a little tribute...

Cancer is not a battle to be won
or lost it's a call to live.
So, the question is, "How do I want to
live this life?" by, Joyce Bailey

Joyce L. Bailey was born on October 4, 1948. She grew up in a small town in Boston, Massachusetts. From day one she was a fiery strong willed little girl, climbing trees, picking on her little brother and rushing home for dinner when the street lights came on. When she turned 18years old she left the only home she ever knew, moved to New York City and became an American Airline flight attendant. She was determined to experience the world! Years passed and her next pursuit was to become a mother. I recall my mother saying, "the happiest days of my life were being pregnant with all 4 of you". My mom adored life! Every moment; the highs and the lows, in the end all those tiny gifts helped her appreciate the beauty of life on earth.

In April of 1990, with 3 daughters and a 4-year-old little boy my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, she was 42. "There were so many well-wishers and friends that came to be with me, but I grew so weary and tired emotionally, I just wanted to be alone. After everyone left and all you children were in bed, I thought someone had come in and I asked who it was. It was then that I heard the words that changed my life. The voice was as clear as if I were standing next to you talking and it said, "All your doors and windows are closed, but there is a crack open in one of the windows. You can open up the window, step through and see the light, or you can close the window and die." That was the beginning of my journey and it has not stopped yet." From that day, she never gave up her fight with breast cancer. Her mission in life was to beat her disease and raise all of us. My mom lived 26 years with stage 4 breast cancer. She endured chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant at City of Hope. However, conventional medicine failed her and her cancer came back in 1994 with a vengeance. "I've always felt that cancer would not take me, but it was part of my existence to experience and learn more while I'm in this physical form." So, with great willpower, focus and unstoppable courage my mom continued her fight. This time every treatment or therapy she sought after was alternative, homeopathic and Eastern in nature. "Trying to survive cancer, has required me to expand my horizons or possibilities to new understandings as I swim my way through life’s turbulent waters. I have had the opportunity to step out of the water joyfully and see the light." My mother’s out of the box thinking extended her life until August of 2015.

Joycee, Moma, Nini; I marvel at the strength of will and determination that kept you going. The enormity of raising 4 children with grace while fighting this vicious disease. I am humbled by your character. I am grateful that you were my example in life. Your legacy of courage, faith, positivity, bravery, focus and perseverance will live in your children, your grandchildren, your family and your friends forever.

Love, Nicole!

n
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