Saturday, October 1, 2011
Livestrong Day 10/11 - In Memory of a Special Friend
October 2, 2011 is Livestrong Day, sponsored by Lance Armstrong's foundation. Today is a day to help raise awareness of cancer and offer support to those who live with it daily. Over 23 million people in the US live with cancer and my dear friend Emily was one of them.
Emily was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago.She endured surgery, chemo and radiation only to have cancer return the following year in her spine. It came back each year after that to her brain. Emily took things in stride and resumed life as usual after each treatment. She had two brain surgeries, plus multiple rounds of chemo and radiation. She finally succumbed last weekend at the age of 55, leaving behind her husband and a teen age daughter.
Emily was my hero and inspiration. No matter what she went through, she lived her life to the fullest, never complaining. She was a talented artist, devoted mom, loving wife, sister, daughter, loyal friend, great cook, incredible interior decorator, supportive cancer center volunteer, avid animal lover, especially horses, gifted gardener, kind and dedicated special needs children's tutor, art teacher, and children's book author and illustrator. I loved to shop with her at thrift stores and antique malls. Emily was so creative that she could see endless possibilities for an ordinary object. She expanded my mind constantly! She was the funniest person I know and kept her sense of humor thought it all. She could make us howl hysterically with laughter, tears streaming down our faces with her hilarious stories about the minute details of everyday life from her perspective. Her special symbol was a dragonfly and she collected them in jewelry, art and crafts. When I see a dragonfly, I always think of Emily. The world will be a lot less brighter now that this lovely bright light has gone out. Until we meet again Em!
I also want to honor some close family members and friends who are living with their own daily struggles - brother in law John with lung cancer, Mary Ann, Emily's friend has breast cancer now too and another friend Steve has stomach cancer that spread to his esophagus. Many of our friends' pets also have cancer, being lovingly cared for by their guardians. Other people we know have lost their loved ones this year to cancer. Please hold these courageous people, pets and all the others like them in your thoughts and prayers. Let's imagine a world without cancer and maybe one day it will be.