April 23, 2012


I didn’t want to fuss with the title of this because her name alone is powerful and beautiful and while I think of her often, I don’t get to say it aloud enough.  So simply writing it helps.

My sweet friend Lisette would have been 40 tomorrow.  She died 1 day after her 39th birthday. Sometimes it seems like 10 years ago, others it seems like yesterday. I remember what I was doing. I remember what I was wearing. I remember the car that drove past on St. Mary’s Road as I looked down at my pone.  I remember the call in all of its haunting tragedy.  Lisette fought a short battle with leukemia. A battle in which there would be no victor. Had she fought harder she would have compromised her faith and her future in what she believed would be her after life.  I don’t think it really mattered in end. The type of leukemia she had was aggressive and acute and had been churning inside her body long before it was discovered.

I have thought of her often as I became a mother for the third time. And the funniest thing is that I find myself thinking “What would Lisette do?”  As in Colby’s first ear infection. Actually, a Colvin kid first. I really resisted antibiotics, opting instead for natural remedies as that’s what Lisette would have done. Only Lisette was MUCH better at this and she would know what to do that would actually work. Me?  Well, let’s just say my warm rice sock, saline spray and ibuprofen weren’t exactly successful. But I tried because I secretly want to do some things that I know would have come as encouraging advice from her.  And I just want to keep some of her alive and involved as weird as that sounds .. or looks as I write it. Really, a rice sock.  Like I said, weird.

I took many things from my friendship with Lisette. In her darkest days, nearing death, it would have been easy to turn my back on her.  I had one day of utter frustration and devastation. I was frustrated because in order to treat her leukemia, she would need a blood transfusion to boost her counts and give her strength, and as a devout Jehova’s Witness, that wasn’t something she could do and that tore me up inside as a mother.  Devastation because I knew without the transfusion that she would die soon.  It’s heartbreaking to know your friend is going to die. It’s CRUSHING to know that your friend knows she’s going to die and leave her children without her loving strength to guide them through life.  It’s not so much the leukemia that I hated. I hated that she had to know what was going to happen.  Thankfully she had her “faith.”  Even as bat shit crazy as that faith is, I take solace knowing her last days offered hope.  Not hope to live but hope and faith in all the bat shit crazy Jehova’s Witnesses coming back to life in one big, bat shit crazy party any day now.  Hey, you tell yourself what you have to, right?

In the end I learned from Lisette how to be a better mother and a better friend. It was all I could do to sit by her in the hospital while all the bat shit crazies made decisions on her behalf .. but that’s what you do. You stand by your friends and your husband and your family NO MATTER WHAT.  I am a stronger and more faithful person and my work in progress is reaching out, being more thoughtful and more supportive.  Friendship is a true gift and I strive to be as good a friend to each and every one of mine as Lisette was to me.  One of her last midnight notes to me follows.

Jen – I just wiped my tears after reading your latest post tonight – all three of your children are lucky to have a mother like you. I am grateful to have a friend in you. Bottom line – The world is a better better place because of you and Parker. Keep sharing!

I love you girlfriend 


PS. She is absolutley adorable! Can’t wait to celebrate with you. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!



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