Monday, April 4, 2011

My dear friend....

I know....2 postings in less then 24 hours....but I need to write and express my thoughts and sadness today.

Today is the anniversary of my dear friend Julis passing. She was 33 when she died of (and I believe this is the proper term for what she passed from) metastatic cervical cancer.

My beautiful friend
 Juli and her husband Howie, worked with my Miles for many years. While we didnt hang out regularily, when we did, it was always fun. Birthdays and get togethers were fairly often with the "Costco crew" as I refered to the little group of us as. Fright night at the PNE was always a blast.  Juli was an amazing soul. Beautiful...inside and out. Hillariously funny. Infectious laughter and someone you couldnt help but to love. If you didnt like her, you needed help, because she was seriously awesome.

She had pre cancersous cells and after coneing at her cervix, drs took out her uterus and cervix to PREVENT her from getting cancer. Unfortunatly, the cancer came anyway, but it was found after it had already spread....she found out she was terminal with only 6 months to 2 years to live. She died 4 months later.
I spent some time with her in the hospital right after she went in...but she didnt want people to see her looking the way she did so after only 2 visits, I couldnt see her anymore. On one of the times I was the hospital, but didnt see her, I brought some chocolate bars to Howhow (he loves chocolate!!!) and I told him how Miles and I had discussed nameing our next child after Juli (which we did). I dont know if he ever told her this...but I hope he did. Either way, she knows now....I know shes around us a lot...I can feel her.

I remember the night we got the call from another co worker....a good friend of Howies. Miles answered the phone and as soon as he said hi to him,  Miles and I knew it was bad news. Sure enough, he told us that Juli lost her battle. Miles and I both cried and held each other, sobbing. We knew it was coming, but still, nothing prepares you. I thought about Howhow, Julis mom Lo and her brother and sister Jer and Amy and her cousin Layla and how sad they must be....that made me sadder....wishing I could give them all hugs and be there for them...but the only one I really knew at the time was Layla. Since then, I feel like I know them better...they are family....even if Lo and Amy are a province away and I never see Jer.

The day after her passing, Howhow called. I didnt even know what to say. To know them as a couple, was love. You could see how much they loved each other. So it was hard to talk to him. He asked Miles to be a pallbearer at her funeral....such an honor. And of course, Miles said yes. It was a beautiful service. Sad. And after, a luncheon that Juli would have been proud of. Not the normal fare of finger sandwiches...but ethnic foods, fruit boquets and a beautiful digital frame slideshow to see.

While Juli was in the hospital, I started a team with the Canadian Cancer Societys Relay for Life. The CCS raises funds and awareness for ALL types of cancer, not just one. We had a very good first year. Sad...but good. The silent lap was life changing. We all cried as we walked as it was only 2 months after losing Juli. It was so hard to see this little boy (maybe 6 or 7)  walking in front of we approach his fathers luminary bag, he cries out "No daddy!!! Why did you die!!??" Firemen walking around us burst in tears. It was brutaly hard. I remember it vividly.  Since then, I have had a team each year. Our team Julis Jems, has not raised tonnes of money, but we do a great job in honouring Juli every year with our luminary bags (THE BEST by far around the track...honestly! Im not even kidding!!)

Our luminaries from 2010....yes...thats 22 bags!

This year, my girlfriend of about 20 years is getting married on Relay day (which happens to be Relays 20th year in our town) so I wont be able to be there. But Im concentrating my efforts on helping plan and volunteering in other ways. This month is daffodil days and yesturday I was at the mall, selling daffodil pins and fresh cut daffodils. Its CCS goal that every Canadian will wear a pin on April 27th. So if you dont have yours already, please get one and wear it and join the fight against cancer. I firmly belive that there is a cure for cancer and so I dont raise funds for reasearch, but to help those with cancer and their families....whether its with councilling or rides to treatment...CCS does so many amazing things with the funds raised.

Some of our bags and our sign ....this pic is from 2009 Relay

So it brings us to today...the anniversary of the day we lost a beautiful person. I hope you will take a moment and think about her for me and for her family. Hug those you love and appreciate them. Be thankful for those who are still here after fighting this disease and remember those who have been lost.

Love you Ducky...miss you...I think about you everyday....especially now while I am on this journey to carrying a baby for a cancer survivor. You were the only person before this that I offered to carry a baby for and Ill always remember that converstation before your hysterectomy. Ill always remember FRAPPUCINOS!!! Your laughter and screams as we went through the haunted houses at fright night....your cheekiness...your dislike for you know who and not being afraid to voice your opinion on that matter lol. I can feel you around me and my children....especially baby Juju whos not a baby anymore....which goes to show how long you have been gone because she wasnt even conceived when you left us. Love and miss you.

HOPE...its what every person with cancer in their life needs to have

1 comment:

Jeni said...

Beautiful post....very meaningful and well written. <3