“Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do is call, and I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ve got a friend.”
I woke up this morning “filled” with all that is/was Terri. In my dreams. In my heart. In my soul.
James Taylor’s song, playing in my head.
So, on this New Year’s Eve, take a moment to remember our Warrior through the eyes of three of her BFF’s; Nicole, Irene and Amy…
A Poem From Nicole…
John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
“Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds —
and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of —
wheeled and soared and swing high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I’ve chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
“Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and…while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God.”
28 years encompasses a whole lot of memories with my best friend Terri.
It was always Terri’s kind soul, her openness, her ability to make new friends wherever she went, and her fun and adventurous spirit that I admired most about her throughout our lifelong friendship. People were inexplicably drawn to her, as was I. Her zest for living in the moment and hunting down life’s adventures were so apparent and infectious even way back in high school. I remember one particular choir trip down to California. Terri and I convinced a few of our very straight and narrow choir friends to sneak out of our hotel rooms after bed check and party it up all night. We even hitchhiked part way back to the hotel in the back of a pickup truck with some random cute guys. I know…seriously…what were we thinking? But that was who Terri was. That’s who she and I were together…Adventuresome. She lived in the moment and her love of life positively radiated to those that surrounded her.
I also very clearly remember the day that we both decided to ditch our stable careers at IBM and Ogilvy Advertising in search of more foreign adventures. Terri called me up one day at work as we did whenever we were bored and said, “Where are we going next?” We’d both been talking about wanting to see Asia for a little while. I said, “If you’re ready to ditch your job and go give teaching ESL in Taiwan a try then let’s do it together.” Terri’s response was, “Are you serious Reen?” And I said, “Hell ya! When are we ever going to have another chance in our lifetime to do this together?” And that was it. Within the next few months we had both quit our jobs, drove across the country and flew out of Vancouver to Taiwan, ready to embark on our latest exploration into Asia.
There are so many other stories I could share with you about my adventures with Terri. But I think the final most important one was the leap we took together into this crazy journey we call motherhood. There was no way I was entering this next stage of life without my bestie right there beside me. So what does any good girlfriend do when they don’t want to fly solo? We planned on having our kids at the same time. And you know what? The powers that be allowed it. My eldest daughter Kaya and Marisa were born a mere 3 months apart. What more could I have asked for than to have experienced one of life’s greatest gifts, motherhood, with one of my closest and dearest friends. I see so much of us in those two beautiful girls. I see Terri’s open and loving nature; as well as wisdom beyond her years in Marisa’s eyes. I also see a natural ease of friendship between these two girls despite the geographical distance and sporadic visits.
When I had the honour of visiting Terri just a month ago, there were two things that she whispered to me while we were sharing a quiet moment together. The first was, she told me to be the best mom that I could be. The second was that she wanted our girls to know each other. I plan on honouring Terri in both.
Terri, you have always been my best friend, my confidante and my sister from another mother. I will miss you like no other but like you said to me just a few short weeks ago, “I’ll see you when I see you”. And I know that knowing you…I’ll be seeing you in the most unexpected places while you move on to your next adventure.
Hello, for those of you who don’t know me my name is Amy, and I’ve known Terri for as long as I can remember. I, along with Maureen, were lucky enough to grow up in the Patton Street neighborhood where Nana lived and Spider and Jeanne chose to send Luanna each summer. I will forever be grateful that they made that decision.
As I tried to figure out what to say about Terri and how to reflect on a lifetime of friendship, I realized that the idea of summer is, in some ways, the perfect metaphor for her. First of all, everybody loves summer and everyone I know who met Terri, loved her. Like the summer sun, she enveloped you in her warmth and she shined, she radiated, love, peacefulness, and grace. And, like most of us know, summers are always too short and are gone before we’re ready for them to be over.
So you have to pack a lot of things into the time you have and Terri was able to do that. She travelled the world, lived in the city that she loved, became a social worker, met amazing people, fell in love with the man of her dreams, started a beautiful family, and became a writer. Though not the writer she imagined, her blog has inspired, moved, and motivated people across the world.
She taught us all what’s important: to make the most of every moment, to live fully. In the short time that Terri was here, she blazed bright. And though we all wish we could have more time with her, I am so thankful that those summers forged a friendship that will live on through my memories and the friendship that our children will continue to have.
Last but certainly not least, as you contemplate the new year before you, consider these words from Terri Luanna written on her spiritual pilgrimage to Europe a year ago.
Sure to inspire, Terri’s wisdom and joy de vivre offers each of us a bold blueprint for a life truly worth living…
Happy New Year,
Terri’s “Big Idea”
“Why not think big? Dream big?
People may not get you- but the dreamers are the ones who change the world. When you honor yourself, everyone benefits.
Better to be true to yourself. Be different. Be unique. Honor your truth.
So dance. Love. Pray. Travel. Meditate. Learn. Grow.
Be inspired and inspire others. Be good to yourself and others. Find the beauty in life. Nurture you soul.
The time has come…”