I never met her.
Even though I knew her for a year, I would not have been able to pick her out of a crowd.
She was introduced to me a year ago last September by a mutual friend, Warren Harbeck. He told me she had just been diagnosed with cancer and that perhaps she would like to talk to me about things. I agreed and soon the emails started coming.
She told me that she was going to have surgery at the end of the month and hopefully the outcome would be positive and she could begin healing. I was delighted that the surgery was to be immediate and that soon she would be on road to recovery, and I told her so.
The next email was even more hopeful. They had a cancellation and her surgery date was moved up. Again, I was happy to hear the news and sent her all the best for a speedy recovery.
Then, I waited to hear from her.
When I couldn't wait anymore, I emailed her to inquire about her health and the outcome.
Sadly, it was not positive.
There was not much they could do for her. The cancer was too advanced. She was scheduled to see an oncologist mid-October for a follow up.
Turned out that chemotherapy would only make her sicker and she elected to go in another direction.
I was devastated to hear her news but tried to be encouraging.
As Christmas approached, I decided to buy her a gift. I felt she needed a teddy bear to hug and I planned to leave it on her doorstep anonymously. To my dismay her address was not in the phone book, so I called her. She said she and her family were leaving for Banff the next day for Christmas, but she gave me her address and said she was at home.
I quickly grabbed my gift and drove to her house. I rang the doorbell twice, and when no one came to the door the light bulb went on in my head.
"I'm not supposed to meet this lady,” I thought. I hung my gift bag on the door and left.
A few days before New Year's she called to say she had received my gift, thanked me for it and wished me a happy New Year.
The New Year brought her many health challenges. I only know of the few she told me of. Her emails were always brief and to the point.
We planned to meet for coffee many times, but sadly her health would not permit it.
Then last summer, she sent me a card.
I was astounded, as I knew she was in much pain and yet she took the time to reach out to me with words of love and care.
I received one last email from her not long ago. Things were not great for her.
A few days ago, I went to her funeral. I thought I might recognize her picture on the program, but I didn't.
I never meet you Carol, but thank you for coming into my life and showing me that even though we may not have known each other, we are still all connected.