Happy Birthday to Hillary and her beautiful twin Heather! In the words of Brian… “TWINS RULE!”
As Jon has said in the previous post, it has been six months. I still can't believe it has been six months. Where does the time go? I can still see her bright smile and her laugh. There were a bunch of us that were together last week. Baldies Blog was brought up. People have been wondering how the family and friends have been doing. Well….like always, there are good days and bad days. I can't speak for everyone else, but I can tell you that the 6th of each month is a difficult day all around for everyone. The good days are coming more often, but a day does not go by where I don’t hope that my phone is going to go off with a text or cheery phone call from Hill is going to be there. I still have my texts from February 4th, two days before she passed away, on my phone. And there they will stay.
A lot has gone on in the last six months. However, if you asked me what happened from February to April (or early May) I couldn’t really tell you. It was really a blur. I honestly can’t remember much that happened. I do know that with the help of the awesome support system that Hillary put into place along her journey guided me, and others, through the last 6 months. We just kind of went through the motions to try and get some sense of normalcy.
Somewhere in there the White Tigers and White Tigers Too started our Relay for Life Journey. By June we had 32 team members, earned about $7,000, earned Gold Team status, and even got Barry to wear a dress (he would do anything for Hillary!). Our team won 2nd place for our Apples to Apple booth (the theme was board games). But more importantly our team earned 1st place for cancer messaging for the work done with Patients as Partners. That is the one I know Hill would be proud of. That tells me right there that we are continuing her fight and making her voice louder! At the same time…Relay was hard. Hillary loved Relay for Life. She loved making people aware of every aspect to fighting the “cancer meanie.” It was hard to be there without her (even though I know she really was there)!
Along the Relay for Life journey we had MANY fundraisers that many of you helped to make successful. We made bracelets, ordered bracelets (that are still available too!), had 2 Pizza Hut events, had a Black and White party, and sold some pretty awesome t-shirts. I am probably missing some, but it’s late and I am tired. J I have to say that all of that was fun, emotional, and rewarding. To be honest this was the way I grieved the most. I threw myself into spreading the word and fighting the fight. I have to say…now that it is over I am finding other things to do. It does leave more time to think. Which is good….I keep telling myself.
Along with Relay for Life, there is Patients as Partners. Hillary’s amazing twin sister as completely ran with the much needed non-profit. She has met with several doctors, hospitals, legislators, and the list goes on and on! She headed up the first big fundraiser with Pink Pint Night in Claremont. It was a HUGE success and I can’t wait for next year. I also can’t wait to help Heather make Patients as Partners become a reality! Here is the plug….check out the website www.patientsaspartners.com!
Along with all of these happenings has come a lot of reflection on life. Hillary has helped me, and others, in more ways that she probably knew. I know that many people feel the same way, and I have heard many people say this to me over the last 6 months. “She was an amazing person” has been said to me more times than I can count. I don’t want that to lose meaning because it has been said so much, but it is true. I feel like it is a little bit of an understatement, but totally true. I am just glad that I was able to tell her how much I appreciated her and how proud I am to be her friend. I thank her everyday for what she has given me. She has given me strength I didn’t know I had. She has given me lifelong friends that I met through her. We now share a special bond that nothing could replace. She has taught me that life is short, and I should live it up. She taught me that I need to use my voice and stand up for what I believe in. She has given me a second family that I am truly blessed to be a part of. She has given me two pea pods that I am not sure I would have gotten through this without. I really feel that she has taken care of me and is continuing to take care of me.
The other night Michelle and I went to have girl time with Hill. I know she was there on her “bed” having girl time with us. We always had girl time on her bed….man I miss that. It was good to be there with her the other night. Michelle and I said people would think we were weird to go hang out with Hill at the cemetery at 10:00 at night. Well, if you knew Hill she would have done the same thing! J And I keep telling people that there is no rule book telling you how you HAVE to grieve. There is no “right” way to deal with grief. I think people should do what make them feel good (as long as it is healthy and safe). So that is exactly what we were doing. We needed to have girl time with Hill….so we did!!!!
Today….to celebrate her 30th birthday we will go again. We will celebrate her birthday with her. We will be bringing her a tiara with 30 on it! And I am pretty sure there will be cupcakes involved! What birthday celebration doesn’t have cake!?!
Until next time....