Bridget Spence was a remarkable woman. A “pearl of a woman.”
Words cannot fully express what I am feeling having learned that Bridget Spence has passed away a few short hours ago after an eight year battle with breast cancer.
Though I never had the honor to meet Bridget face-to-face, I was familiar with her story having been associated with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure events since 2006. She was diagnosed at the age of 21, just weeks after her graduation from college.
I read her blog, “My Big Girl Pants,” from time-to-time where she openly shared her story, not content to sit back and stay silent. Her writing style was just as genuine, upfront, and warm as her speaking style.
She had submitted herself to many clinical trials since her initial diagnosis, which gave her eight years of life. This past year she enrolled in another clinical trial, but her body could no longer handle the trial and she had to make a decision to prepare for the next step of her journey.
In late December, she wrote her final blog post. Facebook was abuzz among the 3-Day “community.” Bridget had written these words: “It is time for me to ask each of you to let me go. It is time to say goodbye…Please, don’t forget about me.”
In January, people from all over the world–some who knew her, many who only knew of her–showed their support of her with A Pearl to Bridget Project to ensure she knew she would never be forgotten. To witness just how many people shared of themselves and then to see the results of this project was heartwarming and awe-inspiring. (Click on the link for the results to see the pearl strands created for and sent her in January.)
Late last night, Bridget donned her angel wings and took flight. Her husband, Alex, whom she called “Big Man,” and her mother were by her side.
There were many more around the world who have been touched by the way she LIVED her life in the face of her challenges. She taught us all about living life with zest, vigor and a passion to make a difference in the lives of others and in this world. And she shared a wisdom with the world that some others never seem to learn:
I task all of you to spend time…taking stock of your lives…(not) your career goals or material possessions. Take a look at your character…relationships…at the friends around you, because at the end of your lives, your relationships are what endure even after you are gone. Your relationships and your character are what matter and they are all that matter.” (excerpt from Bridget’s blog, dtd 6/4/2010)
You can now rest peacefully, sweet Bridget, in the knowledge you will always endure and never be forgotten.
THE POWER OF ONE
One thought…one idea…one pearl… for one woman. One “pearl of a woman”. That’s all it takes to make a difference. One… one at a time. Never underestimate… the potential…the power… the impact…the reach… that “one” can have. (Coral Levang, 1/25/2013)