Yesterday morning, my dive buddies and I entered the waters of Flinders Pier at 10:30am, the precise moment at which my dear friend Ivy took her final breath on this earth after her long, incredibly brave and inspiring battle with cancer.
Ivy and I were first introduced by a mutual friend so that we might encourage each other on our journeys with cancer. We had a long phone conversation before I finally had the privilege of inviting Ivy and her amazing husband Chin to my home. As a gift, they brought me two aloe vera plants – known for their healing properties – which I have watered each day, always thinking of Ivy and whispering prayers of strength and support for her on her journey.
I have never known anyone who has fought this battle with such determination and courage as Ivy. She was one of the sweetest, strongest, most positive, tenacious and real people I have ever known. Ivy never gave up hope that she might somehow find a way to spend more time with her loved ones, and as a woman of great faith she was surrounded by their love as she passed peacefully from this life into the next.
It was my deep privilege to have known Ivy and to have been blessed, encouraged and inspired by her presence on this earth. To me, she personified the speech attributed to Winston Churchill: ‘Never Give Up. Never Give Up. Never Give Up.’ Ivy NEVER gave up, and I have decided that I won’t either.
As I move into 2015 – the year which my oncologists have predicted may well be my last – I know that releasing my hold on life prematurely and lying down to die in defeat is just not an option. Life is simply too wonderful to contemplate giving up and letting go on the basis of an essentially one-size-fits-all prognosis. Yes, my time will come as it did for Ivy and as it will for all humanity. But like Ivy, I will live each moment of my life with a passionate, joy-filled vengeance. When my time comes, my spirit will remain strong, and like Ivy, I will move into my next life without fear and in absolute victory, undefeated by all of the challenges that will present themselves along the way.
My sincere thanks as always to my buddy LP for taking me on this blissfully sun-shiny underwater adventure. And enormous gratitude to his beautiful wife Julie Bear for insisting that I take her camera for this dive when mine could not be used; this enabled me to make this short tribute film at the precise moment when this beautiful lady left the suffering and joys of this life to enter the greater joys of the next.
Tank you Ivy for being a truly amazing, inspirational presence in my life and in the lives of all who knew you. You are loved and you will be missed. My heartfelt prayers of comfort and peace for your precious family.
Neverending love and eternal bubbles,
ps Tank you so much for reading this blog post. Please check out some of my other ‘scuba versus tumour’ underwater adventures while you are here 🙂
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