I got some very sad news yesterday. My friend, Andrea, is dying of liver cancer – a young, vibrant, single mom. Learning the news of Andrea’s health stopped me in my tracks, as I wonder how could this be. How am I learning about this from Facebook? Weren’t we just in contact making plans to go visit our mutual friend in Newport? Didn’t I just comment of the beautiful family pictures she posted on Facebook? How can this be and why Andrea?
Andrea and I met years ago. I had just graduated college, moved to Boston, and was becoming a live-in nanny. Andrea was a seasoned Boston nanny whom I quickly became friends with – she showed me the ropes on my new home and role. Being a nanny can be fun and rewarding but it can also be exhausting and lonely. My friendship with Andrea and our daily play dates with the girls we took care of helped eliminate that feeling and made for a great experience. Like a big sister, she was there for me. When my old childhood phobia over escalators popped up and I was unable to get me or Kaleigh (the 2 year old I was taking care of) down a busy rush hour filled T escalator, Andrea immediately sprang into action and got us all down safely. The time I was going to lose my mind as Kaleigh was uncharacteristically having a melt down, Andrea was there to calm us both down and get us through the day. Calm, level headed and always loving, Andrea was an amazing mentor. Something that is hard to find nowadays, especially in the corporate world.
Andrea is one of the most generous, loving, caring, hardworking person I know. She has devoted her life to children, whether they be her own gorgeous lovely young boys, the little girls she nannied, loved, and helped to give them a solid basis to becoming the amazing young women they are, or the numerous young children she has helped as a development specialist. These families are so lucky to have been touched by Andrea and experience her love and generosity toward their children.
Yesterday, as I learned the shocking news of Andrea’s health, I was saddened and immediately filled with regret. Regret for losing touch with this amazing woman and knowing I might not be able to ever rectify that. Sadness for her and her young boys, knowing the dreams she had for them and herself might never come to fruition.
Today, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I choose to be thankful. Thankful to have had such a special friend in my life, no matter how short the time might feel. Thankful I had the chance to reconnect with her in more recent years. Thankful for the ability to share with you and her how much I admire, love and appreciate her. But most of all I am thankful her boys have had the time they have had with their very special Mom and knowing she has given them a solid foundation full of love and respect that will guide them through their lives.
I learned a lesson yesterday from Andrea and her illness – time is fleeting and sometimes there is not a tomorrow. Connect with those you love today so you are not filled with regrets tomorrow.