By Julie Reid, Lifelong Friend
I met Anna when we were 5 years old. Her family had just moved here from New York and met my family through mutual friends and moved into the same apartments. We even started kindergarten together until my family moved. Our families from that point on were connected and our parents became great friends. I have many memories of playing Land of the Lost and other games as kids with Anna and her sister Helena. We grew up and as adults became even closer friends.
I have so many memories of going dancing and celebrating our birthdays together. We are only 3 days apart. There are many life events we were there for each other. Her sons were her heart as she would say. Her husband and family were her number one priority. We were frequent texters and saw each other often.
In March/April 2019 Anna told me about her breast cancer diagnosis. She was a fighter and was determined to beat that darn cancer from day one. I told her that she had an Army of us behind her, fighting with her each step of the way. That day I penned the term “Anna’s Army”. I told her, “we are your Army and will fight for and with you.” She was scared but stayed upbeat and positive through it all. We didn’t expect cancer to take her and I figured she could and would beat it.
That June I was able to be in California to visit and to be there for her 8th Chemo treatment, ironically 8 is my lucky number. I didn’t realize or think that would be the last time I would see my lifelong friend. She continued to go back and forth, good news, not-so-good news. When the pandemic hit in 2020 she met those obstacles and seemed to be doing better. Then in March/April, 2020 things started happening and by May she was declining. I was driving on my way to see her in her last days when she passed away on May 22nd and only 2 days from her youngest son’s 8th birthday.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of and miss Anna. I was contemplating how I was going to spend 2022 doing something that would be in memory and honor of her. I kept asking her in my mind to send me a sign, talk to me and let me know what I can do for this. I was shopping in early December with a friend. While in the store we happened upon a lady’s warm non-slid fuzzy socks. I picked up a pair and felt Anna tell me, ‘Those socks are what you are going to do girl’. Then I knew. Warm, non-slid fuzzy socks. Anna always had new warm socks at chemo because it was so cold in there. She would post pictures on chemo days in our Anna’s Army Facebook group which socks she had on that day.
I knew I could get the socks from my monthly Gilbert Girlfriends Uno Game Nights. I did, however, have to find an organization that could use them. I posted in Gilbert Girlfriends looking for an organization that helps women with breast cancer and was directed to My Hope Bag. I did some research and instantly knew this is where the socks needed to go. I knew this is where I need to put my time and passion, with Anna guiding my way from Heaven. My 2022 is dedicated to Anna and My Hope Bag. I plan on acquiring non-slip fuzzy socks that will be added to the My Hope Bags.
If you would like to donate to Anna’s Army Non-Slip Fuzzy Socks Campaign, please contact Julie, firstname.lastname@example.org, or My Hope Bag, email@example.com. All socks will be donated to the My Hope Bag bags that are gifted to women with breast cancer, www.myhopebag.org. Julie will be providing periodic updates on how many non-slip fuzzy socks have been donated.