Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dear Danielle,


Dear Danielle,

one of the best decisions I’ve made is to come back home to visit you. 

That first morning, as I walked out of the hospice doors, into the bright, fall sunshine, I said “Thank you God”.  Those almost 2 hours, spent laughing, talking and crying with you were worth more than anything.  I was so glad that I had come. 

The time spent sitting by your bed; your voice and spirit as strong as ever…unchanging and wonderful, with your big-ass painting that you just bought staring at us, I loved hearing more about your life and your experiences.  So many excellent adventures…living in a London hostel for a year while working in a cool pub; moving to Montreal to brush up your French skills; training and travelling to run in half marathons or were they full? And, taking advantage of new career opportunities to challenge yourself and to learn.  You inspire me to keep doing and trying new things.  Stretch, learn, try.   Why not? 

Two years ago we were both standing before new, exciting adventures.  You were ready to move to Asia and I to Germany…well, maybe ‘ready’ is a stretch.  We talked a lot about our fears, our excitement, our worries; we supported and encouraged each other and then…then you received the shocking news.  I went, you had to stay.

And now, since your email in August, telling me the docs think you have little time left, I have been consumed with thoughts of you.  How does one process that kind of information?  I have been going over and over in my mind the thought:  Why do we wait until someone’s funeral to talk about why they are special to us? What they mean to us? And, how they are touching our lives?  I think there should be a global revolution to change this.  I really do. 

You are a treasured friend to me and, I know, to many others.  Your strength and fight and fearlessness in doing has inspired me since we met over ten years ago.  You don’t hold back; you say what you think and you work hard; whether in your job, in your treatment, in your play or in your house renos.  You keep going and doing and you get things done.  Of course, you create some shit along the way, with your no-holding-back ‘tude.  But, that’s who you are and the fact that you apologize when you need to and not when you don’t need to…I think that’s strength and perseverance and being true to yourself.  I honestly wish I was more like that.

We have always connected over coffee or drinks…bonding over the crazies who we used to work with and the crazies who we call family.  Especially our mothers.  For a while there I was convinced we had the same one, until mine died.  Then it was obvious that they were not the same woman.  I remember so many great, long talks.  Thank you for those, and for these latest ones.

Moments from a visit:

Laughing with you about your new, blinged out style…your new Michael Kors watch, iphone 5, Coach bag and how fab you feel walking down the hall with your new, fun things.  Love it.

Telling me how you are basically forcing your family to deal with all the issues that have plagued you all for 25 years; not pulling any punches, having no patience, but making sure that your fam members heal and become better people.  You care.  You’re strong.

Talking about the great things at this time; how blessed you feel for…excellent sister time which you three have never had before this summer; your brother coming and hanging out, taking care of you; and your treasured, strong friends who are doing all for you.

I love talking with you.  And your emails of support which you regularly sent, since I moved from Calgary five years ago; whenever you thought I sounded lonely or sad or frustrated helped me to think more positively and to try harder.

Thank you for being a steadfast and true friend to me, girl.  I appreciate you very much in my life and I wish so much that you could stay longer.

I love you,
Nina
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