I just have to say that cancer sucks. Like really really REALLY sucks!! I don’t know anyone that cancer has not affected their life in some way or another. Cancer is disgusting and horrible and scary and sudden and everywhere. It’s just not fair.
Today was my good friends amazing mothers celebration of life. She was just shy of 68 years young. Beautiful and loving and undeserving of this, as all who cancer attacks are. Her little over 9 month fight with stage 4 lung cancer, that had consumed her poor body by the time it was detected was valiantly fought. It was fought by her, her daughters, husband, mother, brothers and all her friends and family. She was surrounded by love and no one was going to let her go without a tremendous battle. And battle she did. This amazing woman was playing her what was to be her last champion racquetball tournament just weeks before her passing. She was a strong woman and a hell of a fighter. The only day she spent in bed was the day before her death.
But Sharon wouldn’t want to be remembered for her cancer. It was not part of her plan or part of her spirit. She will be remembered for her loving heart which accepted everyone. She couldn’t have too many friends and her circle around her was ever widening because of her open arms. She was always there with a smile and a joke, or to share a dance or a hug. She gave to multiple charities, fostering children in Africa, giving to the local homeless, helping animals in need, always putting the needs of others over any excess in her life. She understood the true meaning of the saying it is better to give than to get. She loved nature and our planet with her whole heart. She was known to be seen jumping out of the car to pick up litter, or while on any walk or hike, being a frontrunner in the recycling movement. She was a nurse who spent her life helping others and sharing her health conscious tips and tricks with all who would listen. Sharon lived life to the fullest with no regrets. She is someone I can say truly left the planet a better place.
I didn’t know my friends mom well, but today I heard her loved ones speak about her. I saw the tears and pain and grief over the loss of her. I also heard the laughter of stories shared. A spirit worth smiling about. The thing is I knew all these things already about Sharon even though I only chatted with her a few times. I knew these things from what I know of my dear friend. My friend is more like her mom than she realizes. Her mother shared her compassion, love of life and open smile. I see it in her. My friend understands the meaning of friendship. Like with her mother once you became friends you are for life. We have been friends since middle school. Sometimes close and other times we have drifted apart, but still friends as true friends are. Like her mom she gives with her whole heart. My friend also like her mother doesn’t care what people think of her or only of what’s the latest fashion. She can she the value of someone besides looking at their external qualities. I know this because she could see me beneath my nerdiness in middle school, my awkwardness in high school, and my somewhat uncoolness now. She sees me for me and I know we will always be friends. With her I can be my authentic self. Her mom made people feel this comfortable in their skin too. It is a gift.
Sharon will be greatly missed by so many. She lived and loved to her capacity. More in her short life than many will. I know she lives on in her daughter and her gifts will be passed on by my friend to her daughters. Thus the legacy begins. Sharon will never be forgotten ❤