Angel Tasha… 

I keep photos of my dear friend Tasha and her family around my home and in my locker at work…

Tasha was an anchor of mine during nursing school. She and I were the only mommas of many children (me with my 4 and her with 5 at home)struggling with the amount of time we had to trade for a short while for a better and brighter future for our families that would ultimately lead us to more time with them in the long run. We both struggled to keep our marriages healthy during nursing school battling husbands who wanted more of our attention than we could give during that time. Both married young and had a hunger to prove our worth. Both driven to succeed despite the odds stacked against us. Both battling depression. Crying and breaking down as we learned to juggle the unjust balance of nursing school, family and full time work.  We bonded over the guilt we felt for not being able to do it all or the exhaustion we felt when we made ourselves push through and do everything for everyone else. We were determined to make a better life for our babies no matter what it took. We often said “you got this momma” to each other when we looked tired or beat down by it all… “don’t give up”…. “just keep swimming”… “it’s all going to be worth it in the end”… we recognized that will power to do more in each other’s eyes and we respected and encouraged it when everyone told us it couldn’t be done…  and we did it. We survived. Together…

Even after nursing school Tasha and I stayed in touch. She wasn’t on Facebook but she always seemed to know when I needed some Tasha time. Her phone calls and texts always came at just the right moment when I needed her. When I needed encouragement.

One day I got a text when she needed me… she had this horrible pain in her stomach she couldn’t shake. Her doctor tried so many things and the pain would just not let up…

I did my best to convince the provider to take her cries of pain more seriously despite her negative history and lack of any indications that further testing was necessary… in my heart I knew something was wrong… I told her she needed a CT and to demand it from her PCP… which she did and just a few short weeks later she found out she had colon cancer…

she went through surgery, radiation and chemo and just as the celebration of joy started so did the pain of what was thought to be a kidney stone… again she came to me at work asking for help… something to take the pain away… I looked at the CT and instantly knew that “probable stone” was something more… more than I could help with in the ER… again I went to her as her friend and as her nurse and I said “Tasha go to your oncologist, demand the PET scan be moved up this is too important, too significant to be a coincidence…” I pulled her support friend aside and told her I didn’t not have a good feeling about it…. it was not going to be good.

And it wasn’t…. but again Tasha stood up and said whatever it is I’m going to face it head on. “I got this momma” she fought long and hard until her fight was no longer with the cancer but with her own spirit….

Tasha died from colon cancer this year at only 32 years old… it was an unfair reminder that life is short and we have to live each day to its fullest and have no regrets because you may not get a second chance.

I see her in my locker at work and she reminds me to be kind. To use my intuition and to go with my gut. To be the best damn nurse I can be. To fight for my patients and what my gut is telling me. To show my light to the world and to have compassion at even the worst possible moments. To forgive myself when all I can do is not enough.

I see her in my kitchen and am reminded to make the good dinner no matter how tired I am (Tasha loved cooking for her family and anyone who came over). To make dirty dishes and to share the table with my girls every chance I get.

I see her in my craft room and I’m reminded to get messy and take those precious moments to play with my girls no matter what else needs to get done. Because the cleaning can come tomorrow but they won’t always want to play.

I hear Tasha’s fight song on the radio and I’m reminded to say the things I want to say and do the things I want to do because tomorrow is not promised and today is only here for a moment. She fought so hard through nursing school, she fought so hard through chemo… she didn’t lose her fight with Cancer she won her fight with Life and lived every second that was given to her the way God intended her to live.

She will never be forgotten by anyone she touched. She lives on through her 6 children, her husband, her mother, her family, her friends and her patients…

Life is too short to waste it on bitterness and hate. Life is to short to not say what you mean. Life is too short to hesitate. Life is to short to pause. I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me and “I got this momma” so, I will have a voice that is heard and be who I want to be. I’m going to stand up and face the days head on and live and love in the moment because we only have one life and I won’t waste it on anyone who won’t listen or who doesn’t want to be part of it.

One thought on “Angel Tasha… 

  1. I miss her every day too! Like you two, she and I had a bond as well. We always happened to text eachother when the other needed. She was such an amazing person, and I too, keep pictures of her and the kids so I can see her daily. I miss her so much! I can’t even take her number off my favorites list on my phone 😰!
    She was a rock, and wise beyond her years. She is loved and missed by many.

    Liked by 1 person

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