Today my best friend faces her last chemotherapy session.
Tired and busy running her daughter’s 2nd birthday party, she looked as sensational as she always does donning a large brimmed black hat and cute black sundress.
On Saturday we went to Gwen’s birthday party. Annette had invited us out and there she was on her last weekend before her final chemo round, throwing a party for her daughter to make her feel special. Though I could tell she was tired, Annette moved around her guests, making them feel welcome, putting food out, chasing after her daughter and smiling, smiling, smiling….something she does very well.
My dear friend is the brightest shining light I know. Ever since I first met her that day at an acting workshop and she sparkled her shiny personality across the room, I knew there was something different and special about her. After being friends for 5 years now, acting together, starting a business together, going through pregnancy and child birth, girls nights out, fundraising and producing films together, a holiday to L.A, supporting each other in our marriages and…Annette being diagnosed with cancer. So much has happened during the course of our friendship and I have only grown to love and respect her more.
Today I celebrate and honor my friend Annette Reilly.
She is BRAVE, VIVACIOUS, GRACIOUS, GENEROUS, HARD WORKING, SPUNKY, HONEST.
It hasn’t been easy going through chemo as a mother and young wife. But here are ‘some’ of the things she achieved while cancer invaded her body and then as she fought to cast it out and go through chemo.
- She birthed her first child (she was potentially even pregnant when she had cancer. Any mother will know this is a big feat in and of itself.
- She re-booted her career; got her self an agent and started booking gigs.
- She directed a play.
- She directed and produced her first film (which received 3 nominations at an L.A film festival)
- After hearing the news of her cancer she continued to give to others and worked on producing a film that raises awareness on human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Canada – and she acted in it as well!
- She took a 3 day trip to L.A for the screening of this film and returned the night before a chemo day.
- She started her own Arbonne business that has been very successful so far.
- She has been a full time Mom, wife and friend to so many.
- She has led the worship team at her church and supported so many others.
Through all of this, Annette has been there for me in more ways than one. Here she was with a very valid excuse to shut away life and people. Be selfish. Be mean. Be emotional. And yet she has shone her light even brighter than ever. My friend is one of the most beautiful people I know. It has broken my heart to see her face this but she has faced it with courage and inspired many of us.
If you know her…tell her how great you know she is. Tell her what she has done to inspire you, to love on you, to build your dreams and “make no excuses.”
Annette Reilly…YOU ROCK!! This is the last (and I am fully believing), the LAST of your pain in this chemo journey. You have been to that hard place and back. God has carried you and walked with you and shaped you and now is the time for healing, for renewing. It is not a new start or a new beginning but a re-awakening. Now you will carry your story and your journey with you in to the next chapter as a grown woman and walk in to HIS blessing using the challenges you have faced, the lessons you have learned and the people you have met and grown with. IT WILL ONLY GET BETTER and I cannot wait to share in the joy and success with you.
I Love you my friend.