Sunday, March 15, 2015

remembering the good and the bad

In 2010, a good friend of mine
was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
She was 50.
She was a good mother.
She was a professional photographer,
a nature lover,
a woman filled with wisdom
and hilarious as hell.
The illustration below
is from one of her self portraits.
When my own mother was diagnosed
with the same cancer in 2011,
Liz would send me words of wisdom
to share with mom
about what she could expect from chemotherapy.
It feels like being hit
by a fucking freight train!
she would say.
And then she would add:
but tell your mom things get better!
For a week after chemo,
she's gonna feel pretty useless...
drained of all energy -
but then after that, 
every day is gonna feel
like a gift from the gods!
Liz died on March 16, 2011
Mom died on Nov 17, 2012

This little piece of writing
was inspired by Liz.

I had a friend who had beautiful feet.
She didn’t think they were beautiful
because her mother told her they were ugly.
Told her she was ugly and stupid
and that she would never amount to anything.
She believed her mom for too long
and set her expectations lower and lower
until they were not far off the ground.
My friend died and left two boys.
She told her boys every day
that they could do anything in life
and that they had
the most beautiful feet
in the world.


  1. Aww, Pauline... my heart aches for you...two precious ones you lost so close together... what a beautiful tribute to Liz... words rich in their honest simplicity...words reaching far beyond feet and dignity. Right on.

  2. Oh my this is truly a tear jerker!! How horrible parents are to demean children!! I never understand that! Probably happened to them when they were kids and the beat goes on!! Such a lovely tribute to your friend and your mom! You had two big losses a year apart....that is so difficult. Yet it seems to happen that way!! I love how we can keep their spirit alive on the internet!! It's a wonderful thing...

    Hugs Giggles

    Hugs Giggles

  3. The self portrait is intriguing and beautiful. My heart breaks for all families who have to face cancer. The road is always bumpy.

    Peace to you.

  4. Pauline.....I read your posts, but don't usually comment. How sad for your friend, but how wonderful that she was able to encourage her own children. Thanks for your posts.

  5. So sad ... her portrait ist so beautiful!
    My mother died in june 2013 (it was cancer too)

  6. Beautiful eyes and such a touching post!

  7. What a nice heartfelt story! Thanks for sharing.

  8. What a heartfelt tribute to your friend Liz. She sounds like a memorable friend and I am sure you have many memories of your friendship. I can only imagine the heartbreak of losing such a vibrant friend.

  9. So touching...thank you for sharing.Sending you much, much love XX