Amy SoHee

It doesn't matter if your body is riddled with a rare form of cancer
like NUT midline carcinoma
if your daughter needs you in the bathroom
you get up like a ninja 
from your hospital bed to help her

Amy SoHee Henderson - Image Provide by Kevin Henderson

because she, 
like your son,

Mother and Son - Image Provided by Janet Henderson

are your life's blood
and you are the heroine in this story.
You're the embodiment of what it means to be
"Amy Strong"
and so we learn how to live our lives, 
in part,
because of how you lived yours;
in the face of death.

And, every heroine needs a hero
to support, encourage, and retain optimism
no matter the odds.
To step in, to fill a gap,
to step up and father well;
to hold the family together
and maintain hope in the face of uncertainty and fear.

Llanto Family Portrait - Image Provided by Janet Henderson

To propose;
because, before cancer,
everything had been coming together
and you already knew in sickness and health
you were going to see each other through
because Shane was (and is)
#AmyStrong too.

And every couple
especially with children
needs a family behind them
to cheer them on as they battle together

End of Radiation Bell Ring - Image Provided by Janet Henderson

to fight for their dreams, their family, 
their life.
Who gather them up within prayer and lift them higher
by showing they care.
Who stand by that hospital bed-side, advocate on your behalf,
steal you away for a day to regain a sense of balance and control
that you will dictate to cancer and treatment
and it won't dictate to you. 

Who care for your children with compassionate honesty

An Aunt with Her Loves - Image Provided by Sarah Henderson

while shielding them from as much pain as they can 
and help them to retain a semblance of normalcy and routine.

You were born to be their daughter,

their sister,

Sisters - Image Provided by Janet Henderson

their friend,

their wife,

their mother,

and you were loved by them from the moment they first heard your name.
And, from that 1st moment, to your last breath, you could rest
knowing you were free to be #AmyStrong with those who fed that
strength with all the strength of their own they had to give.

Obstinate hope until your dying breath, 
not resigned but accepting,
earth our temporary home;
no matter how hard the "good-bye" 
there's something far better waiting on the other side.

And so,
Amy SoHee Henderson-Llanto,
you gave us all a final gift.
You offered us a perfect picture with your strength and beauty

Shane and Amy Llanto - Image Provided by Janet Henderson

of that of a bride with a handsome groom by her side.

not to be a footnote in the pages of history
of how to battle NUT midline carcinoma
with success and set-backs alike
you chose to be front page news,
to set trends,
to show people they can be "Amy Strong"
up until their very last day:

As long as you have breath,
your life is worth living
and your dreams can come true,

for yourself,

Prepping the Bride - Sisterly Love - Image Provided by Janet Henderson

your family,

Father of the Bride - Image Provided by Janet Henderson

your fiance,

Shane and Amy Llanto's Wedding Day - Image Provided by Janet Henderson

your children.

The Wedding Cake - Image Provided by Janet Henderson

You became the 1st patient to hold their wedding within 
the Intensive Care Unit of Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, Washington.
And you challenged those tasked with your care to find their inner-Amy
and to be #AmyStrong too.

Amy Henderson-Llanto and Rebekah Doty - Image Provided by Janet Henderson

They heard your battle cry,
adamant, gentle, powerful, but soft;
there was intervention,
both earthly and divine,
and they gave you the most beautiful wedding on earth to send you
off into heaven to complete the perfect bridal picture there
with Jesus by your side.

They facilitated a life lived with dignity,
stubbornness, head held high resilience;
ninja strength, bravery, courage,
and grace,
from the moment you entered into their care

Dr. O'Malley - Virginia Mason Hospital - November 2017 - Picture Provided by Janet Henderson

until the moment you exited out.

Virginia Mason Hospital Staff - November 2017 - Picture Provided by Janet Henderson

They allowed you to die in the same manner as you had lived
and enter into heaven's gates not diminished but fully alive.

Amy Strong - Image Provided by Janet Henderson

And no one's life was untouched who knew you,
and no one's life untouched who reads this now;
when a person knows something they can no longer claim ignorance
and so we must all tap into our inner-strength and find our inner-warriors.
Choosing to live life not hidden away but with appropriate abandonment
to break chains that would try to hold us back.
Challenged to be #AmyStrong
and the hero's and heroine's of our own life's stories 
within this day and age too.
The glue that binds all others together, 
humanity as one;
the power of one life to change millions,
and as this post is shared so shall it be.
All in memory of you:
Amy SoHee.

Amy Sohee - Image Provided by Janet Henderson

December 22, 1984 - November 6, 2017

"Amy may not have out-lived cancer;
but, she did out-love it."
(Margie Wright)

2 Responses

Jean Postema
Jean Postema

November 07, 2018

As always Jennie, I can see, almost feel, through your words, what you feel for the people you write about. I thank the Lord that we can see the true sense of God’s love, flowing through your words, for others.

Barbara Mitchell
Barbara Mitchell

November 07, 2018

I didn’t have the privilege of meeting Amy, but have been inspired by her and her wonderful family. I started my own fight against cancer on the anniversary of the end of hers, and I hope to emulate her spirit and resolve. Thank you for sharing this.

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