Six months ago I visited a blog whose author was participating in an invitation from friends of a young lady who was ill and battling cancer. The invitation was to send "flowers for Leontien.". I investigated further and discovered that Leontien was only 33 years of age and was suffering from a very aggressive form of cancer. Her future looked very bleak, and I wanted to help bring a smile to her face. It was the least I could do...
I was drawn to Leontien's story and discovered that she had accomplished so much in her short life...a degree in Agriculture...a move to the States...the purchase of a dairy farm... She was recognized by her piers for the management of this successful business. She was loving wife to Bastianne.
In short, Leontien was far...far more than a cancer sufferer.
I don't know the whole story but I know enough to recognize what a strong and determined soul she was. I know that she had a sense of humour...and I know that she loved her husband and family enough to keep picking herself up when there were times when she must have been tempted to just close her eyes and accept peaceful rest.
Several months after "Flowers for Leontien," I participated in "Leaves for Leontien," and sent her off a picture of a tree cloaked in leaves of reds and yellows, oranges and rust. I hope she enjoyed it. It was the least I could do.
A few weeks ago, Leontien wrote a post that said both thank you...and goodbye. Leontien spoke of the miracle of the kindness of others...many that she could not meet and would never know. Leontien passed away this week.
Heroes walk amongst us. Some battle illness with great courage. Some are, as Bastianne is...and her family are...pillars of great strength. How difficult it must have been to watch someone you love, suffer so greatly.
Today is Leontien's 34th birthday. Her friends requested that we do a random act of kindness in her honor. For you, and in your honor, Leontien, I visited a co-worker who is battling cancer and presented her with a bouquet of carnations, and several balls of wool to keep her hands busy. She smiled. I know she liked your gift. In your honor, I called a friend who is nursing her terminally ill father and volunteered to do shopping for her. She was grateful.
I, too, am grateful to have "known" you. I am grateful to have been able to be a participant ...in a small way.
I want to thank the friends of Leontien for organizing "Leaves...and Flowers, and random acts of kindness.". You, too, are heroes in my eyes. I hope that "Random acts of kindness" is continued in her memory.
So... Happy Birthday, Leontien... Rest peacefully... You will never be forgotten.