We lost a friend to leukemia yesterday. A “real” loss. Not the loss I have experienced these past four years and three hundred and sixty-three days. A real person. A real wife. A real mother. A real friend. A real daughter. A real sister.
My friend was just 44 years old and had a fabulous life, blessed almost. She was a mother to three children, 12, 10 and 7 years old. She fought the proverbial good fight. She ultimately lost. Just as many have, and many will. She’s not the first I have lost, and she won’t be the last. She was in LA, with all of her family, giving the kids a memorable trip, trying in a last ditch attempt to stabilise herself long enough to receive a bone marrow transplant with a new wonder drug. This time last year we visited with her and we were told doctors were amazed at her response, her husband and her wanted us to all believe she was winning. Now, her young husband and children are bringing her home, and should be landing right about now. Back home to Aotearoa, back home to her close and loving family.
We have so many memories of her, so much fun. As young parents, before she and her husband met, then when they were newly weds, up until we left the district, they were people we spent a lot of quality time with. We drank loads of red wine, ate loads of fabulous food, and laughed until our sides split. We knew she was in trouble, and that she might not make it home, but it still hit me hard. See, I went to high school with this girl, then we stayed in touch and drifted back together years later. I sat in my car and wept in the university car park yesterday when I received the news. You see, every day I go to uni, I think of her. She attended the university I am now attending, and I did some part time papers at the same uni in her final year, I drive past the house she lived in, we had coffee from time to time back then. I think of her fight to stay with her kids every day since I re-enrolled last year. I will miss her joie de vivre, and as so many have before me, wonder why I can’t recapture my own, why she had to go, and yet. here I struggle along. Not to mention that her mother is also in a dire state, also dying of cancer, not long for this world.
Just needed to share that.