Sometimes people come into our lives for a very specific reason. This week I lost a wonderful friend who came into my life to teach me how to transcend, how to rise above the circumstance and find a way to be grateful for what I was given. She came into my life over 22 years ago as a supervisor at my first office job and over the course of the past 22 years she became one of my best friends, teaching me some of the greatest lessons I've ever learned on my path.
She married late in life and had a beautiful son; one of those children that you know are magical from the first moment you are able to have a conversation with them, he had an incredible love of nature and animals. Sadly he wasn't meant to be here on our path with us for a long time and passed away when he was only 5 years old. In life there are moments that penetrate your mind so clearly that they always feel like they just happened, like a sore that never heals. One of those moments is the evening that I got the phone call that her son had died I will never forget getting off the phone and going into my sons room and seeing his father lying there while Daniel slept, crying over what an unimaginable thing had just happened. Our son slept in our bed that night, neither of us slept though, unable to imagine how my friend would get through the magnitude of her grief.
Over the course of grieving for her son, many of us gathered strength from her. She was wounded, but she rallied to move her life forward and to celebrate the gift that her son had been in her life. She set up a memorial fund in his name, raising funds for kids who are wards of the Children’s Aid Society to get a post secondary education, and eventually went on to adopt a daughter from abroad.
She is my hero! Over the course of the last two years, through the ups and downs of my own life, she has been there. Battling cancer the entire time, but always one of my loudest cheerleaders. When I felt that things looked bleakest, I always thought of what she had been through in her own life; how much she had had to overcome and the grace and grattitude that she always exhibited in her own life. On our girls nights out, her laughter was always the loudest, her joy in being surrounded by people who loved her always so clear.
Last year she posted on Facebook that she was thinking of her son and her daughter, and that she was so tired. After everyone rallied her with messages of strength and love she replied “I would live it all again in a heartbeat because to change any of it might change all of it and there are too many beautiful moments in the midst of all this". But that is how she lived her life, full of gratitude for what the world had given her. She is my eternal guide to gratitude, to finding beauty in a world that isn’t always beautiful, to being a mother and a friend. I am grateful today that the universe brought this beautiful soul into my life and I am grateful that today heaven holds an extra angel that is watching over me and my boys.