Passing of a Friend
I got the sad news yesterday that my good friend Au Soleil Levant had died on Wednesday. She was 27 years old. My heart is with her loving parents, her brother, her sister, and all of her family and friends.
Soleil had cancer, fought it off, it came back, she fought again (and had bone marrow transplant), and again the cancer returned. There is much more and you can see a timeline here.
You think you are tough? You think you are strong? She was more so. I could never be as courageous as Soleil, and I know that. I used to always say she had an iron will and a steel resolve. Soleil stayed positive every time I read her blog or when we corresponded by email. A post from April 2010 really stood out to me as how she dealt with the struggle. Her "How Far I've Come" reminded my of an old section of a book I once read. It was a Japanese samurai sword making history with little sayings along the pages. I still cannot find the book or remember the title. What I did remember was this part and I left it in the comments section:
"Though every step was difficult I endeavored to press on;Soleil often referenced that quote in emails as she crossed so many more rivers than anyone should ever have to cross.
After some time I forgot to press and looked back at how far I had come;
I never even noticed the river!"
I once had a DNA translation contest where I entered a DNA sequence that when correctly translated would read an answer. Soleil won! I sent her a 1 oz silver Maple Leaf and a copy of "Time and Again" as a prize. Very impressive.
There was all that and more. When I was very ill this summer with a bad intestinal infection, Soleil checked on me to make sure I was ok. Her, sick with relapsed cancer, checking on me. She was that way. The last note I have from her was from September 5th. I have been and will always try to keep her optimism and her resolve a part of my everyday life.
I am sure Soleil could have done anything she wanted if she had the chance. I am better for knowing her and the world is worse off without her. She was an inspiration, a brilliant mind, a tender heart, and she was my good friend. Rest in Peace.
Tonight I am playing three songs Soleil requested at various times and then one of my own selections.
Last request, on August 19th 2011, Florence and the Machine "The Dog Days are Over":
From February 11th, Jason Mraz and "The Remedy":
From her June 15 Birthday pick (it played on June 16, 2010) here is Dido and "Closer":
Last song tonight is Samuel Barber's timeless "Adagio for Strings":