My Pink Warrior is my Aunt Jeanie! I have been living in the US for 6 years now but my home is a place called Newfoundland in Canada. There resides the majority of my 44 aunts and uncles and 75 cousins! Yes you read right, your eyes are not deceiving you! My mother grew up as 1 of 20 children. Sixteen of these children were girls. My father came from a family of 6 and he was the only boy! Although they are not all still with us, I have been blessed to have the most amazing Women Warriors in my life who inspire me and have made me who I am today. I could write a book telling their individual stories of strength and how they have impacted my life path…but today I focus on one. She is one of my she-roes! My Aunt Jeanie.
If you were to ask me about the specifics regarding my aunt jeanie’s breast cancer, even down to the year this story took place… 2002 or 2003…I might not be able to recall. What I do recall is the time that I spent with her, the hours of conversation, the lemon pies she baked for me while SHE was going through radiation. You see, as luck would most certainly have it, we spent that time together, just us two! How you ask? Well that is what I am here to tell you.
I was in Grad School. I was living on campus in a residence hall that I was the Director of (we called them Proctors but none of my American friends know what that is). I had a one bedroom apartment and lived in the capitol city of our province. You see, in Newfoundland, (a large island in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Nova Scotia) if you are diagnosed with cancer and have to go through treatment, that city is the only place you can receive it. So my aunt Jeanie had to travel 7 hours away from her home town for six weeks to do so. And she had to stay there for the entire time. Her husband was not able to leave work to be with her and I was the only person living there.
I had the unbelievable fortune to be there! The time we spent together during those weeks will forever be emblazoned in my mind. Any time I begin to think that life is tough or I am stressed out from a million things going on…I remember that my Aunt Jeanie spent 6 weeks baking me my favorite lemon merengue pies in all of the world – WHILE going through Radiation Therapy! That is not all, she baked pumpkin pies and apple pies and she baked them for the students in my residence hall. For the short time that she stayed in the Hospital Residence she rallied the troops there and organized a big Turkey dinner to lift spirits and enjoy life.
My Aunt Jeanie does not run away from the emotions, fear, worries and all of that stuff that comes along the way too. We had those conversations. There were tears. There were a lot of emotions. But there was also JOY, LOVE and GRATITUDE! And I truly believe those were what gave her the strength to go through such a difficult time – without her husband, without the comfort of her own bed, far away form home and all of her sisters. Just with me. Only me. She is an absolutely amazing woman and I should be so lucky if I can live half of the life of Love and Joy that she has lived. Aunt Jeanie – if I was in Newfoundland right now I would be hugging you so tightly you would know how much you have changed my life! SO I will send you a virtual hug through the computer and hope you get it!
Ever since we created the warrior design for LBG last year I anticipated this month where I would be able to honor her and the millions of other amazing women out there who inspire us to live our best life, who we look up to in awe and who we aspire to be. My aunt Jeanie is one of them. I know you know them too. You are one. I am one. We all are that to someone in this world. So during this month we honor the Warrior Women who have battled breast cancer. AND Every day of the year let’s honor ALL WARRIOR WOMEN everywhere!
Thank you for reading my story! Sending love, light, joy and gratitude out to all of the Warrior Women past present and future!