Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Courage

I wasn't planning on doing a blog entry this morning. I leave for vacation in Cancun tomorrow morning and I really should be spending my time on getting the mountain of things on my to-do list cleared before the end of the day. And if I was going to do an entry, I would probably have done it about opening day yesterday...which has always been my unofficial "first day of spring" as far back as I can remember. And the Nats played their first game yesterday. And *sigh* North Carolina won the national championship in men's college basketball (I still say there was no tourney...). But writing something...anything...may be the only way I have to process the news I have learned...

This morning, I learned that my friend and coworker, Carol Gallina, passed away on Saturday. She had fought against cancer for two years. Just a few months ago, I remember hugging her onstage at the awards ceremony for the organization when she received a pin for her service anniversary. I was so happy that she was there. The news several years ago that she had gotten sick and they had discovered cancer had come as a shock to us all. This was somebody we all loved and cared for...somebody who tirelessly did fundraising for breast cancer research. She was funny, sweet, friendly, and just about the nicest person I have ever met. We used to have conversations about her family...about local sports teams (she was a passionate Washington sports fan...supporting the Redskins, Caps, Bullets [she refused to call them the Wizards], etc....and was very excited to have baseball back in Washington where it belongs)...about her illness....about work. Lately, we'd taken to joking about how her hair was growing back and that she now had more hair on her head than I did. She was one of the people who first noticed that I'd been losing weight. She was a sweet, caring, loving and friendly person. I will miss her. The world will miss her.

She was also just about the bravest, most courageous person I've ever known. Even though she was sick...in terrible pain...and very afraid...she kept coming to work. She kept fighting. She told me more than once that she was going to beat this. She had more courage and spirit under terrible circumstances than some people can muster under "normal" situations. More than I have...that's for certain.

I cried this morning when I heard she had passed away. I will miss her terribily. I will think of her often. And I hope maybe her courage under the worst of times might inspire me to be a little more brave day-to-day. Because you never know...you never know when life will end. So we must treasure every minute of every hour of every day as if it might be our last.

Goodbye, Carol. I'll miss you.

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