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For ages this was the only image I ever had of Lee, from her Facebook page… and I came to think of her as this sassy Raggedy Ann chica. Then at long last I had the chance to meet her in person when I was in Madrid last January. She was still quite weak from cancer treatment, but was up for going out to have lunch, and we spent a lovely afternoon together.

Lee said she thought of me as her “cancer sister” because reading about my various struggles with cancer on my blog helped her when she was diagnosed. We could compare notes, as it were, and although our situations were very different, Lee felt like I would at least “get” what she was talking about. And yes, I think I did. I also got to enjoy chat sessions with a bright and funny woman, who loved cats as much as I do. I was also thrilled to meet her beautiful boy Tony during that last visit.

Anyhow, this morning I was out at that gastronomy event by the river and was randomly going through messages while enjoying a beer in the sun. Then I saw a message request on FB from someone I didn’t know. I clicked on it, and it was Lee’s dear friend Chris, telling me as delicately as possible that Lee had passed away a few days ago. And since then I haven’t known what to feel. Because the feelings are all so mixed up, the happy and sad ones, the scary and hopeful ones. And the worst one of all, the one I can’t yet accept – that I won’t ever be able to talk to Lee again. So for now, that’s all I can say. Except… be sure to hug someone you love today, and let them know how much they mean to you, how much you love them.  xx

Lee and I enjoying a fabulous lunch at Tandem in Madrid