Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today

by Angela on April 2, 2012

Things have been quiet on Everyday Road to Healthy lately and we’ve missed some meat-free Mondays.  It’s actually me…I should be holding up the fort while Deena takes care of her son, but I’m honestly having a tough time writing about anything.  How can I write about food and races and exercise while Deena’s son is suffering from this terrible disease called cancer.  It just doesn’t feel right to talk about these things during such a horrible time.

So I won’t.  We will take a break to pray for Owen.  Every free moment you have, pray.  Every child you see, pray.  Pray for Owen, pray for a cure, pray for healing and strength.  As my friend Kate says, we must flood the heavens.  I do believe in miracles and I hope you do too. 


I went to visit Deena and Owen on Wednesday.  You would think since Deena and I are long-time friends, who have partnered on a couple business ideas now, that we see a lot of each other.  But sadly, we don’t.  We both lead busy lives and we only find time to talk on instant messenger, every once in a while on the phone, and the rare occasion we meet face to face for lunch or dinner.  It’s a shame, really.

When Owen was diagnosed a couple years ago, I never imagined it would get this bad.  I assumed he would have surgery to remove the tumor, maybe go through chemo as a precaution and then he’d be back to his regular, teenage life.  So I never visited.  I didn’t visit after surgery, I didn’t visit during any of his hospital stays, I just supported Deena through instant message.  And I am angry at myself for that. 

So when I walked into Owen’s room on Wednesday, it literally knocked the wind out of me.  I was not prepared for his condition.  Every picture I have seen has been of a smiling, teenage boy.  But it is not my place to write about Owen’s condition.  Deena writes what she wants everyone to know on his Caring Bridge page.  What I can say is I am forever changed.  That visit with Owen had the biggest impact on me emotionally and mentally.  I am not the same person I was before I stepped in his room.  Every moment since that visit I have been fighting back tears.  Every moment since that visit I have to refrain from holding on to my kids too tight.  Every moment since that visit I have been praying.  And every moment since that visit I have been trying to figure out when I can go back.  Yes, as hard as it was to see Owen and Deena and the rest of their family in this situation, I felt a sense of peace being there with them.  And I feel like at this point, the only thing I can do is pray and be there, so I will.

Never again will I put off being there for someone I care about. 

Owen and Deena at walk

P.S. I love this picture of Deena and Owen. Her brother took this at the CureSearch walk and I think he captured a precious moment between mother and son.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

Angela Bryan April 3, 2012 at 9:35 am

So well said Angela, I felt exactly as you did and experienced the same feeling of peace being around this wonderful family. I pray every moment and am thinking of them all non-stop.

Sarah Jen April 3, 2012 at 1:23 am

So well said Angela! You put into words what so many of us are feeling. We will continue to pray for healing, peace and comfort for all!

Liz April 2, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Beautifully said. Don’t be hard on yourself- you are human, and a wonderful friend. Thanks for sharing, its true that we could all learn to try harder to seize the moment and be here in the now, for ourselves, our friends and family.

Also praying for a miracle.

Lisa Hopkins April 2, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I am Owen’s Aunt, Brian’s sister. Thank you for writing so beautifully about Deena and Owen. You have captured what all who love Brian, Deena and Owen are feeling. I too am not the same person I was before I stepped in his room. I too fight back tears daily. I’d give my life for my sweet nephew Owen to continue his.
With love,

Jess April 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Beautiful post, Angela. I love what you said about flooding the heavens. I, too, even so far away, have prayed for him and the whole family, and continue to pray for a miracle. I prayed for him at Mass this Sunday and I prayed for him on Saturday while we were on Moloka’i and we visited the memorial of Mother Marianne. I pray whenever I say my regular prayers. He is always in my thoughts even if Virginia is so far away and I haven’t seen Deena in years…I am totally praying for God to please just take over and perform a miracle on Owen, to please let him be cured.

Please don’t beat yourself up about not visiting. They all know how much you care. Life gets crazy and it’s hard sometimes to get away. And how could you have known, like you said, how bad it would get?

I wish I could hug you, hug Deena, hug Owen…please know how much you ALL are in my thoughts.

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