Friday, October 21, 2011

A Bittersweet Day

It's with saddened heart that I write this post, letting you know that my beloved friend has finally passed. She's resting peacefully though and finally free from the cancer.

Today we're gathering to celebrate her life and the joy she brought to every soul she came in contact with. That was her gift. A precious one that keeps on giving, encouraging others to be find joy in life. Hope.

Today we'll honor her as we say goodbye. To celebrate the life she led. She had asked my daughter to play the harp at her service, as she did so many times for my friend while she was sick.

Along with my daughter I'm bringing a box of tissues...and immense gratitude for the love my friend shared with me and the wonderful years we had together. Wish we could have had more, but then I guess that's life. :) And boy did she make the most of it!

Love you, B.J. See you on the other side.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dare to Dream: New meaning to the word Fight Club

I'll be honest, I've never even seen fight club; though I have a pretty good idea what it's all about. But it came to mind as I thought of a whole other beast. A fight worth fighting, even if you're fully aware that the battle is lost.

I have a friend. A very dear friend. Five years ago she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. That's bad enough, but her prognosis was worse. There was no cure for the kind she had. I know...there's no "cure" for breast cancer in general, but there was no hope that hers would ever go away. Not even into remission. It wouldn't have even mattered if it was caught at stage 2 or stage one. She has one of the rarest forms that grows in sheets.

All the doctors could do was buy her some time. And she took it. A lot of it. A lot more than they expected. Because she fought. Fought for as much time as possible to spend with her children. Her husband. Her friends.

We prayed for her, loved her and learned to serve, rejoicing in the small miracles that broke even the doctor's expectations. Her treatment was hard, invasive, and yet she never gave up. Even now as it has finally won she won't give up. I visited her the other day, wondering if it would be my last, and was touched that she kept telling her daughter to make sure I had cake.

There had been a small celebration that day, before I got there. Her son had recently become engaged and they had a small party with the in-laws to be. Multiple times my friend asked me if I had had some cake, to which I said yes and graciously thanked her. Several more times she asked her daughter if I had had some cake and we smiled each time and simply said yes.

In her darkest moments she is still trying to live and love. Living each moment without a thought for it being her last. She's still living each day as though she expects there to be a tomorrow. Because if she doesn't then that means that mentally she's finally given up.

Which she will never do.

I take heart in her example of courage and strength and tell myself I want to be more like her. She's not just simply trying to make it to the next day, but enjoying each day for the gift that it is.

Love you BJ!