Do you know someone who seriously doesn’t know what they are worth?
Do you know someone who, despite tragedy and circumstance, still tries to look for that little sliver of sunshine even when their entire world feels black?
Do you know someone who tries so hard to please everyone and make others happy that they forget about themselves?
Do you know someone who has a heart the size of the moon and would do anything for their loved ones?
Do you know someone who is so completely talented that it blows your mind and you strive to be like them?
Do you know someone who is beautiful inside and out and really doesn’t seem to know it?

I do. I know someone who has made an impact on me and she probably has no idea how much. This lovely lady is someone who I am proud to call one of my best friends. If you are lucky enough to be one of my best and closest friends, consider yourself extremely lucky because I don’t trust many people. There are very few that know me, the real me, as well as these people who I consider to more family than friends.

So why write about one in particular? Well, because this lady is one who needs to know how much she is loved and how much she is worth. Especially to me. I’m not saying that the rest don’t deserve to know how I feel about them either, but this girl, woman actually has been through things that I cannot even imagine and I can barely comprehend. Her name is Lisa and she is my favourite trainwreck! (Don’t worry, she gets the reference!)

I met Lisa in my first year of university. A pretty, bubbly, fashionable blonde dynamo packed into a small package boosted by her favourite heals. We had psychology together and discovered that we were in the same writing program. We became study buddies and later friends. Now at first Little Miss Trainwreck was sort of just that. She had a huge zest for life and love to party. I even remember her being kicked out of psych class for shwoing up drunk. Yes, I did say drunk. Not hungover, as that requires going home to sleep first, but stone cold drunk. Ever the dedicated student, Miss Trainwreck was out partying all night but knew that she needed to be in class and didn’t want to miss it. I don’t think I ever laughed as hard as I did in school that day when our professor dismissed her claims of being fine stating that “you need to go home. You smelly boozy.” That actually still sets me off into a fit of giggles because of how offened Lisa looked as she waddled out of the classroom. I say waddled because those heels that she favours are like  four or five inches and if you have ever been to a bar, you’ll know the waddle I am referring to. I remember talking to her later that evening after she had gone home to bed and we laughed about it as I told her what she missed for assignments. Her care-free attitude was something that stood out about her. What really got me was the fact that she was always partying yet somehow managed to get better grades than me, and I was busting my ass! I still don’t get that! LOL!

Lisa is three years younger than I am, a fact she LOVES to rub in my face. So much so that she calls me an old woman. HA! But since this old woman has a good sense of humour, I let it slide. When she’s my age, she’ll understand! 

At the end of our second year of school, things changed. Lisa changed. Just before her 23rd birthday, Lisa was diagnosed with stage three Melanoma. Cancer. If there is ever something that will be life changing, that would be it. It didn’t make any sense. Smart, talented, young and beautiful girls don’t get cancer. They aren’t supposed to. They are supposed to have their whole lives ahead of them. This was the ultimate blow.

Lisa is a girl who likes to look good. She expresses herself through fashion, and always had her hair done and make-up on. She was also a tanner. She felt better about herself with a tan. Not unlike so many people out there, especially young, vibrant people. When Lisa had asked her doctor to remove a mole that she felt was ugly, they biopsied it like they do whenever they remove moles. Just to be on the safe side. Thanks to vanity (and yes, we are all vain to some degree!), Lisa learned that she had cancer. A devastating, life altering disease. I could go into details more about this, but anyone who knows someone with cancer knows how difficult it is to be told those fateful words.

Flashforward to this year. Almost three years later, Lisa is still battling her way against cancer. How she does it I’ll never know. This is a woman who, not only decided to finish university, but finished by taking almost full-time classes while in treatment for her cancer. It still boggles my mind. University education is stressful  and all consuming enough without having to fight for your life. I know I struggled to stay afloat. How she did it, obtainining amazing grades and fighting for her life, I will never know. She was an inspiration to me for sure. Especially when I sruggle to continue on. I told myself if Lisa could get through this, then I could too.

2012 has been a majorly difficult year for both Lisa and I. We both have lost people who have been important to us and people who have been instrumental in shaping who we are. Emotionally it’s been a trainwreck of a year. However, not only has Lisa lost a few special people in her life, she has also been dealt some blows health-wise. Any little cold or flu has the potential to become something serious. Without getting into too many details, things are in a precarious place for her right now and I know that she is struggling with that. It doesn’t help that some of the people that she has lost were major sources of support and encouragement during her treatment.

My wish for Lisa is simple. I want her to know that she is not alone through this.

Lisa, you are a strong, beautiful, talented, loving person. You are capable of things that many people can only wish for. Your talent as a writer is something that I apsire to. Your words and emotions jump off the page and hit right into the very core of your readers. You have a style that truly is unique and all your own. You are not only destined for success, but I know that you are going to achieve whatever you put your mind to.

Your strength is also something to be desired. You may not feel strong all the time, and that is okay. But I want to remember, that you are a strong person. You have already overcome so much in your life. I know it’s hard to be positive when the world seems to crashing all around you. Although you may not feel strong or feel like being positive, that is okay too. But just remember, those that are truly strong aren’t afraid to ask for help. The strong also admit when they are scared and sad. That is how they begin to heal. And I know you will get through these tough times as there are so many people who love you. I will always be here for you. Whether you text me at 3am ranting, call me crying, whatever. You are not alone. Believe that.

Your kind, caring, passionate heart is my favourite thing about you. No matter what hell you are going through, you are always there for the ones you love. To you it doesn’t matter how petty the problem is, or how silly the situation, you are always there to offer love, support, and understanding. I always feel like a crybaby when I am complaining to you about something trivial because if there is one thing I know, it could always be worse. But yet, you never tell me to shut up and get some real problems. You always listen, never judge, and offer your advice. I cherish this about you as these qualities are rare and yet you offer them to everyone. I thank you for that.

You are true beauty personified. Your love shines out through your heart. You touch everyone you met. I hope you know that you have impacted me for the better and I am grateful for that. I am grateful for you.

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