It is a funny day for me today. My new look blog has been launched here (and welcome by the way!), which marks a new phase in my life and is very exciting for me -I hope you like it! And, I said a final goodbye to a very, very dear friend of mine who passed away suddenly in the end, after many years living with cancer. I say living with cancer as that is what she did. She did not fight. She did not battle. She did not roll over and play sick. She lived, and what a life.
She lived with this cancer for over 16 years finding out just after her second child was born and the entire 14 years I have known her. She was hands down one of the most remarkable, genuine, caring, giving, passionate, beautiful,clever and determined people I have ever known. She will leave a huge gap in many people’s lives and none more so than her beautiful sons and husband. I learnt many things from her about being gracious, about being quiet and giving other people the space to talk. About living despite pain, suffering and unimaginable fear. Not one to sit back, she did things like work with the breast cancer network, met the PM, fought QBE in court after they refused her travel insurance for ANYTHING because she had cancer, when she just wanted her luggage covered and won this landmark case which now stands in our records as being against anti discrimination laws (Bassanelli vs QBE) ,bringing the insurance industry to task. And most importantly, she grew two beautiful young men.
Looking at all of the wonderful images selected by her family today,which included every person in the room in some way (sooo like her) some memory, some experience she had with each individual, it made me remember how she packed ten lives into one cut short. It made me sad, very very sad. But it made me happy. To have been so lucky to have known her and been so close to her for so many years. Our sons met in the first week of reception at school when she came to to talk to me because my son was sharing her son’s sprinkle sandwiches (for those who don’t know, these are sugary multicoloured delights) and she wanted to let me know she was going to pack double so that neither of them would miss out on lunch! That was just who she was. Always thinking about other people. She was someone who definitely made a “home with heart”.
As I sit looking at my new blog and feeling happy about my life, I am also feeling sad and grateful and lost and found and many other things. Life is like that isn’t it, full of loss and full of gains.
Here are some pictures from the wake today. . Raise a glass to Denice tonight for me and hug someone you love before you go to sleep
I look forward to sharing with you on the blog as we all make our lives and our homes, with heart
Thank you Helen for share your special friend with all of us.
I raised my cuppa to your friend. Your love is very deep. One never knows the journey we will take and you too are so beautiful I'm sure your friend will miss you. she will be watching from wherever she is now and there when you least expect her to be in a different way. Enjoy your friends day even though you will shed tears they are truly tears of love.
Helen, I am so glad I came across this beautiful description of Denice and how she lived with cancer.I only knew her for two short years, but she has had a big impact on me.she has thought me the true meaning of being grateful and gracious in the face of adversity.your words have comforted me alot. I have lost a good friend but heaven has gained an angel.
Thank you for sharing Helen, there is so much love in your words... I'm raising my cup to your very special friendship..x
thank you Helen. Inspirational and at the same time calming words for the spirit, and images for the mind's eye..
these are such comforting words Sandra, after a time life goes on and then a moment happens and you remember they are no longer here, you can no longer share with them,cuddle them,laugh and cry with them. xx
thank you Usha - I knew her for many years and had so many wonderful and difficult times with her. It has been very hard for so many as she had such an impact on the world. I am with you in the grief of losing her. Take care Helenxx