I am thankful for the opportunity to talk a little bit
today about one of my closest friends.
If I could pick one word to describe Andrea, it would
be AMAZING! She blessed the lives of everyone she came in contact with.
Andrea knew what it meant to serve and throughout her
illness she learned every aspect of service.
In December of 2000 Andrea was told she had cancer.
In the fall of that same year she found out she was expecting. This
pregnancy along with another one 2 years before ended up to be molar pregnancies.
With her HCG levels still rising they found out she had cancer.
Throughout her struggle with cancer Andrea had three
different sets of chemo. treatments. She also went through lung
surgery and a hysterectomy. There were many highs and lows throughout
her 1 _ yr. illness.
Andrea would face each obstacle with unwavering faith.
Her HCG levels would change but Andrea’s out look and determination would
not. One time when faced with a difficult treatment she told me
how she mentally prepared for it. She said she thought of the movie
The Emperor’s New Groove. There is a part in the movie when the
Lama and the guy are tied to a log. The lama can’t see what’s coming
and says “Let me guess, a big waterfall coming? (yeah)
Big rocks at the bottom?” (probably) BRING IT ON!
Andrea has a wonderful sense of humor. She could
find humor in anything. She always kept things light and happy.
Always able to laugh at herself. She told me once at a family gathering
her nephew had given her the nickname of Auntie Poopsie Chuckle
Butt. So obviously her sense of humor lives on.
A lot of Andrea’s chemo treatments fell on holidays.
This past Halloween I had the opportunity to be with her for awhile.
As we visited the doctor came in. He told Andrea that she could go home
tomorrow at noon. Then he said there’s been a lot of changes at the
cancer center. We had to get rid of all your nurses. The good
news is we have new nurses that are just as good but not paid as much.
I brought some of them with me. He then left the room. “They got rid
of my nurses! Oh this has gotta be a joke- does my hair look okay?”
Then walked in 6 to 8 nurses with surgery robs and wigs on. They had
names on their robs like Broom Hilda. All but 2 of the nurses were
Andrea was loved by all those who treated her at the
Hospital and Cancer Center . The times I was able to spend in the hospital
with her were wonderful. It was like a girls night out- in. We would
decorate for the holidays, enjoy her favorite movies, rub her feet, hands,
and head or just talk. These moments spent with her were more for me
With Andrea cancer was not an issue. She
wanted life as normal as possible. When asked how she was doing she would
say “Great how are you?”
Andrea didn’t dwell on herself. Instead she would turn and serve others.
Even when she lived 20 minutes out of town she would bring dinner in for the
missionaries in our ward.
She was constantly aware of peoples needs and acted on
the prompting to call or go see them. Even when she was struggling.
She always did service with a smile saying “This is what it’s all about.”
Andrea was the angel for those who needed her and still is.
Andrea’s calling in the church was 1st counselor in the
Young Women’s Presidency. At the Young Women’s last months fast and
testimony meeting, the girls testified of their love for her and how much
she had helped them. One girl got up and said that she didn’t really
have a testimony but could feel the spirit. Andrea bore her testimony
and told the girl that because she could feel the spirit she did have a testimony.
She bore witness of how cancer had given her perspective. “It’s loving each
other and taking care of each other. It’s developing our testimonies
and knowing the Savior.”
The Purifier of Silver
There was a group of women in a bible study on the Book of Malachi.
As they were studying chapter 3, they came across verse 3, which says “He
will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” This verse puzzled the
women, and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and
nature of God. One of the women offered to find out about the process
of refining silver and to get back to the group at their next meeting.
So that week this woman called a silver smith and made an appointment to watch
him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest
in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining it.
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire
and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed
to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames are hottest
so as to burn away all of the impurities. The woman thought about God
holding us in such a hot place! Then she thought about the verse that
he sits as a refiner of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was
true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver
was being refined. The man answered that yes, he had to keep his eyes on the
silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver were
left even one moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked, “How do you know
when the silver is fully refined and purified?” He smiled at her and
answered, “Oh, that’s easy. I know the silver has been purified when
I see my image in it.”
-Andrea has his image in her countenance. She has blessed each of
our lives. We will all be better people for knowing and loving her.