When cancer takes your best friend

We’ve all got that day. The day where there was a version of you before and a version of you after.

My day was October 11, 2016. The day I lost one of my very best friends to ovarian cancer.

Cancer sucks. Each and every one of us has been affected by the horrific ‘C’ word in one way or another. It particularly sucks when it takes away the life of a vibrant, loving, generous, gorgeous, shining star. One that was a single mom.

I knew Tracy was dying. I had been with her less than 48 hours earlier.

Knowing she was failing, but needing to be near her. To soak up her love, her bright light, the 25 years of memories we had together, one more time.

I brought lotion and sat at her feet. While we talked, she drifted in and out of sleep. I rubbed her feet, ankles, and hands. She knew who I was, though I didn’t expect her to. It was a blessing, the last gift she gave to me. She asked about my husband, she talked about my kids, wanted the details of our new home and through tears, I told her. She needed this day to be normal. There was no talk of cancer or of death. She never gave up hope. She never once talked to me about the possibility of dying. It was just all too much for her.

She fought like hell until finally, her frail little body just couldn’t go on one more minute, of one more hour, of one more day.

When her mom called me that afternoon of October 11th, I had just picked my daughter up from school. Through tears, she told me that our sweet girl was now an angel. I sobbed and sobbed. I barely remember how I made it home.

While on an intellectual level I KNEW this was inevitable, the finality of losing a friend, daughter, mother, and one that was so INCREDIBLE and VIBRANT and LOVING was just too much.

The ‘me’ before October 11th took much for granted. Time was wasted on stupid, frivolous, meaningless crap. I worried and complained too much. Focused on how I had been ‘wronged’ by others, total victim mentality. Many days I just went through the motions. Got the kids off to school, went to the gym, cleaned the house, etc, etc. There was no intention to my day. No purpose and little joy. When Tracy died, I made a silent promise to her. One that a year down the road I am proud to say I have kept.

My promise was this. I was going to live my life full of gratitude and joy. Every single day would be maximized on a journey to live a life of greatness. One which would add value and inspiration to the lives of others. I would learn how to become the best version of myself. Best mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and human being. Not perfect, just my best. I’d intentionally seek out the best of everything and live with gratitude.

Searching out, and soaking up all of the information I could, I was a sponge. My goal, my driving force was to learn how to live a life full of intention. One that when it was my time to meet my angel girl in Heaven, I know that she would greet me with her beaming smile and her open arms and embrace me in the biggest hug ever.

I did something totally outside of my wheelhouse and my comfort zone. I had to dig really deep and manifest some serious courage. I planned a fundraiser for her precious son. Never having tackled anything like this before, it was quite the learning curve.

Tracy had friends from coast to coast and I needed to host something that all could take part in. Every cent would go into a fund for Beau’s future. This fund would help buy all the things for Beau as he grows up that Tracy would have wanted to buy him.

His first backpack and lunchbox for Kindergarten. School photos and hot lunches. Stocking stuffers and birthday presents. Maybe even a down payment on his first car.

This represents so much more than just money. It’s a way to honor Tracy and let her take part in all of Beau’s special milestones. It’s a way for all who loved her and all who were touched by her story to give hope and a legacy of love to Beau.

I feel Tracy’s presence all the time and I know she’s beaming up in heaven at all the love pouring in for her sweet boy. Her ‘Baby Beausy’, who she loved so deeply.

This is no dress rehearsal people. We only get one shot and we all deserve to live a life full of purpose and joy.

Please take a minute to watch our video for Tracy and Beau.


Links:
We Ride For Beau

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