Vanna, On Her First Anniversary

Today went like any other regular work day.  It was overcast in the morning over the Bay Area.  It had been raining since yesterday.  They promised some sun by the afternoon.  And indeed, the sun came out but the air still carried a chill that pinched cheeks and caught breaths.

But today was not so ordinary, really.  A year ago today, a dear friend passed away.  I had talked about her in my previous entries.  I can’t express enough how her illness and her eventual passing has affected me in so many ways. I’ve had family and friends pass on over the years. But Vanna was a very close and dear friend.

Vanna L. Virata, 1959-2011

And so, at the start of my day today, I talked to Vanna.  I talked to her while I was getting ready in the morning, in the car while driving to work, and in my head when I had a moment to spare in between meetings.

I told her how our lives have been since last year.  I told her how I have missed her calls or her witty remarks.  I also told her that I still can’t believe she’s gone or that events progressed as they did, leading to her death.

I confessed to her that when I read Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson, when I reached the part about Steve’s diagnosis of cancer and the tortuous path he chose until his eventual death, I could not help but be reminded of how it was with her.  There were too many similarities:  The refusal to accept the diagnosis, the delay in the surgery, the psychological angst over body images.  And even through the subsequent treatments, there were the constant debates and battles to convince what is best, the very unusual diets and practices, the peculiar consultations.  And yet, all through this, Steve, like Vanna, was surrounded by family and friends who rallied around them, continued to love them in spite of harsh words/treatment, no matter how inane or surreal the situation.

And so, this evening, I want to celebrate my friend on the first anniversary of her passing.  But I want to applaud the family and friends, and any other unsung heroes—doctors, nurses, caregivers, chauffeurs, helpers, transport team, who have steadfastly persevered with Vanna and her battle. Such is the dedication of the circle she has been embraced by since her childhood days.  The rest of us can only hope to be deserving of anything remotely similar.

We said we would not forget.  And we have not.

Related:

It’s Vanna’s Birthday!

This entry was posted in Cancer, Childhood Friends, Death, Death Anniversary, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Vanna, On Her First Anniversary

  1. Lucid Gypsy says:

    So very sad, I hope it has helped to write about the loss of your dear friend.

  2. Pingback: Saudade | Not the Family Business!

  3. auntyuta says:

    Sorry about your loss, Mary-Ann. And thanks for sharing.

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  5. munchow says:

    It’s always sad to loose a close friend. But you have brought her alive with this wonderful post. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate her memory. And remember she will always be alive in you and in her friends and love ones. Thanks for sharing her memory.

  6. Your friend is smiling now wherever she is knowing how she is well loved and honored by you. You are a true friend. It is sad to loose someone you love. there is no replacement. Sorry for her passing. I know she is happy and will always look out for her family even she is no longer physically present with us.

  7. Writerlious says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us all, Mary Ann. It sounds like Vanna was an amazing friend.

  8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Vanna. Remembering her on her 1st death anniversary with fondness is a nice way to pay homage to a dear friend.

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