"I'd rather be a failure at something I love, than a success at something I hate." - George Burns
May 27, 2007
May 16, 2007
Lauren Terrazzano, writer of Newsday's "Life, With Cancer" column mostly about the effects of the disease on her own life and the lives of those close to her, passed away last night shortly after 11:30 PM.
I can't claim to have been anything like a close friend of hers, but I did have the privilege of corresponding with her semi-regularly. She had contacted me after finding a blog post I wrote about her last year, at first to politely thank me for the blog, and later to ask for my services as a consultant on a new article she had begun to plan out.
She was never less than an absolute pleasure to communicate with. By telephone it was obvious that not even the audible effects of lung cancer could dull the sharp, cutting, stubborn, crusading edge to her voice. She was also the most spirited player of phone-tag I have ever sparred with, and the most conflicting of schedules didn't stand a chance against her. By email, her preferred form of communication, she was even more forthright and direct than in her columns, if such a thing is even possible. Offering her what advice and assistance I could was a joy, and when our conversations drifted off the record and onto other subjects her wit and sparkle never faded. Getting to know her even in the slightest was an honor.
Sadly, her health took its final downturn a few weeks ago, and that article will now never be.
I will miss our conversations, both on and off the record. I will miss looking forward to her next column, voice mail, or email. I will miss what she was doing for people like her, and people like me.
However, the work she has done will go on and on, longer than any of us will in this life.
For as long as there is such a thing as cancer, people should be able to pick up the reprints of Lauren's columns, and through them gain insight into their own battles.
I also have a wonderful mental image of someone reading reprints of "Life, With Cancer" sometime in the future, not as an aid to dealing with the disease for themselves, but as a historical record of a past trial which was once faced by humanity, and eventually conquered.
Thanks for everything, Lauren.