Meet my friend Erica. I’ll share her story here as it’s one that indeed should be told. She is an inspiration!
Erica and I grew up together and have similar family backgrounds. She was a soccer star in Chatham, NJ – the only girl goalie on a boys teams. Badass! I’ll spare you the embarrassing childhood memories (like our detective agency and playing with Cabbage Patch Kids) and even more embarrassing early-teenage memories (one of them included sneaking out of her two story bedroom by shimmying down on a garden hose attached to her bed frame…all the while she’s making me go first and saying “Don’t worry! I do this all of the time!” when she hadn’t. Introducing me to Jack Daniels – whom I have yet to meet since that experience. Your usual, run-of-the-mill adolescent stuff.
Erica was the first of my friends to get married, she met an amazing guy, Todd, while in College and they got engaged after graduation. I flew out to Michigan to be her Maid of Honor. Erica was one of my Maid of Honors (I had two) at my wedding, and agreed to wear – without complaint – the big poofy tulle dress I put her in despite her being pregnant – and rocked it (as did all of my girls- really…they were fun dresses, so, props to all of my girls)! She went to college in Michigan for something like physics but I’m pretty sure it’s more involved than that and is an Engineering Manager for Quest Communications but is seemingly as smart as a brain surgeon. I’m pretty sure she’ll email me to correct me on her title or her major in college. She exercises regularly, runs half marathons, marathons and triathlons and any other “thelons” you can think of. She’s very book smart while also being extremely creative (makes her own tufted headboards and stuff…the ONLY thing I didn’t get a photo of). We always go a long stretch of time without speaking – every 6 to 8 months seems the norm. We aren’t on the phone wishing each other Merry Christmas/New Years/Birthdays/mushy type. That’s just not our way – in fact, she’s probably pretty embarrassed that I’m bragging about her. It never needs to be explained and the only drama in our relationship is my constant nagging for her to relocate back to NJ. She has two amazing children, Conner & Allie. The last visit to our home was I believe December of 2007.
It was a spring day – April, I received a phone call from Erica. Actually – that’s not correct. I called HER after receiving a text message – Erica “What’s up, how are ya?” Me: “Good, you?” Erica: “Just got through Breast Cancer Surgery, doing well”. This is so Erica. Of course immediately I called her – and found out that she had found out in February that she had a cancerous tumor in one of her breasts, (noticed a pea sized lump) about 2 weeks later had a double mastectomy. Erica had no breast cancer in her family, and is 35 years of age and in perfect health. Once I got over the fact that she had been through this ordeal and hadn’t even let me know it was going on, I quickly made travel plans to go visit her during another one of her surgeries to help out with the kids, whatever I could do. I was only there for a few short days but I was so glad to be able to spend time with her and the family, and, especially – experience her children by spending the day with them.
She pumps gas too.
Erica & Todd’s house
I didn’t have the time to hike the Rockies, but I did get some quick opportunities to photograph them a little.
Different time of the day – the clouds are SO CLOSE you feel you could just reach up and touch them. These are some angry Colorado skies ( not the same day).
I had the opportunity to chill with the kids. Conner & Allie. I love them!
Of course, kids will be kids!
Some Colorado Rock
Conner’s eyes are always smiling!
Are these prairie dogs? They’re so cute!
Being pretty much a city girl, it’s not everyday you see buffalo in people’s back yards like pets.
Such fun! Then I let Conner drive home. (ha ha)
What a great lookin’ fam!
Some of my friends are going to be surprised that there’s actually an image without my zoolander face I do so well 😉
I’m happy to say that Erica will be celebrating her 1 year of being cancer free this April.
I was thrilled to hear that you’re already running marathons again. I love you and I am so very proud of you!