8.02.2008

Nicole

Five years ago today a very dear friend of mine lost her six year battle with cancer. She died two days after I gave birth to my second daughter. I remember how I sat in my hospital bed, holding my newborn baby and crying when I heard the news.

Nicole found out she had cancer while she was pregnant with her second child. She delivered her daughter and started chemo and radiation immediately. When she passed away her daughter was six and her son was eight.

I cry for their loss because she was such a fabulous mom and such an amazing person. Her husband Paul said during her eulogy that Nicole felt she wasn't really good at any one thing in particular. Paul told her "everyone loves you, that's what you're good at." He really nailed it.

Everyone who met Nicole loved her. She had a warmth and energy that drew people to her. When she was in the hospital it was difficult to get to her bedside because all the nurses would gather in her room to chat with her. When she was sick her mother would have to screen phone calls because she had so many friends and too much chatting on the phone sucked her energy.

I can't put into words how special she was, but she truly had a gift. Her gift was that she genuinely cared about other people and wanted the best for everyone. She wanted to make other people happy. Even in her last months, she didn't want anyone to feel bad because she was sick. She felt that even though she was dying, that she had a great life because she was surrounded by so many friends, her beautiful children and a loving husband.

When I look back on junior high school, high school, college and my twenties, Nicole was always a huge part of the fun. She was so funny and game for anything. When I look at pictures of us, or read letters and notes we wrote I laugh out loud.

Tomorrow I will call her mother and sisters, it makes us all feel a little better to hear each other's voices and laugh and cry together.

Nicole used to laugh at the phrase "God only gives us what we can handle." She said she wish he didn't have so much faith in her!

The last trip Nicole ever took was 2 months before she died. She and her husband traveled to the Vatican to meet with Pope John Paul II. Her mother gave me a picture of her touching his hand, and the look on her face gives me peace.

I miss Nicole everyday, but I feel lucky that I knew her. In her 39 short years on this earth she made this world a better place and she is greatly missed.








After Nicole's death her husband Paul started
The Great Guy Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to delivering financial assistance to families battling cancer as well as contributing to The Hope Lodge of the American Cancer Society. If you would like to donate to this great cause, or to learn more, please click on the above links.


22 comments:

Momo Fali said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you have such wonderful memories on such a sad anniversary.

Scarlet O'Kara said...

What a beautiful tribute to your treasured friend...

Linney Shvede said...

So sorry for your loss and pain. Glad you could share a part of her for her short time here. She obviously had an impact on many and will live on in that respect. You have written a sweet memorial.

Queen Mommy said...

Absolutely beautiful. Nicole sounds like a true and genuine human.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.

linda said...

What a beautiful tribute!

DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.
xoxo

Alexis Black said...

This is such a nice tribute, Jill. I remember when she died and Catherine had just arrived. Seems like yesterday. Anyway, you were blessed to know her, and she you. Yours was a special friendship, I know.

Feener said...

so sorry for your loss, this is a touching tribute to her and she sounds amazing.

maybe put a little note on where anyone can donate in her name ??

Petunia said...

Thanks for sharing your personal memories of such a dear friend. It makes us all remember to treasure every moment we are given.

Melissa said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Rick Rack and Pom Poms said...

What a brave woman and what a touching story.

suburban prep said...

What a loving tribute to a very special person in your life. It is a way to remember her with smiles and perhaps a few tears.

Jillian, Inc. said...

What a sad story, but glorious all at the same time. That's my worst fear, dying while my children are still young. What a wonderful tribute to yor friend.

Impoverished Preppy said...

Your post made me cry. Cancer has taken such a huge toll in our circle of friends and family and I know how much each loss hurts... and there is nothing sadder than a mom leaving behind her young children. I just lost my aunt/godmother to cancer a year and a half ago, and my grandmother was diagnosed two months ago with stage II lymphoma.

Your friend sounds like a wonderful woman and your post is a testament to how much she meant to you.

Jaina said...

What a beautiful post. I'm so sorry to hear of this, she sounds like a wonderful person. Thank you for sharing.

BreezieGirl said...

My friend linked me to your blog (and this post) today. This is a beautiful tribute to your friend, I know that her family must feel so blessed to have her memory honored.

I lost a friend of mine to leukemia nearly two years ago; I know that often I just want to make sure that people remember Courtney.

My thoughts and prayers are with you today.

-Breanne
http://bleach226.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written and what a worthy cause. We all tend to get caught up on the "CLEAN HOUSE" thing and material things, but Nicole had it right, to be loved by friends and family is the greatest legacy one can leave. Ladies the housework can wait!!
Anonymous B

Polo Mama to Girls said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I'll second scarlet's comment - your post was a lovely tribute to a wonderful woman and mother.

The Mrs. said...

That is the saddest. My heart breaks that they won't have their mother. YOu are a great friend to do a tribute.

Shelby said...

I'm sorry my dear, that's just no fun. Random that I posted about my grandpa having lung cancer on Sunday...

Love love love.

Lane Boyz Mom said...

WOW, what a beautiful post about a beautiful friend! I'm sorry for your loss, as well as the loss her family suffered!

Happy Homemaker said...

WOW! What a lovely woman. Thank you for sharing.

 
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