My good friend, Maria, died on October 25th, of cancer. When she was younger, she lost a kidney. Then, a few years later, she developed breast cancer. She won both those battles. About two years ago she noticed that a large birthmark above her temple had changed. She went to the doctor and had it biopsed. It was cancerous. They removed it. It spread; the doctor operated. She was on a course of interferon that made her very sick and the Maria I knew went away. Being on interferon was difficult, to put it mildly. She was tired all the time and it made her sick. She took it for ten months. Afterwards. she returned to being Maria again. Just like that she was back in the swing of life and I was glad to have her back. So was her family. After a few months the cancer came back. They operated again, going further down the side of her face and into her neck. We hoped that was it. It wasn’t. After a PET scan she was told that the cancer had spread. With other treatments there was only a 10% chance of beating it. Maria made the decision to stop fighting. She planned her funeral with her daughters by her side. The whole family went to Aruba-all 17 brothers, sisters, daughters, nephew, grandchild. She was never happier than being on the beach. It’s where she felt close to heaven. The sand, the sun, the surf. That was perfection to Maria. So, my friend, I will miss you. You were one classy girl. Enjoy the sand, the sun and the surf and one day we’ll meet again and enjoy a day at the beach together. God Bless and keep you close.