So I was thinking…about my friend Gina. Today we sent my friend Gina home to God. Gina lost her fight against cancer last Friday, and she (and her family) have been in my thoughts all week. Gina fought her battle against cancer for four years! But, that was Gina, she was a fighter.
I met Gina through (you guessed it) hockey. We struck up a conversation one day and never looked back. We “hockey Moms” spend a lot of time at the rink for practices and games. We build bonds that non-hockey people just don’t understand. Gina was a beautiful person both on the inside and on the outside. She had gorgeous red hair, and a smile that would light up any room. She used to laugh at me as I sat there at practice either cross-stitching or card-making or whatever I chose to do that day. She would love to see the progress of my projects.
When Gina got sick, I would pick up her sons (Ian and Trevor) and bring them to practice for her. As sick as she was from the the chemo and radiation, she always came out and thanked me and helped the boys load their gear into the truck. She never once complained about how she felt, or why this was happening to her…as far as she was concerned, this illness was just a bump in the road. The doctors at one point said she probably had six months or so…she lasted four years! She was NOT going to give in. She always told me she would not let the disease take her time away from her kids…Ian, Trevor, Zachary, and Kayleigh.
We used to lament about the fact that we never got to hang out at hockey tournaments. Her son, Ian, was a year younger than my Michael, and her son Trevor, was a year older than my Danny. So, the odds were stacked against us from the beginning…then there was Lake Placid! A whole group of Monarch teams decided to go up to Lake Placid. We finally got our “road trip!” It is a memory I will treasure forever.
I am going to miss my friend. I am especially going to miss our hugs. Every time we saw each other we’d give a great, big hug. Had I known our last hug was the last hug I may not have let go. I just know that hockey won’t be the same without her. I know she is at peace now, and that she wouldn’t want us all to be sad. But I am…and you know what? She would say that is ok too.
I miss you already, Gina! I hope you are at peace and free from all the worry and pain you’ve endured the last four years. I love you, my friend.