists, child abuse. But today's story involving two wonderful women I've written about in the past is the one that's tearing me apart.

Both Vicki Rosenberg and Annie Leibfried have been inspirational for me to write about. Vicki has had numerous battles with ovarian cancer, and Annie - only 30 years old - has been battling cancer for the past four years. Now both are nearing the end of their battles in Hospice care.

The thing that struck me about both these women was their positive attitudes and how they always seemed genuinely happy to be talking with me, even if we were meeting in a hospital or in a chemotherapy treatment room.

In May, Vicki admitted that this round of cancer was tougher than the past five times combined. But just a month ago, she looked radiant for her son's wedding. It was three weeks ago that she discontinued treatment. Her goals were to walk her sons down the aisle and to hold her grandbabies. Meanwhile Annie has a young son as a single mom that she will be leaving behind.

Yet through all of this, they remain positive. That is what strikes me and makes their losses even more heartbreaking. I think of how on any given day, when my children are badgering me for my individual attention, and I might push it off with a "maybe later," when these women would probably give anything for a "maybe later," even a "right now" to play and love their children or grandchildren. I grump about the "have to do" list of chores at home and items at work, yet I know both of these ladies would love the chance to give the world a little bit more.

But it is now that these ladies are being made aware of just what they've managed to give to their families, friends and community. While it's an emotionally draining process saying goodbye, Vicki once said, "What you give, you get back two-fold." And I hope they know the feeling of love and inspration they have given so many of us, myself included. And next time my kids are pulling on my sleeves while I try to cook dinner or do laundry, perhaps I'll remember my life really ISN'T that bad.

Thank you Vicki and Annie. We'll miss you.


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