My friend Anita died last night.

The news hit me today in the CNN newsroom like the blast of a bomb. I had fully intended to go visit her after my return to Atlanta this week. Now, I will never see her again.I will never hear her infectious laugh again. It made my husband Kevin’s bursting laugh seem demure.

 I probably never would have had the journalism career I have if it had not been for Anita. My resume landed on her desk somehow, and she wanted to hire me on the national copy desk. I will be forever grateful to her for having faith in me.

 Anita fought cancer for many years. Thursday night, she lost the battle. She left behind a beautiful daughter, Kc, who will now have to navigate life without the nurturing of her mother.

 Tomorrow, I journey to San Francisco, to be with another strong woman in my life — my aunt, my father’s little sister. I grew up calling her Phoolpishi, which means aunt of the flowers, her bloom faded with years of physical suffering.

Like with Anita, her cancer is back with a vengeance. Like Anita, she is strong. A fighter like I could never be.

She has endured and survived and is still with hope.I did not get a chance to see Anita again. Not on this earth anyway. But I will see my Phoolpishi tomorrow. And when I do, I will hear Anita’s laugh surround me, fill me with warmth like an old English hearth on a bone-chilling day.

One Reply to “Cancer”

  1. So sorry to hear about your friend, Moni. Cancer claims too many lives. She'll always be alive in your heart, though now I'm sure that is little comfort. xoxo, Robin


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