First, I will say I love you. I am one of the many hundreds of lucky individuals to know you and to love you and be loved by you.
I remember you saying once you don’t want to be remembered as ‘the girl who fought cancer and lost.’ And I remember thinking at the time no matter what happens, you will never have lost. You have brought more light, love and joy to the world than anyone I know.
So let’s reminisce about what I love:
- Getting to know you when you were only in your mid-to-late 20’s, even though I certainly knew you before that through our parents’ friendship.
- Your generosity in sending mom and dad to Florida – until Sean finally kicked us in the butts and said, ‘Hey, why is Amy sending them when we can all jointly send them?”
- Your higher score on the ACTs. You know what I mean. 😉
- Spending time in Florida with you, mom and dad, watching you exercise, laughing when you’d pinch dad’s butt, the wonderful meals you’d prepare, your non-stop chatter and energy!
- At Sean and Cathy’s when you came around the pool carrying one of the infant twins and you saying, “I could do this, couldn’t I?” (You always would question your mothering ability, and I would always tell you you’d make a wonderful mother. I was right.)
- Hibernian parties. New Year’s Eve parties. St. Patty’s Day parties. You always dressed for the occasion, no matter what!
- Sparky Airport Transport. Driving around and around the terminal because we’re talkingtalkingtalking and you missed the stop. And no matter what time of day or night, you were always willing to make the drive.
- Burning Kev’s French toast. Talkingtalkingtalking. LOL!
- Your eternal optimism. (Are you sure you’re not Irish?)
- Those damned dogs racing down your stairs to attack me!
- John Edward! (What will your sign be? I’ll watch for it!)
- “One groovy chick.” And you are!!!
- Allowing me to shave your head.
- Your precious relationship with my parents.
- Our talks. I loved our talks. For someone with your IQ, it always amazed me how you would constantly question your abilities or second-guess yourself.
- Your undying support of me in whatever my choices were.
- Your unconditional love.
- Your bravery in the face of so many difficulties! Losing one parent then another. That first ‘marriage.’ Learning who your real friends are. Finances. Health.
- Your tremendous devotion to Theo and to Don.
- Your quick wit and raucous laughter!
You are the very bravest of women. A steel magnolia. A warrior. You have left an indelible mark on those you’ve touched and those you will touch in the future through your words. Though you don’t see it now, you are one of the lucky ones. You filled your life with love, laughter, family and friends. I don’t personally know any other person who has the following you do. You have created a support group for Don and Theo that will see them through the difficulties ahead. You have fought bravely and ferociously. You have lived a long, full life in a mere 40+ years. And there is a time for every season. Your boys will be okay. You will be okay. The next chapter is ahead of you: Your mom, your dad, Charlie – they’re all waiting for you with open arms!
And I’ll be watching for you. I love you dearly.
Aka CP or Chicky-poo