A gift from my remarkable niece. My great niece. Miss M. Terri incarnate…
And as always, it came just when I needed it the most…
I’ve felt so disconnected of late. From Terri. From her mother, Jeanne. Even from Miss M. It had been a whole month since I’d last wrapped my arms around her. Since she crawled into my bed in Terri’s spare room for a morning cuddle. Since I made her favorite breakfast of oatmeal decorated with whipped cream and fruit before putting her on the bus. It had been way too long. For both of us.
And in that month, I learned that Tami Boemer had died after a 13 year battle with breast cancer. Tami was a powerful, guiding light for countless warriors. Especially Terri. A gifted and groundbreaking author, her book From Incurable to Incredible, lifted Terri out of the depths of despair shortly after her diagnosis and continued to guide her throughout her 3 year battle with Stage IV breast cancer.
And now she too was dead…
Fucking cancer. Enough!
Thankfully, Miss M reminded me yet again, how to heal my grieving heart.
And she wasn’t alone!
One of Terri’s Canadian BFF posse, Rani, arrived today all the way from Montreal! Nine hours in a minivan with her husband and 3 kids under the age of 6!! Now that’s love in it’s purest form!
Terri was everywhere. In story after story. Like when Terri and Rani taught each other to drive a stick shift. Or the night they left their shift at Stuarts Bakery on Granville Island to party with the rest of their posse, Nicole and Irene, and ended up in the cemetery of all places!
But the best story was the time Rani and Terri were planning to visit their respective parents in Vancouver and promised to connect. It had been awhile since they had returned to the city where they grew up together.
As Rani’s Dad pulled into his driveway on Bowen Island, Rani said, “Hey, is that Spider?”
Her Dad replied, “You know Spider?”
“Of course I do! That’s Terri’s Dad!” Rani exclaimed.
“Terri from high school?”
And as they pulled in, there was Terri, literally, right next door.
Tonight, I was reminded once again, Terri is everywhere.
If I am willing to open my heart to her.
She is in the stories Rani is writing down for Marisa every time Rani has a memory of Terri.
She is in Miss M’s smile and her magnificent artwork.
And she is in this blog…
I will leave you with this entry Terri wrote the night we went to see the Long Island Medium. I’m going back to see her tomorrow night. Almost 2 years to the day Terri and I went…
“That is something I continually realize as I chart my path through cancer… We all have our battles to face. Our demons. Our tragedies and difficult situations to contend with. Whether it’s cancer, homelessness, bankruptcy, divorce, unemployment, infertility… At some point we all reach a crossroads in our life. These challenges shake you to your core. Humble you. Jolt you awake. Then we have the choice to either keep trying to return to what was or to embrace the change and redefine yourself and your reality. Each of these moments presents us with the opportunity to make our lives even better than they were before.
Why not seek to live a better life? What have you got to lose?”
Aunty Laurie, Terri and Miss M