Last October, I wrote about how devastated I was to learn of a dear friend’s pregnancy-associated breast cancer diagnosis. I wrote in order to spread awareness of a rare disease and to honor her fight. This month–Breast Cancer Awareness Month–I write again about my friend. To again spread awareness, but now to honor her memory.
At the end of July, my friend’s husband had to tell their daughters–4 and not quite 2–that their mom wasn’t coming home again. She was a week shy of her 36thbirthday. Despite nine rounds of chemo, the cancer had spread to her brain and spinal fluid. She’d been diagnosed only 10 months earlier.
I think of my friend daily. We knew each other for only four years, but we got together every other week for most of that time. It’s hard not to go to the places we frequented and not expect her to walk up. I see her sitting in my basement while our kids play together. I see her at my side as we sweated through a Stroller Strides class. I see her in my dining room during my daughter’s birthday party. I see her getting into her car and pulling away from my house for the last time.
I still draw on her wisdom and practicality. I find myself asking what she would do in a given situation and suddenly I have clarity. She had a knack for being right without being haughty or judgmental.
I miss her.
I vowed last year to not let her fight be for nothing. I decided to take advantage of my job as a writer to tell her story without telling her name, as she wished.
In this mission, here is my original blog post from last year. I invite you to read it, share it, check yourself, and take nothing for granted.