Some stories must be told. It was the spring of 2003, after experiencing discomfort and a series of medical tests, the news was relayed to her…my little 30-year-old sister. Not only did they find a lump in her breast but it was also malignant. Visits to Specialists left her with two options; remove the breast, or embark on a series of chemo treatment. The option of removal was an uncommon feat at the time, so after engaging family, friends and mountains of prayers, she made the decision to save the breast, and embrace the chemo treatment. A decision she never regretted.
After many bouts of treatment, combined with the usual side effects of hair loss, nervous system changes including numbness, weak feelings, and more…she lost the fight. A fight that lasted over 12 years. She fought to survive for her children. To see them live beyond their childhood years.
I write this not to seek sympathy but to share the innate character of my sister—Carleen, a stalwart! A fighter! A survivor extraordinaire! A teacher by profession, she spent her years in New York, Florida, and the Caribbean educational systems molding the minds of countless youths. Many were overwhelmed by the genuine care and concern she showed for her students, most of whom she brought from non-or-minimal performance to the realms of exceeded expectations.
Today, I choose to celebrate and recognize the life of my sister—Elaine, AKA Carleen. Today, I choose to celebrate the character and personal attributes of someone who has made a difference in the lives of many. Carleen, our family remembers you. We love you! We salute you! What’s love got to do with it? Everything! Your legacy lives on.