My beautiful and talented friend Lucie was lead to heaven by the angels on Thursday, after a long illness. She was a loving wife and mother, a ballet dancer, artist, volunteer for multiple causes, and a gracious friend to many. I know her spirit will live on in all who loved her and in the ballet school and dance students she devoted so much time and inspiration to.
I have so many happy memories that I shared with Lucie over the years I knew her. We first met when her son was in kindergarten and my children were just a couple of years older. I was part of the Parent's Association and we were busy setting up for the annual holiday boutique fundraiser, where the students could come to buy gifts for their parents and siblings. Lucie came in shyly at lunch time, as she did not know anyone in the PA as yet, but wanted to join and help. She had her toddler daughter with her and brought home made baba ghanoush spread for us to share with our usual PA lunch of bagels and cream cheese. When I saw her I immediately knew I was going to like her. We began to talk, and it wasn't long before we became good friends.
In our busy lives we, along with Rosemary, another dear friend, always took time to take daily early morning walks in our local park. We walked for over 15 years together, in all of the seasons, in all kinds of weather. Lucie and Rosemary were power walkers, and I often had to huff and puff behind, sometimes taking photos and then running to catch up with them! As we walked around the park we talked about everything--our husbands, our children, our vacations, our jobs, politics, art, current affairs, recipes, and our pets---basically our lives.
When Lucie was getting chemo treatments she often had little energy and instead of walking she took her dog into the middle of the park to run around with the other dog walker's dogs, but whenever she felt strong enough she would join us for our last lap around the park. She handled her illness with bravery--never letting it make her sad or discouraged, She kept hope in her heart, even when faced with circumstances that would defeat many. When I was moving to Colorado we all met together for one last breakfast-- I had tears in my eyes to leave my two wonderful friends behind!
In Lucie's last days in the hospital our friend Rosemary brought her a bouquet of daffodils from both of us. We always looked forward to seeing the daffodils blooming in the park, as it meant Spring and nicer weather was on its way. They are a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings. Sadly, I was not in Brooklyn for Lucie's last days, but I was able to talk to her over the phone to tell her I loved her and to wish her a peaceful journey.
My husband and I planted daffodil bulbs in our garden this past fall, and when I see them bloom this Spring I know Lucie's beautiful spirit will be there among them, smiling at me and telling me everything is good, everything is OK.
There are no sad goodbyes dear friend! Your beautiful light has not been extinguished--it lives on in all of us who have loved you!