Cancer is Cruel

By TIM BEELAND,

There was a sea of pink inside the First Baptist Church of Newton last Friday morning. Pink shirts, pink ties, pink dresses...lots of pink.

The occasion was the funeral of Susan Cuchens, the wife of the FBC Minister of Music and Senior Adult Minister Randy Cuchens. At the age of 62 Susan had lost her battle with cancer but won the game of life, and is resting peacefully in Heaven. When she planned her own service, she asked that those attending wear pink or some other bright color. It was to be a celebration of Jesus she had told her family. And what a celebration it was.

First Baptist Church is where I was raised, where I was baptized, and is where my parents still attend. I think it is safe to say that there never has been, nor ever will be a service as splendid as the one we attended Friday.

The choir included not only members from First Baptist but also members from three additional churches and members of The Mississippi Baptist Singing Churchmen. Extra seating was brought in for the singers as well as the congregation. The musical experience itself was phenomenal and the entire service was a testament to Susan’s Christian faith.

At the end of the service a final reminder of that faith was displayed on the video board with a picture of her and in her own handwriting the words “I specifically want all of you to know it is well with my soul.”

At the same 10 o’clock hour over at Pinelake Church in Flowood funeral services were being held for former television news personality Stephanie Bell Flynt. Stephanie also lost her battle with cancer but she didn’t do so before giving it the fight of her life.

I first met Stephanie at an elementary school play probably 20 years ago. My daughter and her son are the same age, they are friends, and they went to elementary, middle, and high school together.

At that play, which was in first grade, or kindergarten, or there about, I don’t remember for certain, I had scooted down to the front of the aisle to take pictures and Stephanie had done so as well. I was snapping away with my camera and all of the sudden I had a little blond-haired toddler in my lap.

He was Stephanie’s youngest son and Stephanie being Stephanie had me hold her youngun so she was sure to get the photos she wanted. Over the next 10 or 12 years we had the opportunity many, many times to visit on and off as our kids grew up, and we attended ball games, and dances, and everything else that comes along for school-age kids to do.

She will be missed too.

The story here, though, is cancer. Susan battled hers for only about eight weeks. Stephanie fought it for several years. The end result is the same. Cancer is a cruel, relentless disease that robs families and friends of their families and friends.

Susan had four beautiful young granddaughters that won’t know the joy of sitting in her lap and hearing her sing a lullaby. Stephanie’s son Mac, my daughter’s friend, was just engaged to be married last month. She won’t be there to watch the bride and groom exchange their vows.

My mother-in-law and father-in-law both battled cancer. My grandmother, who’s house we live in today, died of tongue cancer. Fact of the matter is there is not a single person on this planet that has not been affected by this disease in some form or fashion. You can rest assured that whether it be friend or family member if it hasn’t already, one day cancer will come calling on us all.

Cancer is mean. Over the last few weeks I’ve heard person after person talk about how they hate cancer. I do too and we’ve simply got to find a way to cure it.