Beth O'Rourke wanted to tell her story in her own way, in her own words, and she did so beautifully.
The Paxton nurse lost a lengthy battle with cancer last week, but not before penning her own obituary.
"I died Thursday, April 16, 2015 surrounded by family, in the arms of my husband and anam cara, Brendan Patrick O'Rourke. I was 44 years old. I was a survivor," she began by writing.
O'Rourke was diagnosed with stage 4 biliary cancer, a rare form of cancer that affects bile ducts, seven years ago.
"I loved my life. I loved a long run, to sit quietly by the lake, to read and dance and sing and be silly with our children. We loved watching summer storms blow across the water. I loved to chat and laugh with my sister and friends, until tears ran down our legs…I enjoyed working for a cause, among them, the Pancreatic Cancer Alliance, whose members' spirit and dedication amazed me."
The lifelong triathlon and marathon runner added, "Cancer does not care who it takes, who it hurts, or honor or love. It comes into your life and starts to break the threads that hold you and you are left to see the pieces of yourself slip away and dreams fade. We were clung to each other with pure love and faith binding us, in the end is when the most amazing thing happens, cancer loses its strength and grace appears. We need to see it. We accept it, and go with it. Grace and love win, not cancer. I hope to be remembered, with laughter, love and a good pint. And for my children to know, 'No Momma ever did and no Momma ever will…'"
A GoFundMe page was established in her honor to help her two kids, Courtney and Seamus, with their education.