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Beauty, even in sadness

Hi everyone,
This has been a hard week and a half.  My dear friend, Carla Armorgan Bailey, died of metastatic breast cancer last Monday, November 11th.  She was surrounded by her family and many friends and left this world knowing that she was dearly loved.  Though several people have died of cancer that I was acquainted with, Carla is my first "pre-cancer" friend to die of this disease.  She and I were chemistry graduate students at UT and if it weren't for a fateful birthday party of hers, Sanjay and I may not have ever started dating.  She was the kind of person who glowed from the inside-out.  Though she was definitely a physically beautiful individual, it was really her smile that could lighten your load and endear her to you.  She was someone who not only thought about others, she would actually act on her concerns.  I remember a time when I had moved back to Austin to work at IBM.  Carla was stuck at home, writing her dissertation and suffering from sciatica.  I was ill and she told me to come by for a quick visit.  I arrived to a sweet friend who listened to my troubles and provided freshly made chicken soup (she was a fabulous cook).  As I spoke to friends who had spent much more time with her recently, I heard similar stories about how she had reached out to others even during the midst of her own treatments. 
I rarely get sad or mad about cancer, but this week has been hard.  My own journey has been a walk in the park compared to Carla's.  Though she had only been living with a metastatic diagnosis for about a year (she was diagnosed two weeks after I was with "early" stage disease and went through surgery and chemo), her cancer reoccurance was swift and nothing that they gave her seemed to be able to stop it.  This is why we must not stop putting time, money and energy into research into how to prevent and treat metastasis.
Off my soap box and back to my friend.

Carla's funeral and wake were last weekend in NY.  I was floored by the outpouring of love by so many people this weekend.  It was hard to see so many people that were truly hurting because of the loss of Carla, but it was also wonderful to hear stories of how she touched others.  There were hugs shared by all, old friends getting re-acquainted, people becoming friends through their love of Carla, and a beautiful spirit among the people gathered in her memory.  May we all have such a positive impact in this world.  Carla Armorgan Bailey will always be an inspiration to me in how to live life with passion, style, and love.

Hugs and love to you all,
Sandra