When living with a genetic disease, such as PKD, we have seen and felt the effects of it throughout multiple generations. Quite often I hear others share stories of numerous family members they have lost, who have battled PKD. No matter what we are fighting, most of us share a common sentiment: the will to survive. My health issues have given me a vantage point that life is precious, however when someone we love passes, my perspective takes on new dimensions with crystal clear vision.
A dear friend, Carol Trefcer, passed away on March 3. She was a fighter, like many of us. Carol beat two episodes of breast cancer, but uterine cancer was her ultimate demise. Her husband, Bill Trefcer, said she was at peace knowing she was going to die. Carol was looking forward to being reunited with her parents. When she took her last breath, she was at her home with her husband and animals. Carol and Bill were inseparable. They spent nearly every waking hour together and with their “furbabies.” Her love for animals was immeasurable. She adopted and saved the lives of innumerable dogs, cats and horses. Bill said he will spend the remainder of his days at their home, taking care of her animals.
Bill and Carol are two of the most kind-hearted people Noah and I have met. They acquainted us to all the great things in the town of Auburn, CA, where Noah and I relocated in 2010 from PA. My mom and Carol met through their love of horses many years ago. Carol read my biography and we instantly connected, as many of us do, fighting health issues. Carol and Bill have given us wonderful opportunities and memories in life. They always supported us throughout my health issues. Carol drove me to countless doctor and physical therapy appointments when I was unable to drive. My heart aches for Bill. Noah and I commit to do all we can for him and try to repay him for all the two of them have done for us.
It takes a long time to process the loss of someone we adore. We always want another chance to talk to them, to see them. We sometimes regret not saying something to them. Wondering if that person knows how much we love them and how much we appreciate all they have done for us. I hope Carol knows how much I love her and how much Noah and I genuinely adore and savor all she has done for us. We considered her and Bill our ‘family’ in Auburn. I will treasure the last lunch we had together and the last phone call we shared. She talked so fondly of her parents. I image her laughing loudly with them, telling stories, surrounded by animals and in no pain.
All of these thoughts flooded my mind as we pulled into the parking lot to attend her Celebration of Life on March 14. The Catholic service took place at a beautiful, quaint church in Nevada City, CA. I looked up toward the ominous sky and took a deep breath. While doing so, my eyes met with a heart-shaped cloud above the church steeple and an angel figure was to the right of the heart. I was in awe. I felt at peace at that moment, knowing that Carol was giving me this beautiful sign and letting me know that she is watching over me. I entered the church with a sense of peace. After the service, we exited the church and the sky changed from dark to bright blue with white clouds. Not everyone believes in signs, but Carol was indeed talking to us from above. That day, it was with heavy hearts that we said a fond farewell to our dear friend, Carol Trefcer. She will remain in my heart forever.
“Animal lovers are a special breed of humans, generous of spirit, full of empathy, perhaps a little prone to sentimentality, and with hearts as big as a cloudless sky.” – John Grogan
Here’s to all the strong fighters that we have lost. We are proud of you and we miss you dearly. Who have you lost from PKD? What did you learn from them and what message do you have for them? Please give your loved ones an extra big hug today!
Your stories are always so inspiring Valen!
Thank you Cathy! I appreciate you reading my blogs and for your support. Hugs!
A beautiful tribute for your dear friend . . Thankyou for sharing a little bit of her life with us. It’s so wonderful when these amazing living Angels come into our lives, to help take care of us . Take care both you and Noah, I’m thinking about you and your Mom
Thank you for your sweet words of support and love, Jan. They mean so much! I appreciate you reading this and learning about my friend. I love your perspective that “these amazing living angels come into our lives to help take care of us.” Those sentiments warmed my heart. Carol is definitely an angel and helped me so much on my health journey and in life. I can’t wait to hug you soon. Thank you for being a wonderful friend to me. xo
Valen, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. I hold her husband, you and Noah, and her sweet animals in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. She sounds like she was an amazing woman. R.I.P.
Aww, thank you Sue for your heartfelt thoughts. They touched me greatly. I smiled when I read “and her sweet animals.” They were her everything and I know they are affected by the loss of their “mom.” I appreciate your loving thoughts. Hugs!
Valen, I can only imagine that your smile., spirit and warmth helped Carol through some of her difficult days. Stay strong, my Friend!
Your thoughts always make me smile and touch my heart. We have never met and yet I consider you a dear friend and your support means so much! Thank you very much!
Valen, Such a beautiful tribute to your friend Carol! It makes me want to know her! So happy for you to have shared such a special friendship….what a sweet blessing to see the heart and the angel in the clouds! So sorry for your loss…big HUG to you!
Thank you for your kind thoughts. I too wish you could have known Carol. She was a gem. I agree, the sign from above was a blessing to see. Hugs!
I’m SO sorry for the loss of your friend! I thank you for sharing your heart! It has helped to educate me into the life of PKD. My family struggles with PKD. My brother has it now and refuses to discuss it with anybody. He is continuing to work part time as an engineer. He has just been switched to “24/7 dialysis” but they are actually putting his liquid in for 4-5 hrs in the day time and draining every 4-5 hrs until 7 pm when he must hook up until 10 am. PLEASE add him to your PRAYER LIST and of course his PRECIOUS wife!
Thank you for your thoughtful sentiments. I am sorry to hear the struggles that your family is enduring. Everyone deals with PKD differently and I am sorry that your brother is going through so much and not talking to anyone. He is lucky to have a supportive sister. Sending love, strength and positive thoughts to all of you.