I still remember the day I found out my Joelle died. It was pretty traumatic for me. I remember the smell of Herbal Essence in my hair, my pink dental scrubs and the absolute HORRID life situation I was currently in. I remember these elements like they were yesterday. I NEVER thought something like this would happen to her or to me. But then again, who does?
8 years ago today Joelle Helene Bennett Strong passed away in Grande Prairie, Alberta. She was already sick (with cancer, unknown to her) and pregnant with her third child. She wanted the sex of the baby to be a surprise, but secretly she wanted a little girl-which it was.
She had been really sick for sometime, but during that night, I was told, was pretty hard on her. Her husband John took her to the ER and they knew something was really wrong. The did an emergency C-Section and when they pulled her baby out, she had a blood clot go to her heart. This is what initially killed her, however, they soon found out that she had cancer in every organ of her body. When you are pregnant, cancer spreads like wild fire.
The interesting thing of this all is 1 week before she passed away, I was coming down the stairs from the house I lived in with this strong feeling I needed to call and talk to her. When I got downstairs and was a few feet from the phone, the phone rang-it was her. We talked for a while and she told me she had been really sick and was worried about her baby's health as she had been taking a lot of Tylenol for the pain she was in. She asked me, "What if it is my time to go?" I blew that statement off telling her not to even think about that cuz she was only 23 years old and still needed to raise her babies. Little did I know... While at the funeral, I was talking with John about our conversation and he told me, "Oh she knew she was going to die, she talked about it the last 3 weeks of her life. In fact, it seemed like that's all she talked about."
It never seems right or fair when someone so amazing and good as Joelle has to die at such a young age. I can think of plenty of people more deserving of this then her. I know that sounds harsh, but I'm referring to really bad people that hurt and murder others. The next morning after she died, I was driving to work in hysterical tears-yeah, my Dr still made me come into work the next day. However, I remember HOW BEAUTIFUL especially it was that morning. I remember the gorgeous sun rays coming in from the sky. It was almost as though I could hear her voice saying, "Sherry, it's ok, I'm happy and this is part of MY plan." In some ways, it was a great comfort, in other ways, the tears couldn't stop falling.
The evening I had returned from Canada, there was a bouquet of beautiful white flowers and a card on my door. A dear, loving friend had thought of me in my time of need and took the time to comfort me. (Yet only another of the many reasons she is one of my most cherished friends)I am grateful for this person more then words can say. I am grateful for the chance I did have Joelle in my life. She had ALWAYS been such an example of everything to me. I wanted to be like her in pretty much every way. When I was going through my divorce, she called me EVERY WEEK for MONTHS just to check up on me and see how I was. She truly was the best cousin and friend.
I also believe that God puts people in our lives for a reason. He knows what we need and how to work through others for our souls to have great joy. I truly believe she still lives and is watching over me from time to time. I am also certain she took great care of my cute monkey until it was my turn to be a mother. Her husband and her children were her GREATEST joy in life. I miss her SO VERY MUCH!