Today is a very sad day, for I got news that a beautiful soul, a lovely friend, whom I thought I would see more of and chat with in a near future and meet again soon, passed away yesterday late in the afternoon, the day of Thanksgiving.

Michelle was strong, had a fab smile, and was a real gem.

Sadly, she has lost her last round of battle against cancer, and I can’t stop crying. I cry because of all the songs, the  dances, the bottles of champagne, the jokes and golden moments we desired to share and live that will remain unsung, undanced, unopened, unlaughed and unshared together.

Last time we spoke, she was ready for the second part of the battle, she had many rounds of chemo and was on remission . I’d thought I’d send her a little gift. Then it was summer and time to settle everything for my eldest to go study abroad and live with my sister, followed by an extened stay in Europe to meet with family, and set the kid in the new city, environment, etc, visit my aging parents (who have some medical ailments), and long-time-not-seen cousins. Then I came back, began renos in the kitchen and baths. And I thought everything was fine, she was to be forever ok, she seemed fine. Until 2 weeks ago.

And now it’s over. Amazingly, she was so strong  she decided to celebrate her last moments at home, surrounded by friends, dancing and singing, and smiling her way out of this world gracefully. She had a smile on her face when she passed away, and went peacefully, no more in pain, according to her husband with whom we just spoke extensively over the phone. He was extraordinarily poised and calm as I was sobbing and crying, he was comforting and we plan to all meet soon, with the kids. He told me he had time to get acustomed to the idea of her leaving, but was happy that they had a fantastic period of grace to say goodbye in a joyous, lively way.

To toast her beauty, inside and out, and her radiance, tonight hubby and I had a glass of white wine named Chateau Ste Michelle, fromCalifornia, the region where she lived with her beautiful family.

Her husband set up a fundraiser today for the kids’ college education and I chipped in of course.

We always think we will all the time in the world to  see our friends, our loved ones, and meet and have fun, create memories and laugh or share difficult times. But we don’t. Life surprises us good or bad, sometimes contradicting our plans, and time is short.

Celebrate life and the ones you love, send the letter today, call, send the gift, do it before it’s too late.

Now, if you’ll excuse me friends, I have a bunch of letters to write, a bottle of champagne to open and down with friends, and a song to sing on the top of my lungs…

Love, Flo

PS take care of you