There are people in our lives who instantly touch us and we are drawn to their sweet spirits, as if we have known them forever – they are like precious jewels amongst life's treasures. These words describe my friend Lisa who touched me in so many ways. She always had a bright smile and never heard her say an unkind word. She made me laugh and I always felt welcomed in her presence.
A few years ago, I reconnected with Lisa, an ‘old’ high school friend, via Facebook. We had lost contact since our days at West Linn High School, but I immediately felt drawn to her again and it was as if the years had not passed. I remember her as a beautiful and talented friend. We were involved in leadership and worked on several drama shows together. And I remember being in awe of her performance as Miss Havisham in Great Expectations.
After reconnecting, I was pleasantly surprised to discover, we shared many of the same life experiences; graduating from college, marrying our best friend, our eldest child born on the same day, our youngest being the same age, and we both continued to be involved in community theatre when we could.
A few months later, she told me she had breast cancer. She was first diagnosed with cancer about eight years ago, which she had successfully battled and went into remission. Regretfully, the cancer returned and by the time doctors had caught it, the cancer had spread to her bones and brain.
Lisa faced death as she did life, with humor, bravely, compassion, and always a smile on her face. Even with photos, she posted on Facebook with her wearing silly hats, her hair gone, that magnificent smile was still on her face, and it left a permanent mark on my heart –she left a lasting impression on my soul.
One more thought, back in our senior year in high school, she nominated me for Most Inspirational Senior, I think that award should have gone to her –she was my inspiration and my hero! Rest in peace, Lisa.