I’m trying to not be sad…she will be missed terribly by so many though… Yolanda was one of those people. You know the ones that have such a big bright personality, always so positive and uplifting. The ones that are friends with everybody but not just friendly, oh no, the kind of genuine warmth that brings you home, invites you into the family and loves you forever. That was our Yolanda.
Yolanda was a psychologist, a college professor and a published author. She was brilliant at helping people with their inner demons. Showing people different perspectives and helping them discover who they really were and how to achieve whatever they wanted in life. She had a tremendous gift that she shared with everyone she met.
Yolanda taught me some treasured lessons that changed the way I view myself. She is the only woman to ever tell me what a beautiful person I am. With or without all the make-up, hairdos, pretty clothes or jewelry – I’m still beautiful – regardless of what my job title is, my weight at the time, my income or my address. I’m still a beautiful person inside and out and no one can ever take that from me.
She taught me I can do anything, go anywhere, be anything I want. No hurdle is too big, no obstacle to great. This blog was one of those huge steps outside of my comfort zone. She was one of my biggest cheerleaders for the blog, always encouraging me to go further, dig deeper, and explore myself. She believed greatly in the power that comes with writing out your thoughts and feelings. It really is a great tool and I’ve become stronger and more confident because of it.
The greatest gift Yolanda gave us was the idea to make memories instead of giving things. We have so many great memories all because we decided to spend the money on an activity or trip instead of a thing. Things break…things get lost…things eventually get replaced or collect dust in a box in the back of a closet. But the memories…those last forever. Her first big memory maker was the skydiving she arranged for Dad’s 50th birthday. It’s a day that none of us will ever forget!! Chris and I have adopted this idea into our lives whole heartedly. We plan on gifting ourselves a weekend downtown in the French Quarter for Christmas and treating ourselves to a cruise for our 16th anniversary coming up. Sure he could buy me diamonds and I could buy him some electronic gizmo instead but the memories we make together outweigh anything available in the store. All because of Yolanda!!
Yolanda has impacted my life in ways that she’ll never know and she was loved more than words could ever express. Even in her death we are faced with another life lesson… Take care of yourself. You’re only gifted one body. If you treat it right it’ll reward you in amazing ways. Yolanda thrived for nearly 5 years after her initial diagnosis of the deadliest form of cancer. Most people make it 6 months, maybe a year. Not our Yolanda!! She fought!! She fought with all the sass and fiestiness that little body could hold. She did alternate medicine, trial studies, experimental treatments, acupuncture, special diet – you name it and that woman did it. She was in a fight for her life. If we all treated our bodies with the same level of respect where would we be with our health?? As an individual, as a family, as a community or as a nation?? Food for thought…
As a family we’ll never be the same… Yolanda’s spark will be missed greatly. She was one of those people, where the world was a better place because she was in it. And now, well, we focus on moving on and putting her lessons to work in our lives. Every last one of us that had the privileged of knowing Yolanda are better people for it.
Thank you Yolanda. We love you. We miss you. Rest in Peace.