Friday, October 5, 2007

Farewell Lisa Moore

For many years I've been reading two comic strips. Tom Batuik's Funky Winkerbean Comic Strip and Lynn Johnston's For Better or Worse. I honestly don't remember when I started, but these two comics have been one of my "no matter whats" for daily life.

Other comics will be read if time permits. But for Funky Winkerbean and For Better or Worse, time is always made to read and enjoy the strips.

Both strips deal with daily life, including the celebrations and the times when lifes outcomes just are sometimes sad or even cruel.

Yesterday, Batuik's comic portrayed the end of life for Lisa Moore.

Lisa was a tragic character. During high school she wore large glasses and was very unattractive. She was seduced and then left abandoned by a high school football player, only later to find she was pregnant from the encounter. She was befriended by a nerd friend, Les Moore, who assisted her during her pregnancy and delivery. Lisa gave the child up for adoption. The child was adopted by high school principal Fred Fairgood and his wife. Les and Lisa later married and lived above Montoni's Pizza shop.

Lisa was an advocate. She became a lawyer. But the tragic aspect of her character remained with Lisa. In the late 90's, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Heady stuff for the comic pages, yet done in a very touching manner. Lisa and Les battled the disease with grace and grit through surgery and chemotherapy.

Earlier this year, Lisa discoverd the cancer had returned only in a more aggressive manner. She decided against another round of Chemo.

The comic strip showed Lisa winding up her life. As her health declined, Les would shuttle Lisa in a wheelchair. They enjoyed a trip to the park to enjoy the leaves one final time.

Finally, as the end neared, Lisa was no longer could handle moving around and became bedfast.

On Wednesday, Lisa died.
It's funny that for the past few days, I've almost mourned the loss of this character from the funnies. Even though I saw it coming for the past few months, on the way to work as I was scanning the paper, I said aloud without thinking "Lisa died".

My wife Diana said, "Who's Lisa?"

I explained, Lisa Moore, in the comic Funky Winkerbean. I explained the story line. Diana could tell that the character was more than just a sketch on the comic pages and that Lisa and the cast of characters in her life had found a place in mine.

Batiuk handled the loss of Lisa with dignity. Lisa's final story line was touching, yet not overly sappy. While it portrayed a lady who was clearly declining and ultimately dying, it was done in a dignified manner.

Goodbye Lisa Moore. Thank you for the many years of sharing your life with me. You were a fine lady. The world could use more people like you. May you rest in peace.

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