This Valentines Day my heart is heavy.
A year ago my cousin Polly lost her battle to Lung Cancer. She fought valiantly, courageously, and gracefully for 14 months.
Today, we buried my childhood friend’s mother who lost her battle to Kidney Cancer. She fought valiantly, courageously, and gracefully for 14 months.
And here we are today- on February 14th-remembering two lives that were cut short too soon.
It was a year ago this week that I ran into you in the waiting room of Northwestern Hospital’s Lurie Cancer Center. I was waiting for blood work and you were waiting to start treatment.
My heart was heavy as I had just learned of Polly’s passing.
Your heart was heavy from the weight of a new cancer diagnosis.
During our brief and unexpected encounter, you made me realize the profound power of touch. There was nothing you or I could say that would calm our fears or take away the pain.
Instead all we could do was hold each other. At that moment I felt your strength, your determination, and your desire to live.
It was that strength, that determination, that desire to live that fueled my fight.
With Polly at my back, and you right in front of me, you both guided me through the darkest of nights, and carried me from the shadows into the light.
On this Valentines Day, as I mourn and celebrate the lives of these two remarkable women, I am reminded that sometimes the greatest lessons learned are not spoken but felt.
May you both continue to live in our hearts, and continue to touch the lives of many.