Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I have this friend named Jessi Duncan (formerly Jessi Lewis). I may have mentioned her on this blog before. We met in college when she and my brother were in the same gymnastic class. This should be a blog post about her. We had some hilarious times together. I could write about the time she dropped her cell phone in the cement mixer. I could write about how she and I joined BYU's poetry club together, partly because we liked poetry but mostly because of a boy. She moved in a lot more circles than I did and she told me a lot of interesting things about being a black Mormon, a black girl at BYU, and a black girl marrying a white boy. I loved hanging out with her and haveing surreal experiences with her other friends, who were always so unusual. Some had unusual names like Big Mama and John Wayne, but they were regular people, except they were usually more beautiful than regular people. Sometimes she went by the nickname "The great Atlantic Sea Squirrel" I don't know why. I could write about how she was friends with more people that I even knew---no joke I've never met anyone more social in my life-- and I couldn't believe with all those friends she had, she wanted to hang out with me. When I got married and she came back off her mission she carefully investigated, then wholeheartedly approved of Chris and became a staple in our apartment.

She married this gentle and funny photographer/social worker named Brayden, and went off to live in Arkansas. They have three little boys, all who are super close in age to my little girls. I don't think they have more than a few months between their ages. Their middle boy, Ben. is only a few days older than Jojo. We have definitely talked about having a triple wedding in the temple. Good genes, and we'd save money!

So, the title of this blog post kind of gives it away that this is not just a nostalgic post about Jessi. I'm glad it gives it away, because leukemia is enough of a surprise, we don't need a stupid blog post sneaking it in behind our backs. Ben was just officially diagnosed with leukemia yesterday. I haven't seen Jessi in about two years but I have been bursting into tears off an on for the last two days.

I can't even...I've been reading about AML, which is the kind he has, online and...oh man, it is really not good. 

It's so strange too---my life is awesome right now. I am right on the brink of having all my dreams come true. I am really happy. I think about my life and the little things that take up my day, and I'm content and excited And then I'll remember that Ben has Leukemia and I will just start crying. It is so strange that humans can feel so happy and hopeful and horrified and sad within seconds--and go back and forth between the two. I hope Jessi and Brayden have some kind of relief like that too, some kind of break where they can feel happiness and humor...but when I try to imagine it, it's hard. I can't really, but humans do that right? You can't be sad all the time, just like you can't be happy all the time.

Anyway, I am trying to figure out how to help. I am praying a lot, and would ask you to say a prayer too for Ben Duncan. And I am sending a package with a gift card to pizza place (or maybe I'll just send the equivalent money because that seems more practical) and then a couple Advent calendars so that Ben can have something Christmasy that is not edible--because the Chemo will probably make him not so hungry. Any other ideas on what would help? I don't know what would help him or his parents.

Anyway sorry for the sadness. This is why I hate sad books now. There is so much sadness in other places, why invent more for books? Why invent anything but joy? Please pray for Ben.


Lisa Lou said...

I remember Jessi from the MTC. we were the sisters Lewis. I can't even imagine what it would be like to have a child that sick. So sorry to hear this.

Patricia said...

So, so sorry to hear this. It's no fair when little children get sick. We'll pray for their family.

Becky said...

This is heart wrenching. We'll pray for Ben Duncan and his family.

Bryan Lewis said...

I remember meeting Jessi at you baby shower! She was pretty funny. That terrible about her son. I remember learning about AML in one of my classes. Super sad.

Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

:( So sad. Makes me want to make him an I-Spy blanket...maybe I will if I get enough time. How old is he?