A few years ago, I wrote this post about my friend Jenn with whom I endured chemotherapy when we both had breast cancer. Jenn lost her battle with the disease as you can read here.
October always reminds me of her smile and fighting spirit. Her anthem was Tom Petty’s song, I Won’t Back Down, so I thought it was fitting on so many levels to pay a tribute to her during Breast Cancer Awareness month and to Tom Petty who passed away yesterday and even to those who lost their lives at the concert in Las Vegas.
I’m crying this morning for so many reasons. I’ve been listening to Tom Petty’s song for Jenn and for everyone else. The grief is real on so many levels for me.
Hold your loved ones close today. Love with your whole heart everyday. Be strong and stand up to evil. Show kindness to all with whom you meet. You never know what type of battle we are silently enduring. Keep your heartlight lit for all to see. You are a vital part of this world.
My friend JAngel and I went through chemotherapy together. We just happened to be on the same schedule and so we spent hours together, cuddled amidst blankets in lazy boy chairs, alternatively sleeping and chatting easily while the red poison of ACT (our special brand of chemotherapy) dripped into our veins for hours, killing all of the breast cancer cells which had invaded our healthy bodies. Because we also had daily shots in our bellies, many times we met as we ran into the oncology office to get our daily shots, only to wave and say see you tomorrow.
I was 34 years old…JAngel was 25 and we were the youngest there so we bonded. That was 10 years ago…and JAngel lost her battle in November ~ almost 2 years ago. She was spunky, fun and a glass 1/2 full type of gal. She didn’t let her breast cancer diagnosis (which was her second ~ having survived Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as a child) get her down.
We went to a support group together, met other women and tried to bring levity to our situations. We laughed, we cried and we helped each other. JAngel’s BC metastasized to her brain and it got harder for her to come to our group. But when she came, she brightened our room. We lost 2 of our friends and it got even harder for me to go to our group…and when JAngel passed, I stopped going altogether.
At the last minute a year ago, I went to see a medium and JAngel came through. I knew it was her when the medium told me that she was a real Jersey girl…she said she wouldn’t back down and that specifically she was to tell me that I walked for 2 now. She told me more so much that I just knew it was JAngel even though she wasn’t the reason I had gone to see the medium.
Sunday night while driving in the car, JAngel’s song came on…and the beauty of her spirit filled the car as I heard her song…funny how certain songs can bring loved ones spirits right to your heart. So I sang along with Tom Petty in her honor…
I thought you might like to belt one out for Jenn as well…so here goes…
This one’s for my Jersey Girl up in Heaven…xo
Well I know what’s right, I got just one life in a world that keeps on pushin’ me around but I’ll stand my ground …and I won’t back down.
Happy Birthday to my special friend Jenn. Today she would have been 36 years old. Jenn and I met while we were enduring chemo 10 years ago. To know Jenn was to love her ~ she always put her heart and soul into living each day to its fullest.
She had an incredible impact on the world ~ loved by so many people whose lives she touched simply by being herself. She was upfront with what was going on, supportive to others and shone like a beacon of hope to so many ~ inspiring all of us with her smile.
I was blessed to have known her ~ and to walk this journey of life with her for awhile. Jenn was full of life, making the most of every situation and not allowing it to get her down…her mantra was her song…so I dedicate this Tom Petty to Jenn…
Well I won’t back down No I won’t back down You can stand me up at the gates of hell But I won’t back down
No I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around And I’ll keep this world from draggin me down gonna stand my ground … and I won’t back down
Chorus: (I won’t back down…) Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out (and I won’t back down…) hey I will stand my ground and I won’t back down
Well I know what’s right, I got just one life in a world that keeps on pushin me around but I’ll stand my ground…and I won’t back down.
We may never be able to explain the things that happen in this world.
All we can do is live the best life we possibly can