It’s been a while since I’ve written a formal blog but if there was ever a good reason to do one, today is the day.
We’re all still reeling from the news that one of our local champions passed away yesterday. Her name is Nicole Jannis Marchand..I refuse to say “was”…because she still is…and she always will be with us. People like Nicole never leave us, their spirits live on in us, through us, and for us. Indomitable…there’s no other word to describe her.
I first met Nicole a few years back when I was hosting the CIBC Run for the Cure. She was the guest speaker and she was all set to give a speech to the crowd of over 2400 at Heritage Park. She was dressed in a cape and a super hero costume and although that stood out, what I noticed most about her, was her beauty and strength. Her resolve. She got up in front of the big crowd and gave one of the most memorable speeches I’ve ever heard. She spoke of her battle with cancer but also her love of life…her determination to fight…and shared advice for those that were fighting battles of their own. For someone so young, she spoke like an old soul.
I remember sending up a silent prayer at the time that she would be one of the lucky ones…that there was one more miracle out there for her…because she was such a source of strength and light for so many others. Unfortunately, her time ran out but her message is one we should all take into our souls and hang onto like it was our last breath.Her message? To LIVE…because not everybody gets to.
I see hundreds of memes on people’s Facebook pages about embracing life and living each moment like it were your last but to be honest…I don’t really pay that much attention to them. Until Nicole started sharing her journey on Facebook. Maybe it’s because I felt like if this girl…who had been handed a whole bushel of lemons…could pull up her pants and slap on some lipstick…then I could to…and how dare I take one minute for granted when Nicole would give anything to be promised any time at all. How dare I…how dare you…how dare anyone?
She really got to me…and in a world where inspirational memes and quotes on Facebook are like drinking from a fire hose…that’s really something. She is really something. So many people that share all of that, actually haven’t the foggiest idea how to actually do it. She LIVED those words…she never wavered…and collectively…we’ve all learned valuable life lessons from her. Lessons I hope we’ll never forget.
The best thing we can do for Nicole is to continue her fight and to live the message that she so desperately wanted us all to hear. The next time you feel like complaining…the next time you’re about to post a complaint on your Facebook page about your coffee order being wrong…the next time you catch yourself complaining about problems Nicole would have loved to have…we need to give ourselves a shake and start counting our blessings instead. You’re here. There’s your first one.
Over the past few years, even though I’ve only met her a few times, I, like so many of you, have checked in on her almost every day to see how she’s doing. My heart broke when she announced a few weeks ago that the end was likely near but somehow…I didn’t believe it. I was still shocked when I heard the news that she had passed. She seemed otherworldly…ethereal…an angel really…in life and in death.
I’ll leave you with the link to the CBCF website HERE because Nicole would have wanted us to keep fighting for her…and we will. Thank you sweet lady for the life lessons you taught all of us…for making every minute you spent on this earth count for something…and for inspiring us to step up and slap on some lipstick. RIP. TD