This is not a post about home décor or renovations, so if that’s what you’re looking for, feel free to skip this one.
I know this blog is mainly about home-building but on occasion that means talking about the special people in my life who help make this house a home. Willow is one of those people. I’ve known her about eight years now and we were fast friends right from the beginning. Did you ever meet someone and feel an instant connection, feel like there was a reason you couldn’t fully comprehend at the moment as to why they walked into your life? That’s Willow. She’s a beautiful sweet spirit, inside and out and she has changed my life immensely.
Willow is 33 years young. For the last three years she has been battling cancer, first, breast cancer, and now, something bigger. But you would never tell it to look at her. I often find myself trying to squeeze into her social calendar… in between her rock-climbing, biking, snowboarding, yoga, skating, helping friends, spending time with family, socializing, and volunteering, there’s only ever a few brief moments to share a meal and catch up! We talk about life, love, and the universe often and I can’t help but be inspired by her presence. It is one of optimism and grace, of calm serenity and gentle strength, of grabbing hold and embracing every last bit of happiness – and quietly tolerating the sadness.
This weekend, Willow will take on one of her biggest challenges… she will bike over 200km in The Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting the Princess Margaret Hospital. Is she a cyclist? No. Will she finish on her own? Its doubtful. Will there be pain? Most definitely. Yet, she will do it, showing the same determination she does in everything she does. And next week, she will start another round of chemo. Remarkable.
Willow doesn’t know it yet but there will be 26 of us there to cheer her on at the start and greet her at the finish line. It’s a small thing, all of us being there for 6:30am tomorrow, compared to her journey. And at the end of it all, someday soon, Willow and I will be sitting on a sofa in my half-finished living room, talking about the bike ride and the chemo and the kitchen renos and the crazy garden…because life goes on and the best we can hope to do is spend it wisely, in homes filled with love, with those we love.
Go fille folle! I’ll see you at the finish line.