My friend Monica died this morning.
Some people, when you meet them, it's like a Kodak moment. Snap! You never forget the second they stepped into your life. I met Monica at a reception at a fundraiser for the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.
She had black hair, dark eyes, lipstick that matched her purse, shoes and fingernails, and had an energy that lit up the room. What a human sparkler. She made everyone around her feel just as bright.
Monica left Cleveland for D.C a year or so ago and started up her own company. I was sitting in a book signing at a Costco in May when her aunt stopped by and said, "Did you hear about Monica?" I hadn't.
Monica had a headache that wouldn't go away. It turned out to be brain cancer. She had to close up her business and move back to Cleveland for treatments. When they did tests, they found cancer everywhere, her brain, her spine, her abdomen, her lungs. She called me the night before brain surgery. "I haven't even lived yet," she said. "I'm only 38."
From May til today, she fought like hell to live. She bounced back from brain surgery, from chemo, from brain radiation, from physical therapy to walk again, from every side effect and set back cancer threw at her.
It's so sad to lose someone who was such a light in this world, and in mine. Monica always greeted me with, "Hi, doll." She's the only one in the world who called me doll. She made me feel so special. That was one of her superpowers. To make others feel special.
She always reminded me to "carry as you climb." Bring others with you up the ladder. Share the journey.
Thank you, Monica, for sharing yours.