Written By:  Kathy Glow @ Kissing the Frog

I find them all over the house. Rubber bracelets bearing an anti-cancer slogan that some well-meaning person has given us.

Gray for brain tumor awareness.

Gold for pediatric cancer awareness.

Green and white from the Cure Search walks.

I scooped up a gray one off the floor the other day. My first instinct was to angrily throw it in the garbage. Instead, I held it in my hand and studied it.

From an event called “Leap-for-a-Cure,” one side bore the words “Brain Cancer Awareness.” I scoffed.

I don’t need any reminders about cancer. I’m quite aware of what brain cancer has done to this family, thankyouverylittle.

It took away our hope. It took away our belief that little boys get to grow up and become whatever they dream of becoming. It took away love and laughter and the tightest hugs we’d ever received.

It took away Joey, our precious first-born son and beloved brother.

Why do I need a reminder that he is gone, and there was nothing we could do about it?

I guess I’m a little touchy this month. It was four years ago this month that I took that fateful ambulance ride with Joey. Four years ago that I heard the five words that changed our lives forever, “Bad news. It’s a tumor.” Four years ago that our sweet Joey stopped being our sweet Joey and began to succumb to the Beast.

Every day we’re aware that cancer took him away from us. We don’t need bracelets or ribbons or t-shirts or hats to remind us how much cancer sucks.

Our grief reminds us.

Our grief journey began on April 22, 2009, and will likely continue the rest of our lives. Grief has a way of sticking with a person, of becoming a lifelong companion.

It doesn’t matter if it’s grief over the loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, a job, a way of life, a dream. Grief stays with us.

It may lessen over time, we may learn how to live with it, to live in spite of it; but it will always be there, constantly making us aware of what we lost.

No visual reminder needed. My grief makes me aware.

I’ll be speaking on grief at the first annual Her View From Home Women’s Retreat on April 27th in Grand Island, NE. Are you going? Click here for more information on classes and activities and to register.

Kathy Glow

Kathy Glow is a wife and mom to four lively boys and one beautiful angel in Heaven, lost to cancer. Most days you can find her under a pile of laundry ordering take-out. When she is not driving all over town in her mini-van or wiping “boy stuff” off the walls, she is writing about what life is REALLY like after all your dreams come true. Her writing has been featured on sites such as Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Good Housekeeping, and Mamalode; but Her View From Home is her favorite place to be. Her blog is at You can follow her on Facebook at Kissing the Frog.