Monday, 23 June 2014
This is my friend Louise. She and I met in a prenatal fitness class five years ago when we were both just newly pregnant. We were both the 'skinnys' in class with barely a bump to show at the time. Our due dates were almost two months apart, hers in early October and mine in late November.
We often chuckled that our girls ended up being born exactly one day apart from each other, she being three weeks overdue, and I a month early with my delivery. Louise was one of the first people I saw after I had Sydney, we bumped into each other in the hallway at the hospital hours after I delivered each carrying our new, precious little bundles.
Yesterday, Louise passed away.
Two years ago she had her first diagnosis of breast cancer and after a grueling year of treatment and surgery thought she had it kicked. Then cancer reared it's ugly head again in the form of a recurrence, stage 4 metastatic cancer which took her life yesterday morning.
I have known many people who have faced a cancer diagnosis in their lives but have never seen someone face such news with the grace, dignity and tenacity that Louise did. She remained one of the most positive, lovely, sincere people I have ever known in my life right up until the end. Her love and light will continue to live on in her sweet daughter Sophie, she has left the world with a gift in her.
Today memory after memory of Louise has been flooding my mind. A walk to Granville Island with our babes in strollers on a sunny day, meeting up at Jericho beach after she left the house a little too quickly without her diaper bag or purse, an incredible Valentine's Day party that she hosted with entirely red food to eat, the playdate where we lined our wobbly babes up on the couch to get a group shot, a Sunday afternoon spent at the symphony with our girls together, tea after she recovered from her masectomy where she was full of hope for the future.
Precious, precious memories that I will hold forever in my heart.
Louise's Mom coined a phrase for Louise when she first got diagnosed with cancer: "It's a great day to be alive!" In Louise's honour may this be my mantra for every day that I am given. It truly is a great day to be alive.
Thank you Louise, you are loved and will be deeply missed.