Albuquerque, NM, the Spring of 1998, Kerry Hill was diagnosed
with Breast Cancer, which, after a year of
chemotherapy and radiation, returned. So, the RN and Massage
Therapist went through chemotherapy again. This time
it seemed to have destroyed all the carcinogenic cells.
Soon after, I left for the Pacific Northwest and she returned
to her native North Dakota, where
she taught at a college and opened a private practice. In 2003,
Kerry married and the couple began to renovate the farmhouse
where she was born, planning to make it their home. But before
they could move in, cancer cells were discovered in her lungs.
November 15 2006, Kerry's strong spirit left us to journey further
is a poem by Alaskan poet John Haines that exemplifies
Kerry, whose family immigrated to North Dakota from Saskatchewan:
on the Road
was in North Dakota,
and she walked the furrows
under poles half in sunlight
and night-telling wires.
was close to her hand
in the dry corn-stubble
of the fields, and the thin
falling behind her.
distance held her, the brown
earth stretched before her.
She thought of the summer,
so distant now,
when she walked this way
crowded by the dense green
of the corn, and the wind
came to her full of the song
of the locust and lark.
much was gone from her,
familiar as the coat she wore,
and yet she knew her way.
She climbed a little hill
and stopped there;
saw that the road went on,
that the air was keen
turned and walked back
to her house still in the sun,
as the calm fall made
a noise like a broken stick.
It was a privilege
to have loved this courageous and generous woman, and to
dedicate "The Way North" to her.
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