While my children were growing up, I would mentally mark the milestone when they reached an age when they would remember me if I died. That may seem ridiculously grim, but I have friends who have few memories of parents who died when they were young. I also have friends whose spouses died when their children were young, and those children don’t remember their dead parent. Fawn Lee, a mother dying of stage 4 lung cancer with three young children under five, has a plan to make sure that her children remember her. She has recorded a legacy video, courtesy of the nonprofit LifeChronicles. She recorded them advice for critical parts of life such as school and marriage. “I don’t want my kids to feel I abandoned them,” said Lee.
Lee has also been writing a blog about her struggles where She talks about her to do list, including things like writing letters to her kids. There is an interesting post about trying “natural remedies,” including traditional Chinese and Vietnamese herbal remedies. Coming out so publicly about cancer is said to be very brave, considering Vietnamese cultural stigmas about cancer. This article says that a babysitter quit when she learned that Lee had terminal cancer, and that some relatives stopped visiting her.
Some of her blog entries are about looking for financial assistance and sadly, being rejected. Lee quit her job after receiving her stage 4 cancer diagnosis, and now she and her family are struggling to pay for pre-school for their children. If you want to help, donations can be sent to (not her home address):
577 Tully Road
San Jose, CA 95111
Lee’s doctors say that she has a few months left if the cancer moves quickly, two years in a best case scenario. She posts in this entry: “Nowadays, time is of the essence! I waste no time and treasure every little moment.” That’s a lesson that can be Fawn Lee’s legacy to all of us.
[Photo Courtesy of Patrick Tehan, Mercury News]