What do you say to a friend that just lost the love of his life?

I’m usually not bad with words, juggling from French to English with ease. But yesterday, at Nathalie’s funeral, I was speechless. After 14 years of dealing with cancer, she lost her battle. 14 YEARS. What a fighter!  Astonishing inner strength. Ups and downs. Fully living the good times.

A smile that stays with you forever. Eyes so vivid and full of life that you keep telling yourself that this cannot really be happening.  Not now. Not her. 46. She was only 46!!

Like some of you said; too young. Wayyyyyy too young.

So again, what do you say to a friend that just lost the love of his life? And to his two boys, who are quickly becoming strong young men?


During her last week at the hospital, Charles sent me an email:  “she must have completed 7 Tour de France in 7 days!” he wrote. It says it all.

What comforts me a tiny bit is that I know how “rock-solid” Charles is. That guy, on a windy nasty kinda day, could pull you for hours without showing any weakness. A big chainring, powerful  cycling machine. And of course, les boys, like Charles calls them, are just like their dad… and their mom.


Nathalie, our hero.


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8 Responses to “Nathalie”

  1. 24 novembre 2010 à 7:12  

    Marijo, so sad to hear of your friend’s passing. Today, I saw an old man pushing a mountain bike up a long hill at the end of the bike path near my house. I take the path on my way home after my rides. I asked how he was doing and he said that he just couldn’t go but he said, "I have a good bike here." I looked down and noticed that he was in the big crank up front and in the middle gear in back which was almost the hardest gear. I asked him to hold his rear wheen up and shifted his bike to the smallest gear up front and largest in back. Then I held the bike for him and pushed him as he got his balance. He was amazed and pedaled up the hill with total ease. I encouraged him to practice shifting and gave him a little lesson on how his bike worked. Meeting him and helping him was my gift to him, and a gift for me. Nemo and I pedaled away on to home. Love you, take care my friend.

  2. 2 RaceG
    24 novembre 2010 à 7:16  

    Sad, touching & lovely at the same time. My prayers wiht Charles and his boys. God Bless them.

  3. 3 Michael Pratchard
    24 novembre 2010 à 7:26  

    Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It takes the ones we love and leaves us with only memories. Our condolences for the lose of your friend. Cancer has taken so many of my family and friends that it haunts me. My one wish for the world is that cancer is eradicated.

  4. 24 novembre 2010 à 8:41  

    Touching and beautifully written. Thank you for sharing Nathalie’s story… her strength.
    She sounds like she *lived* this quote by the late Jim Valvano. He was talking about his diagnoses of bone cancer… "It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul."

  5. 24 novembre 2010 à 9:11  

    WHat a great tribute, Mjo. You’re a good friend, and that is so much stronger than words.


  6. 6 Jmaes M. Tucson, Arizona US
    25 novembre 2010 à 9:21  

    Sorry to read about this loss, but WE are FIGHTERS. We, here in Tucson Arizona, lost a 31 year old Cat 2 rider to Breast Cancer last year. She would RIDE to her chemotherapy appointments. She only gave up when there was ABSOLUTELY no hope left. She fought for FIVE years as well. I think that WE continue to fight on and off of the road. Thank you for this post about your friend. Gives all of us hope to continue the fight against that most evil of diseases: Cancer.

  7. 25 novembre 2010 à 10:11  

    very sad to hear, but you pay honor to your wonderful friend in the most respectful way, Mari-Jo. you so well describe her strength and focus on the legacy she’s left here on earth. her two sons will be fine even though, yes, they lost their mother much, much too soon. I wish the best for those boys and their father.


  8. 3 décembre 2010 à 7:59  

    How can I express how your post has moved me. With a rock solid husband and three rascally boys growing like weeds, I often take a step back and imagine what their lives would be without me here to guide and love them hard.

    I am weeping for her boys but know that they and their father will survive and life will move on but the memory of their mother, and all that she has brought to them, will live within them forever.

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