Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rest in Peace

Dori died the way she wanted this morning, with dignity and her soul ready for final journey. Rest easy, love of my life, and enjoy the peace and eternal love you richly deserve.

Please see below's CaringBridge post for more details. Love, Jim

Hello, friends.

Dori passed away this morning at Alive Hospice. She is now with Him, forever in perfect peace.

Dori’s health changed rapidly the last three days. She felt good last week, and even was shopping Saturday with Kathryn; but she woke up Sunday morning feeling very different. We engaged hospice care in home and then moved to hospice in residence Monday afternoon. She died shortly before 9 this morning. We’re grateful she’s finally free of the suffering she’s endured on this long journey.

Dori tremendously enjoyed the last month at home with family and a few dear friends. She especially loved the serenity of our yard and time with Kathryn and Will. We ate backyard burgers and celebrated things we like doing most as a family.

Without question, Dori felt blessed with time to leave the way she wanted. Her amazing spirit inspired her to do many things we will remember forever. She had no regrets and was ready for New Life, the best life of all.

Our grief is immense, like some of you likely are experiencing. But so is Dori’s legacy. Last night, I told her I’ve never met anyone who deserves to be with Him more than her. She changed thousands of lives through her loving kindness and Christ-like spirit, which lives on in Kathryn, Will, her sister Kathy and many others. Her smile and her laugh changed this world for the better. I will deeply, deeply miss her.

We do have some family requests. We ask you to direct any planned kindness (food, flowers, gift certificates, etc.) to the charity of your choice. Dori would appreciate that, and so would I. We also would like to have the peace and quiet we need in our house these next few days and weeks. We will see many of you at the visitation and funeral and later this summer.

Dori’s obituary is below, along with some of her favorite scripture that comforted her. With His grace, may we all follow her lead, here and beyond.

Love, Jim

BROWN, Dorothy (Dori) Sawyer
, Age 43 of Nashville, June 7, after a determined four-year battle with leukemia. Born December 9, 1967, in Hanover, N.H.

Survived by husband Jim; daughter Kathryn; son Will; mother Gladys L. Sawyer of Cincinnati; father Richard P. Sawyer Jr. (Carol) of Gulf Breeze, FL; sister Katherine Robson (Nathan) and nephew Parker and niece Claire of Fishersville, VA; uncle Timothy M. Sawyer (Jean) of Bourne, MA; aunt Prudence W. Sawyer of Pocasset, MA; mother-in-law Rachel Blair of Nashville; sister-in-laws Anne Blair Brown (Stephen Woolverton) of Nashville and Elizabeth Light (Tim) and niece Anah of Franklin; and father-in-law James A. Brown (Peggy) of Nashville.

Dori was a light to many, a role model who followed in Christ’s footsteps. Loving, genuine, graceful and kind, Dori immersed herself into improving the lives of those around her, especially her two children, husband, family and dearest friends. She was a member of Cathedral of the Incarnation and enjoyed her roles in banking, most recently with the wonderful team at Nashville Bank & Trust. She loved to hike at Radnor Lake, walk with friends, and gave to the community in many ways. She was a graduate of Princeton High School in Cincinnati and Vanderbilt University. The family thanks the teams at Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, M.D. Anderson Cancer Clinic and Alive Hospice for their care.

Visitation will be Thursday, June 9, from 6-8 p.m., and funeral services will be Friday, June 10, at 10 a.m., at Cathedral of the Incarnation, 2015 West End Ave., Nashville, 37203. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to charities of choice or the “Education Funds for Kathryn and Will Brown,” which may be mailed to Nashville Bank & Trust, 4525 Harding Road, Suite 300, Nashville, TN, 37205.

2nd Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the Faith.

Numbers 6:24:26
The Lord Bless you and keep you!
The Lord let his face shine upon you!
The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace.

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to Me,
All of you who are weary and find life burdensome;
I will refresh you.
Take My yoke on your shoulders and learn from Me,
For I am gentle and humble of Heart.
You shall find rest because My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. The will soar on wings like eagles.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding.

1 Peter 5:7
Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about and watching everything that concerns you.

Colossians 2:6
And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust Him, too, for each day’s problems: live in vital union with Him.

Isaiah 43
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Saturday, June 4, 2011

'What Can We Do?'

Many times each week, we're asked, "What can we do to help?" Folks feel helpless. We get it.

But there is much you can do. Many already have, not only with random acts of kindness to our family but also by supporting the efforts we believe are making a difference. You can always look to the left under Links, but here they are:

Join the Be the Match Registry.
Hundreds of friends and family have already signed up. This is a great way to help someone facing blood cancer, potentially saving a life.

Donate to the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation.
60 Minutes continues to report about this cutting-edge effort
to wipe out cancer. We're optimistic KCRF is on to something special to kill many kinds of cancer cells. You can help these folks, too.

Contribute to Team in Training.
Dori and I support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's mission, and some of our friends continue to run for people like Dori. Our friend and my running buddy Jim Asker is a lymphoma survivor and marathoner. You can help his current fundraising effort as he prepares for the Dublin Marathon, or help our friend Patricia Jempty, a leukemia survivor whose humor, candor and vigor have inspired us. She's running for Dori in the NYC Marathon.

Gilda's Club helps families dealing with cancer.
Even though she didn't get to complete her half marathon this spring, Dori trained hard and was the top fundraiser for this great support group. We continue to support their efforts and hope many of you will, too.

That's just four for you to consider. If you make a contribution somewhere, let us know with an e-mail or comment. The support we've experienced has been a big part of this very difficult journey. We're grateful, but the ones yet to face this terrible situation will be, too.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Processing Fraud

Am I becoming a recluse? I'm not up for answering all the calls from the dear people who call, text and e-mail. I hope they understand that I get to these when I can. Some days, it takes awhile.

Dori is enjoying being home, though the heat wave has kept her indoors lately. It's not even summer, but feels like early August. The invasion of the 13-year cicada is in full force. My running was good last week when it was cool ... about 24 miles. This week, I've only run four so far. The kids are out of school. Kathryn is diving, while Will is playing tennis. Both are playing summer basketball.

Dori spent seven draining hours at the clinic last Friday getting red blood and platelets. Remarkably, she didn't need any blood products today. Any time away from the hospital is good. She is eating well, playing board games with the kids and mostly having good days. A few have been rough, but we'll take what we're getting right now for as long as we can.

I finally watched the Lance Armstrong story on 60 Minutes. Dori and I identified with him, obviously through his cancer journey. We read his books, and I followed his cycling career very closely, with admiration. But that view has been shattered with the undeniable proof that continues to emerge. Lance cheated, and so did his teammates and most of his competitors. He might go to prison. It's the same with college football: USC, Ohio State and others. So many cheat or break the rules, and the governing bodies turn their heads or only address serious problems when they're about to be exposed.

It has me searching for achievement with integrity, something that seems to be waning in our "right now for me" culture. Dori is disappointed, as well, but we'll use it as a lesson for our children. Always do things the right way, with integrity and honor. Play like a champion, and lose like one, too, with your head held high that you did your best and you did it honestly.