On the 18th of March 2012, my friend, who meant so much to so many, passed away after a dreadful battle with cancer.

Anna was diagnosed with a brain tumor on the eve of her eldest starting Primary School in January 2008- a milestone she had been so completely looking forward to- and the diagnosis changed everything for her, her family and all of us who knew her……

(Anna and I with babies #2- 2004)

I met Anna and her hubby when Al and I headed off to pre-natal classes for our first born just over 10 years ago. We discovered we lived in the same suburb, so exchanged phone numbers and had a few chats before our girls arrived. ( I remember she told me she wanted 4 children- i thought she was nuts and probably told her so LOL).  Al and I were first with Chloe, and 3 days later Tara arrived, so we were both in hospital learning how to care for our newborns at the same time.

A few months later we started Mothers Group together and for the next 5 years saw each other at least once or twice a week. Our second children were born 3 months apart in 2004.

(she loved a good party, and this was a ripper- a friends wedding 2008- 7 months after diagnosis)

Last Friday at her service  we listened to  incredible speeches from 2 of her sisters and 2 friends she had known since primary school-they spoke of the Anna we all knew well (her love of cooking and throwing a party was legendary- as our frined  Helen mentioned, you didnt need breakfast when you were going to Anna’s for Mothers Group get togethers LOL). Her brave almost 10 year old Tara stood at the entrance of the Chapel before the service with a picture of her mum supported by her school friends that included our almost 10yr old Chloe.

And a slideshow 3 songs long with photo after photo of the extremely photogenic Anna was a poignant reminder to get the camera out often and include yourself in those pics too!

While Anna’s service showed us how Anna had lived her life, and made everyone laugh and cry,  it was her burial service that gave me some sense of peace. Anna is Chinese, and the rituals performed at the cemetery by her mum and aunts were so deeply respectful and beautiful I will forever be  grateful and honoured to have been a part of it.

(blinged up- at the same wedding)

This is just my own story of Anna- one of her greatest strengths was her ability to gather good friends – and there are so many people who have their own stories of Anna to remember too.

Hopefully one day there will be a cure to this insidious disease- it cant come too soon. There are many charities you can donate to to help cancer research- so if you have one you would like to contribute too- please do. I’m hoping in the coming months to help with some fundraising through Kabwares, and will let you know the details  at another time.

For now, Anna

Seeee yaaaaaaa