Tuesday, December 27th, my friend Keasha lost her battle to lung cancer….one month to the day after her wedding, and not quite a full year after her diagnosis. New Year’s Eve we all headed to Williamston, SC to say goodbye to our sweet friend
I wrote a few posts ago (here) about how special of an experience her wedding was…. a beautiful day, and so fitting for my beautiful friend. It was single handedly the greatest display of true love that I’ve ever witnessed…and I feel so honored and thankful that I was able to attend such a touching event.
I’ll never understand why I was given a second chance at life, and Keasha and so many others who’ve lost their battles with cancer were not….because if anyone deserves one, it was Keasha. She fought her battle courageously and with a positive outlook, while I often retreated to a corner and felt sorry for myself.
I remember talking to Keasha in the beginning stages of her diagnosis and treatment…comparing notes about chemo, radiation, and all of the awful side effects. Some women bond over pregnancy….Keasha and I bonded over cancer. It’s still so hard to believe that she’s gone.
Keasha, one of the very first people to email me after my own diagnosis…
“Bills this is Keasha. I’m sure you have been bombarded with messages, but I want you to know that I think you are a wonderful woman and my prayers are sent up for you. I know you will be fine and that right now it’s tough. I don’t want to sound too churchy but God has sent you angels & it’s your friends and family. You need anything from me I am here…even in HOTlanta. I love you girl and stay strong. Your friend Keasha.”
Keasha, who even in her last days, found the strength to text message me after my marathon….
“Congrats on race yesterday. U r amazing.”
Her funeral was truly a celebration of life. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very tough day to see someone so young and full of life taken in such a short amount of time….but it was equally as uplifting to see the number of lives that she touched and impacted before her passing. After hearing all of the kind words, funny stories, and emotional memories that were shared during the service, one thing was evident….Keasha loved life, and lived every day to its fullest. Said best by her husband….
“Not just an inspiration, but a light, and a force that led the way with a beautiful, sweet smile and bright shining eyes that both belied the pure steel of her strength and determination.
Strong is too pale, too shallow and too small of a word to describe Keasha’s vibrancy… Quite simply, she was ferocious. She fiercely held onto life, and love with a forcefulness that was absolutely awe-inspiring and completely breathtaking. Rest in peace, Mrs. Draft.”
In honor of my friend, I can’t think of a better new year’s resolution for 2012….”love life and live every day to its fullest.” She is, and will always be, a reminder of how precious life truly is.
Photos from 57 weeks post chemo are below…
And now photos from 59 weeks post chemo…