My friend Meg Rowe had very specific instructions for her service. There was NOT to be a funeral. People were to wear yellow (for Sarcoma awareness) or Green & Blue for NF awareness.
I decided to just throw it all together in one giant awesome party dress mess:
And that's the glorious Greta Michaelsen in the blue pants, my long lost soulmate in glitter. Oh! Why am I always smiling like I am about to eat a big piece of pie??
I am still very much in the processing stage of all the emotions from the service last Saturday, but I have had some requests for me to post the words I said during it. Please forgive any typos and such, I am still too emotional to re-read any of it so am just doing a mass cut-and-paste job.
I have a lot to say on grieving and mourning and will continue to post that as best I can.
Hello and thank you all for coming today.
I want to continue the theme of gratitude and take a moment to thank Meg for all that she has given me. When Meg was first diagnosed, I began training for triathlons. Even to this day, I am not sure why. I couldn’t swim across a pool nor run more than about five minutes. Two weeks before Meg’s last surgery, I completed an Ironman. I say that here not for you to recognize my strength (or insanity), but to recognize Meg’s strength. She kept up on my training and encouraged me through the hard times -- because every time I wanted to give up, all I had to think about was her. If she would fight, I would fight. I could not have done it without her. We found strength in each other’s struggle -- along with some really cold weather in our underwear, a perfectly good airplane that for some reason we thought we should jump out of, milkshakes, pizza, movies, headshaving, hilarity, friendship, love, and family. Meg, of all your gifts to me over the past 30+ years, by far the greatest is your family -- our family. Retsy, DadRowe, Michael, Brian, Alrie, and Mary, I love you and look forward to many more moments of pasta, wine, hummus, cream soda, chips and laughter together.
Meg and I shared a healthy appreciation for saying whatever we wanted to say, especially if we found it funny, even when it might not have been completely appropriate. I can’t even remember the number of times we cracked ourselves up in the waiting areas of Johns Hopkins. It is for that reason that I didn’t write this until quite late, because I have been frozen in fear that I was going to say the wrong thing, or forget something, or somehow forget to share with you the most amazing things about Meg.
Fortunately for me, she took care of that too, by providing me with the perfect words for this occasion… this is also from her Caring Bridge journal:
‘’I don't necessarily believe that God "gave" me cancer or that cancer was His plan for my life. But I do whole-heartedly believe Romans 8:28 "ALL things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose."
Not just *some* things or just the good things, but ALL things work together for good. So, even going through this … battle with cancer, good can come out of it. I've gotten to meet so many amazing people who have become some of my dearest friends, on Facebook in the NF, sarcoma, and other support groups, on my medical team at Hopkins, through the local cancer support group, and through other situations. Without MPNST, I wouldn't know any of them. I've also gotten to reconnect with childhood friends I otherwise probably wouldn't have been able to. Because of MPNST I've gotten to travel to NYC, Vegas, and Hawaii, and I've gotten to do cool things like skydiving and paragliding. I've gotten to run around Baltimore in my undies to support NF research and have raised thousands of dollars in doing so. I've also learned that I'm not as much of a wuss as I thought I was
What's most important to me is that I want God to be glorified through my situation and that He will continue to use me and to use my battle with MPNST to encourage and inspire others. If that happens, and it helps someone else get through their own battles, then all of this will have been worth it.’
Finally, I would like to share two brief quotes with you that are helping me through all of this, one from a favorite write of mine, and one from one of Meg’s.
― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
“When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure.”
― Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
“There will be moments when you have to be a grown-up. Those moments are tricks. Do not fall for them.”
Meg my friend, I am NOT going to use this moment to say good-bye, because you have never been more present in my life than you are now.