Saturday, November 23, 2013


When I moved to Tennessee, I came to work for my friend Lee. His main employee Nancy was battling breast cancer and was very unwell. The intent wasn't to replace her but for me to come along and help out, they did mention they were concerned because Nan and I had very different personalities from their knowledge and they weren't sure we would get along.

From the very first moment I met her, I liked Nan. It isn't hard for me to find something in common with someone, very rarely do I not get along with someone. Nancy was an intellectual, feminist, atheist, with a strong sarcastic wit and sharp tongue. She was a perfectionist, driven, often upset at other people's ineptitude, laziness and apathy in life.The odds weren't in her favor from a young age, she lost both of her parents to cancer before she was an adult. Battling cancer and dealing with some tough personal issues, she was in a dark place, she was angry and pissed off at the circumstances she was in and she let you know it.

We quickly struck a friendship up finding commonalities in our lives. We loved the same kind of music often talking about the hey day of New wave and going to concerts as girls. She was a writer, well educated, well traveled, versed in the ways of life. She lived many years in New England buying and selling mid century modern antiques and loving all things Sci-Fi. Her ring tone was that of the Tardis landing. She loved hearing that my family (minus myself) had started watching Doctor Who, she was a big fan of the Doctor especially David Tennant.

We both were mothers with the same views on raising children and expecting a lot of them. Raising young men who we are training to respect women. Teaching them to take responsbility for their actions and lives. My last day working with her was spent with her and her son, I loved watching her with him. It was almost surprising because she was a liberal in many ways but very conservative with her son and what she expected of him. I will never forget that last day with her, Jules and Conner.

Women empowering and supporting other women was something we were both passionate about. Respecting each other instead of tearing each other down and finding a common ground instead of disrespecting our own sex by acting like children. We both were raised with similar views on this subject and talked about it daily as we worked.

I am of the belief that everyone comes into your life for a reason, a season and a purpose. I believe that one of the reasons I ended up here was to know Nan and learn from her. It was my pleasure to be able to hug her on rough days, let her cry on my shoulder when she was scared and listen to her problems. She liked that I understood catastrophic illness and did not say trite things to her. I geniunely understood what it is like to be facing the unknown and major health issues.It gave her hope to know Marty and I had survived major illness and lived to tell the tale.  Being able to support her in her trials was a blessing that I will never forget.  The days we worked together were really special albeit brief.

In the short time I knew Nan, I learned a lot from her. She became an older sister of sorts, someone I could talk to about anything and get an extremely honest opinion. She valued truth highly as do I, she would tell me exactly what she thought of something making no excuses or apologies for her opinions. She was who she was nobody was going to change that.

Sometimes someone is only in your life a brief time but leave a large footprint behind. They leave your physical presence but live on in your mind and heart forever. Very fitting today on the day of the Doctor, I said goodbye to Nan. She lost her valiant battle with breast cancer earlier this month leaving behind her young son Jules. Tonight listening to his words about his mother, her ex's husbands words and her sisters words confirmed that even though I knew her only briefly, that I did indeed know her fully.

Pray for her young son Jules, he has a long life to live without his mother.

for me, she brought a brightly colored view into my world and helped change and inspire me in many ways. Tonight I am grateful that I can say, I knew Nan and was her friend. Goodbye Nan, sleep well my friend.

Tonight at the service her family shared songs that reminded them of her. I will always think of Nan when I hear Howard Jones. She loved telling me the story of how she met him in her college days and he touched her hand when singing. She often lamented she was backstage and asked if she was with the band but her friend said they weren't and blew their cover!