Hard to believe a year has passed since our beloved Warrior was the honoree of Blowout 2014. Such love. Such generosity. Such hope.
This year it was our turn to pay it forward. For Terri and for this year’s recipient, 10 yr. old Braiden, diagnosed with juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor.
Like Terri, Braiden exudes positivity despite battling seemingly endless health challenges. Like Terri, his love of life radiates from his being. And like Terri, he and his family were blown away by the love. The generosity. The hope. The Blowout organizers and volunteers once again brought together a community to make a profound difference in a family’s life.
Although this year was particularly painful for us, our grief was tempered by none other than Terri herself.
On the day before the Blowout, Heron sent me this video, Terri Blowout 2015 . My heart ached watching my girl; alive, fighting the fight, wowing the crowd with her inspirational spirit.
I left for yoga after having a good cry and half way through the class, Terri literally “embraced” me. One second I was in down dog, then after rising to mountain pose, I swear I felt her presence enfold me. Tears spilled from my eyes as I “held” her to me, welcoming that achingly familiar but seemingly elusive sensation that I have come to recognize as Terri’s spirit.
When I reached my car, there was a text from her childhood friend, Amy. At the same time I was practicing yoga, Amy was driving to western Massachusetts. So overcome was she with missing Terri, she pulled off the highway. She told me she was wishing she believed in “signs”, like Heron and I, when suddenly, a woman walked in front of her car who looked just like Terri. She shrugged it off and got out of the car to find the bathroom. Walking by two different vendors, their tables were filled with “I love New York” trinkets. She smiled, feeling the “signs” from her best friend hitting her over the head! Once in the bathroom she realized there was no toilet paper. The person next to her was kind enough to assist. Opening the door, she realized her savior was none other than the woman who looked just like Terri…
Later that day I got a text from Aunty Cole. I had sent her a card a month or two earlier that was returned. So I fixed the address and sent it off again and she had just received it. Aunty Cole described experiencing a plaguing, free floating anxiety connected to the loss of her best friend. And then my card arrived. Just when she needed it the most.
On the same day Heron sent me the video. The same day I felt Terri in yoga. The same day Amy experienced her own “signs”…
Terri knew The Blowout was going to be a bittersweet day for us so she found a way to validate that attending was exactly what we needed to do.
It was beautiful. It was painful. It was necessary.
And Terri did what she always did best. Her timeless lessons of love and living life large streamed through in Marisa’s smiling face as she and her BFF Jillian rode the pony and climbed the rock wall, touched our hearts through Aunty Dori, cousin Ian and Jenna’s powerful music, and shone brightly within the 360 degree rainbow that appeared in the sky.
Her message was loud and clear. Live. Love. Dream. Hope. And most importantly, embrace each and every opportunity to join together and honor her spirit, so that it will never, ever, die.
Love, Aunty Laurie