Three years ago this month we launched Baby Or Bust. A launch that quite honestly wouldn’t have occurred without the help of Jeremy. He brought this site to life and exceeded our imaginations. He wasn’t alone in his support though. Our friends rallied around us from day one and have yet to relinquish that support.
One of those supporters was Anna.
See, we have this incredible group of friends from college. The type of friends you hope you’ll be lucky to find. Amongst that group is Jonathan. It was in our last year or two of college, and I hadn’t known Jonathan long, when I was introduced to Anna. And Jonathan and Anna hadn’t been dating long either.
In the early days of Baby Or Bust, Anna’s letter was one of the first we received. Don’t ask me why, and it’s always been this way, but I so vividly remember Anna’s letter. We received so much mail, but no single piece stands out in my mind the way Anna’s does. Inside was a donation along with a note that read “From one infertile woman to another.”
I think it was truly the first time I recognized that clearly other people go through this, but someone else close to us would have to as well.
Right around the time I met Anna she was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. An unbelievable diagnosis for anyone, and a shocking one for someone our age. For someone we knew. That’s the kind of thing that always happens to other people.
It never seemed like it “happened” to Anna though. Anna was never one of those people who you felt sorry for.
I can’t ever remember a time when you couldn’t think of Anna as having this amazing energy, optimism, strength and kindness. That last one stands out the most to me, kind, generous and such a gentle soul.
I shared online last night that Anna truly taught us what it means to be strong, and what it means to live. Since her diagnosis she completed her bachelor’s degree, went on to OU Law and graduated, passed the bar exam, practiced law, married the love of her life and bought a home. That feels like more than people do in an entire lifetime, and she did it all in her 20s.
Anna fought the cancer with every ounce her body and mind had to give. She never took it lying down and never made it seem like this was impossible. I think that’s why so many of us were hit so hard by the news early last week that this race wouldn’t end the way we wanted it to.
Last night we learned that Anna had left us. But only in the physical. I don’t know that Anna will ever leave any of us lucky enough to have known her.