And What Followed...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

In Remembrance of Elizabeth

Cancer vixen, fellow traveler and true friend Elizabeth Terry has passed.

Elizabeth and I were already close friends before we both relapsed within a week of each other two years ago. We were both given grave odds. We were both determined to beat it. We made a promise there would be a day when our yet-to-be-born children would play with each other.

Some of you may remember her from the BBQ get-together, held the week before I was admitted to the hospital for the bone-marrow transplant. Though fighting cancer herself, Elizabeth came to offer support and hope. As usual, her English wit and charm won everyone over.

Some of you may remember her from those scary few days at the hospital in Santa Monica, when I was close to death with that terrible infection. Elizabeth was in the middle of chemotherapy herself, but she was there in the room with everyone else, helping to lead the fight to get me better care.

Elizabeth was feisty, yet elegant. Handed down worse and worse odds with each passing month, Elizabeth handled her situation with grace and sublime defiance. Never did she lose the fire behind her eyes. With her English roots, she would often relay bad news with perfect poise and finely tuned resilience.

When we would meet at City of Hope for Chemotherapy, Elizabeth would say "Are you ready for your spa treatment? This is the best, most expensive spa treatment anyone can ever get! Aren't we lucky?"

Elizabeth was a global writer. Her work took her from the outskirts of Australia to an honored place within Princess Di’s circle of trust.

Elizabeth was truly a remarkable woman. After confessing of the declining state of her health, she would quickly brush off any pity, self or otherwise and turn bright around to say “Well enough of that! Would you like some tea? I can make us cheese sandwiches…” We would spend the afternoon talking about everything we would do once we got better. Elizabeth was so perspicacious and courageous that I didn't doubt there would be a day when we would toast champagne in Le Cap d'Antibes.

Elizabeth’s husband, James, never left her side. At one point he was holding down several jobs to keep up with medical expenses all the while accompanying Elizabeth to as many appointments as possible. He held her hand in the quiet times and fought hard for her when there was a call to battle. James was completely devoted and stood by her every step of the way. That is the mark of a true man. Today, our thoughts are with him.

Elizabeth is deeply missed. Her indefatigable spirit continues in our hearts.

Here is her obituary published in the Los Angeles Times today:

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TERRY, Elizabeth Jane Marchant March 7, 1962 - Dec. 7, 2007, a versatile journalist who lived in Paris, London and Los Angeles, was working on "Gardening Angel," a book to be published by HarperCollins San Francisco about growing and cooking with cancer-fighting herbs and vegetables and the power of gardening--for body, mind and spirit. Born in Santa Monica to British parents, she spent her childhood between Sherborne, England, and Santa Monica. Her beauty and charm, as well as fluency in French, German and English, were assets in her various journalism posts at magazines including People and Celebrity Bulletin, in Paris; InStyle, and several British newspapers in London; and the Palisadian Post, House & Garden, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker in Los Angeles. In 1999, she accepted a position as West Coast Editor for eLuxury, the online website of the French fashion conglomerate, LVMH and also launched into a successful freelance writing career covering topics that interested and amused her: gardens, home decor, travel, interesting personalities and local Santa Monica history. With good doctors, deep friendships and newfound faith she was able to continue laughing, traveling, writing, and helping others. Elizabeth is survived by her father, two brothers, a sister, a step-father, two nieces, and her loving husband, James Terry. In lieu of flowers, Terry has asked that donations be made in honor of Benjamin Shapiro to the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, 801 Roeder Road, Silver Spring, MD, 20910. A service will be held on December 20th at 11:00 a.m. at All Saints Church, 132 North Euclid Avenue, Pasadena. A reception will follow.

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We had love left undone
We had words left unspoken
I still hold things I promised you.
Guilt withers visions of trips untaken
Of ghostly towns
And dying flowers
Dried stalks crumble in the hand.
You penned wishes in notebooks
Squeezed between paragraphs of disappointment.
We promised and planned but delayed for convenience.
A regret that cannot be atoned.
“Some day” never came.

Remember Elizabeth by living Now.


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