The ‘Q’ Factor
Lisa found it hard to smile with everything that had happened over the last ten months. Everyone in the group struggled with how life had gone for everyone. Ben had moved into her place as they grew closer and more in love like she never knew love before. Happiness had become a part of her life now. Work was hard but she loved knowing her Ben was nearby. A few months after the wedding Lisa woke one morning feeling tired. She had slept well but her body was telling her she should sleep more. She rose out of bed went downstairs to make a herbal tea to see if this would help her body come alive again. Ben stirred when she moved but she whispered for him to sleep in some more.
After her tea, Lisa jumped into the shower to feel more refreshed. She knew this would help her wake up more and then she would make breakfast for Ben. The shower was good and hot as Lisa washed her arms, but she noticed her Breast was sore. I must have slept on it funny, she thought. As she moved from her right breast to her left the pain brought tears to her eyes. Lisa decided she would do a breast examine while in the shower and alone (while she was in school they taught the young women how to check for any lumps) it was something Lisa never forgot. As her right-hand moved over her left breast as she was shown how too she could feel a lump near her armpit. Panic set in quickly making her heart race. What was this? A cysts or worse; no it couldn't be worse she always ate healthy and exercised daily. There was no way this could be. Lisa quietly got dressed after her shower and went downstairs to make an appointment to see a doctor. She didn't want to leave this for any length of time. She had too much to live for now that she had Ben. She decided not to tell anyone within the group for now. Everyone had been through enough as it was. She would wait until she knew more before saying anything.
Moving house was something Lucy knew all too well. Her husband Edward (Ed) worked within the bank so if they had a new position for him then he had to take it or he would never be offered any further promotions in the future.
Lucy and Ed sat down at their dining room table to tell the children of what would be happening soon. Heather the oldest at thirteen would find it all the hardest. She was making friends in her school; but she would adjust well in time. Justin who is eight will fight the idea all of about a minute then move back to his trucks on the floor. Little Samantha who is six won’t even know what it all meant. The news was pretty much taken how Lucy felt it would. Heather cried and told her parents that life isn't fair as she stormed off into her room. Everyone in the Bancroft family would soon settle once the shift had taken place.
Three weeks after Lisa found a lump in her breast she had a phone call from her doctor. He found that it was malignant; he found while scanning her breasts she had many lumps within her chest. “What no Doctor you don’t know what you’re talking about, are you telling me I have cancer?” “Miss Adams I would like you to come and see me this afternoon so I can talk to you in private. I think you need to see the x-rays as well”. By three o’clock that afternoon Lisa was sitting in his office looking at her left breast like it was a photograph to admire. She couldn't however admire the cancer that was throughout her breast and her ribs. When the doctor had finished explaining to her what this all meant; Lisa walked out of his office numb. Life she thought is always too short to take it for granted.
Everyone was finally going to have a night of quilting. The last few months had taken up so much time that no-one felt it was right to have their group time. Agnes and Lidia prepared fresh muffins for everyone to enjoy; even Lisa would like them with all the bran in them. The door bell rung,” I’ll get that “Aggie, you keep baking” “Thanks sweetie”, Agnes yelled out to her as she placed another tray in the oven. Lidia couldn't wait to see everyone again; Nick and Sandy had a wonderful time in Florida. He was bringing all the photos to show everyone. Cindy had slowly gotten used to being a mother to her daughter Kathryn who she was bringing with her tonight. Amanda said she would be a little late but had some news to share so she said she would make it one-way or the other. Lisa was the only one who didn't say for sure whether she would make it. She said something about being tired and wanting to spend time with Ben. Lidia wondered why she hadn't called her in the last few weeks. She put it down too young lovers being in love. As the door opened Cindy passed Kathryn Rose to her saying “here, can you hold her a minute I need to rush to the ladies room.” Five minutes later Cindy came back in thanking Lidia for holding Kathryn. “Thanks for your help Lidia, Jack has had a stomach bug and spends most of the day in the bathroom (laughing as she explained) who wants to use the bathroom after one of his sessions... Not me!” That’s okay Cindy I loved holding her boy hasn't she grown. Cindy frowned for a second hearing what Lidia said. She had to push it all aside and move on. “Yeah she is six months old now. She is trying to crawl and place every little piece of fluff on the floor into her MOUTH! The both of them laughed out loud while Cindy shook her finger at her daughter to show she wasn't happy with this idea. The door went again with Nick opening it and stepping inside. “Hey everyone how are you I missed everyone” After a few hugs from everyone including Agnes who had come into see little Kathryn everyone sat down waiting to see all the beautiful photos Nick had brought. They were about to start when Amanda rung the bell and came in as well. “Come and sit here beside me” Cindy told Amanda. I want to hear you exciting news after these photos have done their rounds. Sitting quickly down beside Cindy Amanda started to look at the photos if Nick and Sandy laughing and holding hands though out every picture all everyone saw were two people in love. “I made some homemade muffins for our first quilting group in a few months who would like one?” Everyone answered with a “yes” as they poured over more photos. Amanda looked up from a photo laughing as she saw Sandy had dug out the sand and covered Nick with it. “Has anyone heard form Lisa the last couple of weeks? She hasn't been around at all lately” Agnes walked into the lounge with a tray full of muffins and coffee for everyone. She had a banana for Kathryn to enjoy as well. “No, I was wondering if one of us should go and see her tomorrow just to be sure she is okay. Maybe Ben and she broke up and she doesn't want us to make a fuss about it” Looking up from the photo Amanda gave her: “I will go tomorrow after work” Lidia offered knowing that Lisa was closer to her than anyone else so that would work out easy for her. By the end of the night everyone had made some much needed progress on their projects. By ten o’clock Cindy tucked Kathryn who was fast asleep under her arm and went home. Not long after everyone was out the door so Agnes could sleep as well. No-one ever got the chance to hear Amanda’s good news. She could see the night was for Nick and Sandy. It was special to have everyone together again; everyone but Lisa and Lidia said she would see her tomorrow so next we would be together again.
Lidia tried to ring Lisa at work but they had said she was on vacation. This was odd because Lisa never mentioned she was going away. Lidia decided she would go to her apartment to see if she was there.
Lidia knocked several times before Lisa answered the door. “Oh what are you doing here? I can’t talk right now I’m tired and need sleep Lidia can you please come back another time” Lidia was shocked to see Lisa she looked terrible. “Lisa what’s going on, I went to your work and they said you were on vacation Why are you acting like you’re on vacation when your clearly not!” “Lidia, I don’t feel up to talking right now, can we talk another time” “No, I’m coming in and you can’t stop me. You have some explaining to do”
Sitting in Lisa’s lounge Lidia could see she had not opened the curtains in days.
There were junk food wrappers all over the floor; and if Lidia’s nose didn't deceive her she was sure she smelled pizza! “Lisa sit down NOW and tell me what is going on”
“Lidia I don’t know if I can talk about it. Everyone has been through so much already this year”. The alarm bells started to go off in Lidia’s head. “Well you might as well start talking because I’m here until you tell me everything!”
Ten minutes into listening to everything Lisa had to say, Lidia had to excuse herself, her stomach couldn't handle the thought of losing Lisa. Inside the bathroom with the door shut Lidia brought up her diner and then she cried for five minutes. She cleaned up and then joined Lisa back on the couch. “I’m sorry Lisa for doing that; I was surprised and found it hard knowing you’re so sick. Why didn't you tell us?” “You know everyone has been through so much, I didn't want to add to this” “Lisa, come on we are family remember? We go through everything together. What did the doctors say?” “They say to get my life in order. They say I have not got long; that the cancer is in my ribs and my breasts. They have nothing they can do for me now”.
Two weeks later Lisa gave up fighting for her life. Ben was at a loss; he missed his love so much. He planned out her funeral because her family had all moved away or was no longer around. It was hard for everyone within the group to deal with another loss so soon after Caleb. The funeral was held in the same church but this time it was raining and gloomy. Everyone sat in silence asking God why he took another person who should still be alive. Many tears fell from everyone daylong. Ben struggled all the way through. He loved Lisa to the point he was going to ask her to marry him. But two weeks earlier she told him they were no longer suited for each other and told him to never ring her again. Then Lidia called him up and told him what was going on. He cried for two days. Ben tried to see her but she wouldn't open the door for him. He will always question why she locked him out of her life when she needed him most. The group had changed; Agnes didn't know if she could continue having everyone at her place. But that much change may hurt everyone; during a meeting everyone agreed to keep going because they felt Lisa would want them to create more amazing quilts. Six months after Lisa died the group had made a quilt in honor of Lisa. It hung in Ben's home so he could always think of her. The quilt was full of all the healthy food she loved to eat and a photo of her designed into the quilt. The quilt read “In Loving Memory of Lisa Adams, we will Never Forget Her”