July 10, 2015

Lisa, the Bold Soul, my friend... Adieu.


It is really hard to put down in words this very sad eulogy to a friend.

  Lisa Taylor Huff


Lisa was the kind of person who you liked immediately, she had a charm about her, a charisma, that attracted others to her... and she touched their lives permanently with her deep Joie de Vivre.

I first met Lisa at a blogger's picnic back in 2007, when I was pretty new to France and barely knew anyone here, especially not fellow English speakers or other ex-pats. But then, there was the wonderful world of blogging and this whole new internet universe that we call the, 'Blogosphere.'  I started blogging back in spring of 2007, and there was a very cool Blogger's Picnic Event where I met fellow expats like myself who had transplanted themselves to Paris.  It was here that I first met, Lisa. As we sat on the pelouse at the park, Buttes de Chaumont, she told me about what brought her to Paris and how much she loved it. She did not really speak French, but that didn't matter... She was a Paris-o-phille and was determined to make her life here in the City of Lights.  Lisa and I kept in touch through blogging and I read her blog avidly, for her stories where so interesting and her experiences of moving to and living in France were very similar to my own... She wrote about her daily experiences, trials and tribulations, and how she loved Paris. Then she met George, her other half; her soulmate. Their love story is one of the most touching and marvelous stories I have known, a true love that was pure destiny. Lisa and George married and had a very happy life together...

Over the years, I saw Lisa, as she worked at Aimee's lovely tea salon, l'Oisive Thé and she and Aimee were very dear and close friends.  She also became a French citizen and was so proud to be French.  She helped me so much with all the questions I had about the process and gave me a lot useful information.  Lisa was also involved in a very important campaign to help preserve a historic bridge in Paris, Pont des Arts... It had been attacked by Love Locks for years, and she and her dear friend, another Lisa, decided it was time to do something. Together, the two Lisas worked so hard, and finally, and long overdue, they won the battle against the Love Locks...

Lisa had found out not that many months ago, that she had kidney cancer... She went in for kidney stones, and found out then, that she also had cancer... She had surgery and was doing chemo to fight the cancer... During this time, I was able to meet with Lisa and spend a wonderful afternoon with her at Aimee's Tea Salon... I was sure that she would have this one beat.. It just seemed so sure that everything would be okay, that SHE would be okay and that she would just jump over this hurdle and get back to her life... She was a fighter, she was a Bold Soul... She gave it her all..

There is one thing that does really SUCK in this life, though... It is CANCER, FUCKING CANCER! It took my mom, my friends' moms, my dear and beautiful friends Mira and Manda, my friend's husband Joao.. Damn this cancer.. It seems to win 99 percent of it's battles.  George said something in his first and last blog post on Lisa's blog, he said... 'Lisa was fighting for LIFE, not for cancer...' These words ring so strongly in my ears... It is so true.. for my Mom, for Mira, Manda, Joao.. They are fighting to LIVE, because they want to stay here with us, and also because it is NOT there time to leave us... But, sadly... we have no control over that. People we love so dearly are so violently snatched from us...

We do not want them to suffer, and yet, we want them to stay.. But, Lisa has found peace now, and she suffers no more... My heart is filled with so much sadness over the loss of this very dear and precious person... WHY is life so unfair?!  My heart breaks for Georges, for his kids and family, for Lisa's family, for all of us, her friends... and all those who knew here who were touched and ispired by her...

She lived her life BOLDLY, she showed us how to follow our dreams and to make them come true!

Lisa, I am so terribly sad that you are gone, I wish it were not so, I still cannot believe that you are gone, and I know that you have found peace, this is what gives me comfort. But, you left us way to soon, your candle should not have burned out yet... You were a true inspiration to me and I admire you so much dear friend.  I only wish we all had more time with you, to have George grow old with you and to continue to live out the rest of your life until you were a ripe old age.

Godspeed Lisa, and we will keep you in our hearts and in our very cherished memories...

I have included below, George's first and only post on Lisa's blog, 'The Bold Soul.'  It is a very touching and beautiful hommage to his beloved Lisa, his true love and soulmate. It is so beautiful, and his love for her pours out in his final farewell.

Seren(dip)ity

This is Georges, writing this blog post. This is my first and last post here.
This is for you, readers of The Bold Soul from all over the world, readers of this inspiring blog. This is also for you, strangers of the world who discover what she says and shows to us.
This is in the name of Lisa, the one and only Bold Soul, my soulmate, my love, my wife.
You read the last post from Lisa, dated exactly one month ago. This will be the last ever from her.
Lisa died Monday evening in Paris. The cancer was too strong, too quick, too violent. Happily, Lisa died peacefully , while deeply asleep, with her family around. And we could exchange with her in the last few days.
Lisa left us to join the Universe somewhere, elsewhere anyway than in my arms. Peacefully ? Who can be at peace with such unfairness ? Lisa had such positive energy, boldness, charisma and so many colors that she was strongly determined to fight. You can’t win all battles. She lost this one against an unfair aggressor. Serenity is to accept and refuse at the same time. To use serendipity to change your life, the lives of others. She changed my life. My true love.  And, as she said, it is important to fight for something, not against something. She was fighting for life, not against cancer.
Thank you Lisa. From me and from all of us that you transformed. We know what we have lost, but we know also what we have gained. And we know that this not over. What you have launched is there to stay, from your book (that I commit to help publish) to NoLovelocks  (which will continue its fight), from The Bold Soul to the love bubbles you created, and to all the rest.
I wish all of you to meet such a wonderful person, to recognize her, to love and cherish her, to let you be loved and cherished by her. It may last an eternity or several lives - I can dream can’t I, I must dream - or just a few moments. Carpe Diem.
I love you, Lisa, my soul, my soulmate, my Bold Soul. And since I have to live, I will live boldly.

Je t’aime, Lisa

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