Michelle has died.
Nearly two years ago, this young woman who has lived all her life in this community had a small lesion on her lip that would not heal.
A biopsy was performed and she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma.
She was only 35 years old (or thereabouts).
In February of 2005 she had that lesion removed and I wrote about it in my old blog.
Things looked up for awhile and all seemed like it would be okay.
But it wasn't.
Michelle discovered another lump under her tongue. This time it was so inconceivable that such a beautiful woman should have to suffer this fate! She had most of her tongue cut out and part of her jaw and throat over time as well. They did everything possible to get her well. She has two young children afterall.
Sadly, nothing much else could be done.
She suffered in silence, the grief evident in her face as her life ebbed away each day. The family went quiet and cloistered themselves as best as they were able in a small community.
She was so extraordinary! So beautiful, so gentle and wise. She loved to live and live well. She was devoted to her husband and her children. She loved hot rods and fast cars, motorbikes and makeup! She was a woman of faith and courage. She had more skills than you could poke an oil soaked dip-stick at! She could even teach boys how to maintain a motor-bike all while looking like she belonged on the cover of Vogue!
Michelle was probably the most inspirational and amazing acquaintance you could ever have the pleasure of knowing. Sadly, we never became closer than that - although I longed for it. I admired her so much.
And now she is at peace and resting with God. I'm grateful for that - there is no more suffering or pain for this girl anymore.
I just hope her husband and her children will be able to remember their beautiful Michelle with joy, instead of sadness, because that was her greatest gift - Joy. She seemed to inspire the air to create it whenever she was there.
CU girl! I loved you from afar - make no mistake! I thought you to be one of the most beautiful women that ever lived, inside and out.