It’s very hard to breathe at the moment because I’ve been crying so hard. Another friend has passed away and I knew it was happening, but for the want of a few bucks, I couldn’t make the drive to Missoula, Montana to see her one last time.
Theresa Anne House passed away at home June 5, 2018, after a heroic battle with uterine cancer. She was born November 30, 1963, in San Diego, California, living with her family in El Cajon as the eldest of 11 children.
When I first heard her name, I was en route to the recruiting station in Eureka, California to sign my Air Force enlistment papers. She was a friend of Adam, whom he met over the summer when her family stayed at Camp Marigold, in Klamath, across the fence from our home.
Adam refused to introduce Theresa to me because he worried that she might ‘like’ me more than him. Kids!
After Adam died in 2010, I posted an article about his death. Theresa found it after ‘googling’ his name and she reached out to me through Facebook.
At first I had no idea who she was, but then she used her maiden name of Layman and I knew in an instant I was talking to the little blond-headed girl from across the fence. We’ve remained in touch ever since then.
It was at some point in late 2016 or perhaps early 2017 that she told me she had cancer. She decided not to battle the disease in the traditional manner, but to take a more holistic approach.
Theresa was a very headstrong woman, bordering on the edge of pure stubbornness, so I figured she’d fight and she’d win. In April she let me know that the treatment didn’t work and that she was going to die from the disease.
The last time I corresponded with her was March 8, where she said of me: “What a wonderful, sweet friend!”
Theresa then added, “Just continue to pray for my entry into Heaven. I am trying to have a good attitude about recovery, but I have my eye on the prize, Heaven.”
She made me promise not to be sad, because as she told me, “I know where I’m headed and I’m not scared.” But I’m afraid that I’ve gone and broke that promise, Theresa, because I am beyond sad.
I swear I can hear her and Adam giggling like a couple of school kids.