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Author Topic: A dying woman's last dance  (Read 1051 times)
cornutt
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« on: January 22, 2010, 01:03:24 PM »

This is kind of hard to write, so please bear with me...  Cry

A couple that we've been friends with for a long time has a daughter, a young lady of about 25, who is dying of cancer.  Yesterday morning the mother texted my DW that the daughter (I'll call her "D") had been taken back to the hospital; the cancer has metastasized and it's no longer treatable.  Her digestion and kidneys are shutting down, so time is short.  We both left work early yesterday so we could go visit her. 

She was pretty out of it due to morphine when we got there, but over the next couple of hours she got herself woken up and became more lucid.  A little back-story: Back when she graduated from high school, at her graduation party, she had asked my DW about our dancing.  So we did a little waltz for her, and then I offered to teach it to her.  She didn't think she could do it, but I explained it to her and after a few minutes we were doing a waltz box.  I didn't realize it at the time, but it must have made an impression on her, because sometime between then and now she learned WCS and started dancing.  She and her BF had moved to Iowa, so I didn't see her during this time.

She came back to the area a year ago, when her cancer was first diagnosed.  They started right away treating her with an aggressive chemo and radiation program that sapped her strength.  And over that time she got serious about painting and spent most of her free time doing that.  I saw her a couple of times briefly during that period, but we didn't discuss dancing.

Well, yesterday, at the hospital, I thought everyone standing around was being kind of morbid.  So when D asked for some ginger ale to wet her throat, I told her she should hold out for whiskey.  That kind of broke the mood and pretty soon everyone was cutting up with her.  Well, she wanted to see DW and I do some WCS.  So we did an impromptu demonstration in the room for her and her friends, and we put in some of our sassier stuff.  D loved that! 

Then she stunned me:  She wanted a dance.  With me.  One last dance.  I didn't see how.  But her BF and a nurse helped her get out of bed and onto her feet.  We got into position and she gave me a surprisingly steady and confident connection.  It must have been painful for her, but she didn't show it.  I saw the light in her eyes. 

And we danced.  No music, just me counting the beat.  We did some WCS basic sugar pushes.  It actually felt good.  She moved into me and we had good compression and push.  We talked about tap-triple vs. triple-triple as we did it.  She was still attached to all kinds of hoses and wires, so we couldn't do a pass or anything.  But it was still a great dance, and she went for several minutes until she got out of breath.  Then I helped her back to the bed. 

I'm going to go see her again this afternoon after work.  If she's able and wants to, I'll dance with her again, but I'm not sure she will be conscious.  If not, then D, I thank you for the dance.  It was definitely a dance I'll never forget.
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albanaich
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 236


« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2010, 01:20:26 PM »

Any words any of us have to say must be inadequate to express your emotions, maybe this poem will help. Remember she was/is  a dancer and felt those glorious moments of freedom that we all do when we dance well. . . . .

http://www.olimu.com/readings/FelixRandal.htm
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elisedance
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ee


« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2010, 01:32:16 PM »

C... Sad, Smiley, Sad, Smiley <hugs>

.....

you just did a beautiful thing...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
samina
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Posts: 1584



« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2010, 04:03:07 PM »

just beautiful, cornutt. i'll never forget your story. what a lovely gift, for her, for you... lovely. as always, Life=Dance... what a wonderful way to begin bringing closure to her own. <very teary in appreciation>
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Some guy
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Posts: 1437


« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2010, 05:05:07 PM »

I'm at work with tears streaming down my cheeks.  Don't know what to say.  Just that it's the most moving thing I've ever read in my life. 
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ttd
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2010, 05:29:15 PM »

This is truly moving. You never know when something you're doing makes an impression on another person and inspires them.
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drj
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Posts: 334



« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2010, 08:58:47 PM »

 You gave to that woman a gift beyond compare. If it were possible to embrace you through the inadequate medium of the internet, I would, just to give back a fraction of what you gave out.
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ancora imparo
bookworm
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2010, 01:04:12 AM »

 Cry Cry Cry
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QPO
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Adelaide South Australia


« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2010, 01:45:02 AM »

This is truly moving. You never know when something you're doing makes an impression on another person and inspires them.

So true, something so special......it is always so sad to hear young people having to go through those things...just not right.... Cry Cry Cry
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Dance is a delicate balance between perfection and beauty.  ~Author Unknown
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cornutt
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2010, 02:22:14 PM »

Thanks, everyone.  Deanna Duncan passed away at 11:50 this morning.  She would have been 26 next month.

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elisedance
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2010, 04:17:42 PM »

i think everyone who read your account was not only deeply moved by it, but also recognized her brilliant spirit...
...if I may... a collective comisseration from all on PDO.

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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
samina
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2010, 05:18:58 PM »

<<Moment of silence over here.>>

Wishing her family & friends comfort & peace, cornutt.
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QPO
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Adelaide South Australia


« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2010, 08:33:21 PM »

<<Moment of silence over here.>>

Wishing her family & friends comfort & peace, cornutt.

I concur....touched my heart Cry
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Dance is a delicate balance between perfection and beauty.  ~Author Unknown
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SwingWaltz
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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2010, 10:04:19 AM »

 Cry
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Some guy
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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2010, 11:21:35 AM »

I'm so sorry to hear about her passing away.  She's at peace now.  My deepest sympathies to her loved ones.
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