Her name was Paula and I met her three or four years ago when she arrived on a message board that I've been frequenting for about five years now. A group of us from Louisiana had our own thread there where we checked in on each other and talked about life and mostly talked about food. Paula was originally from Louisiana and was living in Austin, Texas. When she arrived at the message board and saw the Louisiana thread she introduced herself and jumped right in.
The Louisiana gals bonded together easily. We had tons to talk about because we all love this state passionately. We learned that Paula was a wife and mom, a year younger than me, with a wonderful husband from Venezuela and two great kids. We also learned that she'd won a battle with non-hodgeskins lymphoma just months earlier and was about to get her medi-port removed. We celebrated with her.
But within six months during a routine scan, her oncologist found another spot. That's when Paula realized that she was involved in a war rather than just a battle.
Paula was one of the toughest women I've ever known. She battled long and hard with her cancer and she was determined not to let it beat her. She was determined to be a mom to Maddie and John and a wife to Carlos and a friend to all of us. She was candid about her struggles and would tell us when she was having bad days. We gave her a place to vent that was full of love and friendship.
Many of us never met Paula in person although a blessed few actually did. But every one of us knew her heart and what a good woman she was.
Paula lost the war yesterday morning. I got the news today from one of our good friends. I couldn't stop crying for over an hour after we hung up the phone.
Paula, you will truly be missed but you will always be in our hearts and minds. We know that there is a new angel tonight watching us from above. Godspeed, sweet friend.