This weekend I lost a dear friend to non-hodgkins lymphoma.
Dena and I met on line way before the unwashed masses descended upon the big World Wide Web. We were both pregnant with our first and only girls and we were older than most first moms, but we found support in the Misc.kids newsgroup.
Our daughters were born one month apart and since we both lived in the Boston area, we were anxious to meet and show off our babies. That spring we attended the first misc.kids picnic, with our by then 4 month old babies. We were instantly friends.
The girls became close and we would often take them to the aquarium, or to parks, and we would even visit them when they took their vacation in Ogunquit, Maine.
A year ago this past December Dena was diagnosed with this horrible disease and all though her prognosis was not good and the odds were against her, there was no doubt in my mind that she would beat it and get through this.
Over this past year she has undergone two bone marrow transplants and endless bouts of chemo therapy, and although her body was ravaged, she remained upbeat and positive.
I guess that's why her death this past Sunday at 3:45am was such a shock to me and to all her friends and family.
I know her biggest fear was that her daughter might not remember her. But when I talk and see her, I see all the wonderfulness that was Dena in her daughter and I know that she will never be forgotten.
Through all of this her life partner Micheal was with her, spending every moment taking care of Dena and their daughters needs. He is truely a saint of a partner and a wonderful father. And my heart aches that he has lost his beloved Dena.
The world has lost a truely extraordinary woman, a loving partner and wonderful mother.
So rest in peace my dear friend, you deserve the rest. Let us pick up where you left off. I know we can't possibly measure up to you, but we will strive to be stronger, and more loving of those you left behind. Even with this big hole in my heart today, I know that you are still there to fill me up, and that you will always be with us.