Today I am struggling with the death of a colleague. She was my age and lost her battle with breast cancer last night. I am so very, very sad that she is gone but I know she would be the first to tell me to suck it up buttercup and move forward because that was just the very essence of Marie. I’m also very angry at the unfairness of her losing a battle she fought valiantly, with grace and quite comically as well.
She was the toughest chick you ever met and she could be the softest and most understanding woman all in the same breath. She took on her first battle of breast cancer with the force of an Amazon Warrior. She laughed in the face of cancer, literally, and she beat the odds by removing both her breasts. All of her sisters had breast cancer and they beat it. I was sure Marie was going to beat it too. But life is cruel and she was diagnosed with her second round with cancer late last year, 2013. The doctors told her it was terminal but I refused to believe she couldn’t beat it again. She was Marie, Cancer should be scared of HER. But Marie took her leave from our company and went home to be with her husband, step-children and her many animals on her quaint hobby farm. I sure missed those organic eggs when she left and I missed her terribly too. We emailed weekly but it’s just not the same as seeing her smiling face every day.
I know she would not want me to be sad so I will try my hardest to be brave. I’ll think of her as I watch the fireworks from my rooftop tomorrow night, I’ll raise a glass of beer to her as I wish for her a happy and safe journey to her next destination. I adopted one of her barn cats. His name is Marshall. As I sit at my desk trying to keep back the tears, I know once I go home and kiss that little ginger cat, I’ll let the tears flow freely.
My emotions are pretty raw right now but through the pain I can clearly say that Marie is my hero. I often wondered when I would be called to run for the cure. Marie, I’ll run for you. I will try to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer and I will do it for you because you have done so very much for me. Everyone at the office knows that I’m the one to make everyone smile and laugh on a daily basis. You were that for me. I loved listening to you tell stories and each one of them made me giggle. Your light will be a constant missing for me. If there is a God, you’re already entertaining and challenging her!
I love you Marie. I never told you cuz you know…you never were a mushy muffin. I’ll sign this blog off the way we signed off all of our emails since you left the office….HUGS AND STUFF
Very nicely said Justy. I think you captured all of our thoughts and emotions we are feeling right now. Stubborn she was and if anyone could fight it as hard as she did, it was her. Tough, but start a conversation about her horses, dogs or cats… Even eggs and homemade bread, and she would open up. Went through a lot with her st the office and she was a good ally to share with. At the end, she would do,what’s right. Ahh… See ya Marie.
So very sorry for your loss Lisa; it’s never easy to lose a friend, but with one so valient and so caring its even more difficult I think. Take care of yourself during this time.
Thank you Lisa for penning my feelings so accurately. As you know, being a survivor myself, I am struggling greatly today, from intense sadness for the loss of a good friend, co-worker and fighter, to anger that she, who could literally move mountains, could not beat it, to incredible survivors guilt. I too was sure she would scare the beast away! Every time I wanted to sob like a baby today, I remember her words to me when she told me about her cancer having returned “Get a grip”! So the grip slips and we cry and in the end, we wish her well on her journey to a better place!
Perfectly said. Thank you for sharing that with us all.
Perfectly said Lisa…. it is how all of us felt today… Marie thank you for all that you have given us, shared with us; until we meet again…
Lisa, I didn’t know Marie as well as most of you here, but in that short time that she was my boss she definitely made a difference in my life! I want to thank you for expressing the words that were so hard to say!
God bless you Marie.
I had known Marie for over 20 years. We enjoyed many professional and life events together, not to mention all the stories. Marie had an uncanny ability to implement solutions to problems with plain and simple logic – While professional always, if you asked her what she thought about something, she would be the one to tell you the honest truth! I miss you Marie!
We all miss her John…thank you everyone for taking the time to remember her in your own way. I am hoping very much that Engineers Canada will create some sort of award or scholarship in her honour as she made such a huge impact for and with Engineers Canada and the profession in general. She was an amazing person professionally and personally and we were all very lucky to have known her. I feel very lucky to have Marshall to remind me of that every day.