For a friend, for a mom, for a fighter and for a beautiful life. #FightLikeSarah

I first met Sarah through her Huff Post article around two years back. “Cancer does not define me, I am redefining cancer”.  I have known her since then, though I have never met her or spoken to her or even chatted with her. But like many others,  I have read every one of her published articles, watched her fight fearlessly for the last two years, followed her FB page, website and twitter. The closest I have got to interacting with her was leaving her a message or wishes on her FB page or telling her how she inspires in many different ways. 

Now, that she is gone, I have been secretly grieving her passing away. I have been thinking about her for more than a week now. I am saddened by her going away. I have not been able to put my thoughts aside. So I chose to write about it. Write about a person I knew only virtually yet it does not feel that way. 
Sarah Amento was a fighter, a ferocious and a graceful one. She fought for her kids. She fought to be a mom. She fought to stay alive because she loved being a mother. In her own words – “Fighting Breast Cancer, with strength, laughter, grace and a few tears! ‘Cancer does not define me, I am redefining cancer!’ StageIV Surviving!~Sarah”
In the last two years, if there is one thing that I have learned from observing her, is to live your today.  Live your dreams today. Live the smallest of your wish today. Tomorrow is unpredictable. Tomorrow may never come.Be the kind of person or parent you want to be today. Don’t procrastinate anything.

Yet I have done very little to implement it so far. I still live in the hope of another day, a new day, in the hope of doing everything tomorrow. She is of course not the first one or the only one to talk about it. Most people with life threatening ailments would tell you that.  There is no guarantee of life. 

Sarah never let Cancer conquer her spirits not matter how tough it got. It was not easy for her always but she was a true fighter. She wanted to live to see her five beautiful children grow and to be around them when they needed her. She wanted them to have their mom around to take care of them and just be around them. As a mother, I related to the sentiment the most, the desire for life not for yourself but for your kids. 
It became a habit to check for an update on her FB page. It was almost like checking in on a neighbor or calling a friend. When the frequency of updates decreased, I would worry for her. But she always came back. She always shared her story candidly. It must take a lot to share a slice of your life when walking through such trials and tribulations. She spoke extensively about her treatment and thus helping many in the same boat. It wasn’t just me but many looked forward to those updates. It was re-assuring in a way. We were all strangely interconnected in this virtual world. Some 10,000 or more strangers praying and hoping for a miracle for a person we knew only virtually. 
A few weeks back, the frequency of updates decreased again.  There were new tumors she was fighting with, we knew. There were more radiations, she shared pictures of them. There were more sick days, she wrote about them too.  And then after a while Sarah became too weak to update or write posts herself. But no one ever gives up hope for a miracle.There were whispers of hospice. More prayers and stronger wishes for a miracle poured in from all. Sarah was a fighter after all. 
So when the news of her passing away came, it seemed unbelievable at first and then sunk in gradually. It felt like losing a friend. It felt like losing someone I personally knew. Even while writing this post, I am overwhelmed with sadness, sometimes struggling with my words.

Sarah’s story is not the only one in the social media that witnesses such relationships develop and such outpouring of love and kindness. It is not the only one where people share personal stories with complete strangers. Stories of hope, miracle, agony, loss and lot more. Stories of a lifetime. 

Social media has a lot of perils but then it also has the power of connecting and bringing people together like never before. Just as Sarah touched many lives, I am sure the love from everyone made her own life more beautiful. The love does not diminish here. It stays on for her family, her beautiful children who meant everything to her and her husband who stood like a rock by her. 
As for me, I will keep reminding myself of doing what I love doing the most. Being a mom, being around my kids and loving them. Most importantly, remind myself of doing all the fun things with them and doing it today. Little things, little promises made to them. Little things like taking them to the park with the bigger play structure that they are so fond of or doing the clay project that will create a hell lot of mess or enrolling for a dance class with my daughter or just enjoying them without fussing over trivial matters. All simple things to do but sometimes we all get too caught up in the discipline of life and take it too much for granted. 
And whenever the Fight Song will play on the radio, I will always think of Sarah. (How she loved the song!)

#FightLikeSarah
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