Happy Birthday, Denise

This morning our dear friend Denise succumbed to the cancer she had been fighting on and off for several years. Denise was like family to our clan. She was one of my Nana's closest friends and regularly came up to LA with her to spend the day with us. She was one of the first to hold Archer as a baby. Fable, too. And she loved all of us with her whole heart. It was palpable, the love. I'm sitting here typing this and I know she's not here but I can still feel her, you know? I can feel her love in my hair and her hands on my shoulders and her eyes on my words.

In a January post I included a passage from a letter she wrote when her Cancer came back.

"So here's the plan: we go forward with joy, hope, gratitude, courage and humor, we boost each other up with love and encouragement, and we don't take things too seriously..."

And for the last nine months she's done exactly that. For as long as I've known her she's done exactly that. 

Two weeks ago, when she was released from the hospital to go home, we sent her a care package and the kids drew her pictures. Fable's drawing was of rainbows and flowers and Archer's was of cities and roads. I explained to them that Denise was very sick and that soon she wouldn't be here anymore, not with us in this life, so if they wanted to write something to say goodbye that would be nice.

Fable thought about it for a moment. "Can mine say Happy Birthday, love Fable?"

I wrote the "Happy Birthday" part because Fable couldn't and then passed the pen to her so she could sign her name.

"Love, Fable," she wrote, before filling the rest of the page with hearts.


We love you, Denise. Thank you for your courage and humor. Thank you for boosting us all up with love and encouragement and reminding us, every day, not to take things too seriously. We will miss you with everything.
IMG_8534 Page full of hearts,