Kris is her name and Tom was her husband. I never met Tom in person but I did through Kris. You see a loved one can always be kept alive in memory if you share their story. Kris shared his story and Tom is part of the journey. Caregiver journeys are part of the awareness we need to share. Go with me as I share about my dear Kris. I was new to the annual Florida Brain Tumor Association conferences and learned quick their was a group who had formed a bond and started a traditional meet up to see one another. I was learning who was who and FAST. I smile as I type because I can compare this to the phrase its like HIGH SCHOOL but in the brain tumor group. Finding out who the cool kids were was great. This was awesome because they were fun but encouraging and loved life in the midst of such heartache. I had no idea attending the FBTA events would be a life changer. I can say without hesitation My life is forever changed because of my brain buddies in Florida. Kris, she is a caregiver. Oh yes she cared for her Tom and how she loves him so. Tom had a brain tumor and it was the GBM we all hate. I met her after her Thomas pysically died but she has kept his life lived and memory very much alive. He was more than that tumor. She has been his voice and teaches others to do the same. I remember when we became friends It was like yesterday. My first time meeting her was Jan. 2001. I know this because My hubby and I attended the conference after getting married a few days earlier. It wouldn’t be until years of attending FBTA and the get togethers in between that I would learn how I was given a living angel to see me through this journey with Brain Tumors. I am not the only one who feels this way just ask those who know her.
Year number one everyone was kind and welcoming. HA! the next year was my initiation. Oh we can’t forget our trip to WASHINGTON DC Go Gray in May. She led the way and BOOM she made some things move. Back to Year 2 aka my “initiation” conference. The big joke on me was Kris and the crew let me call our good friend Murray MURPHY the whole weekend they say that was my initiation. We still laugh about that today. I remember the day I was introduced to Thomas. We were at an after dinner party only a few were invited so it was a pretty tight group. I noticed Kris was sitting off to the side clinging to this frame. I had seen her caring it around and then she asked. Do you want to see my Tom. Of course I replied. I can still see her face, her tears but the joy of holding him. It was just a photo but it was her husband. There is something about telling the story of someone you love. There is even more passion behind the voice when they were taken to soon. Kris was this person. She was part of a cause that was powered by LOVE but she was determined to never let the thief win and trap her from life. Kris is powerful in business. Kris is an amazing mom , wife and friend. Kris is one of the few who became part of a cause and never walked away. Death couldn’t make her run. Death caused her to become more devoted and a reason to never loose voice. Kris is my friend. She believes the best can happen. She has held and loved the best and was left with it stolen. The beauty of the brain buddie world is we love. To know Kris is to love Kris. If you are her friend then you are loved. Kris taught me that when we unite as a group we can lift. We have learned only a few understand but brain tumor families are a different family. Once your in well only you can choose to walk away but most find a spot and hang on. Caregivers move mountains. I could write a book instead of a blog but Kris knows how I feel. We have lost so many of those we love. We have cried together, and Oh how we have laughed. We never forget! We will just grow older together and always reminisce. FRIENDS NEVER EVER END!