I first met Sarah on a soccer field in 2009. A fellow writer and mother of boys, we instantly connected.
Wickedly funny, smart, feisty, vibrant, courageous, gentle, tough, witty, loving, strong and kind, she was also in the battle of her life with ovarian cancer.
Life certainly isn’t fair but Sarah was such a bright, energetic light that it’s hard to stay mired down in that thinking for long if you really knew her.
Her two boys and husband were her world. She took her medical situation in stride and forged a path to what had become the new normal. Yes, she needed a nap every day and was making weekly treks to Dana Farber which she called, “The Cancer Factory,” but she continued to stay positive, fabulous and fashionable whether running errands or picking her kids up from school.
After a recent treatment visit she got sick but was happy to report that her pristine white tee shirt and hair remained unscathed. That was Sarah.
Tough as nails, fashion was her career so she redefined cancer to fit her style, her life and she was unrelenting in her fight against it for herself and her precious family.
In the entire time I knew her she never complained or focused on her illness choosing instead to stay positive and find the humor in everything despite her incomprehensible suffering and difficulty.
She had recently made the difficult and courageous decision to stop treatment in order to be present for her family and spend her last days with those whom she loved most, free from hospitals.
The last email I received from her was on April 26, positive as ever. We had made plans to watch the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton with a few other friends at my house before dawn. She wrote:
I know I won't be able to leap out of bed early on Friday morning, but please know that if I were able, I'd run right out to your house! Ed's taking me to Harry Connick on Thursday night!
Happy Easter to all of you,
She died at home a week later.
Having spent much of the past nine years with my son in and out of hospitals I’ve learned that the people we meet on the journey we never expect to take are often the ones we value most. The road less traveled can be rich, despite the painful circumstances that brought us there.
Sarah learned this all too well. Through her illness she learned that each day is precious and that memory-making doesn’t just happen, you have to make it happen.
Her blog www.carcinista.com has touched countless people across the globe. Many have said, “Even though I didn’t know Sarah personally, I felt as if I did because of her blog.” Her impact can never be measured. She was real and shared from the heart.
Her husband Ed (a.k.a. Mr. Wonderful) recently sent an email to all of Sarah’s friends and family that read:
Sarah Sadtler Feather LOVED fashion. LOVED dressing up. LOVED looking great!!! For her memorial service, we want everyone to know that this is a celebration of her life. We will be dressing for Sarah to honor her. If you want to wear black, that is okay, but Sarah would have loved great spring fashion and color. If you have questions, let us know.
No more fitting tribute to Sarah can be summed up than this. A service to celebrate her life will be Friday, May 13, 2011 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 Elm St., in Concord at 10 a.m.
One of Sarah’s favorite places in the entire world was Maho Bay in St. John/U.S. Virgin Islands. I picture her there, full of peace, in what she called “my happy place.”
This poem is dedicated to her memory.
The Little Ship
(adaptation of Henry Van Dyke’s poem A Parable of Immortality)
I stood watching as the little ship sailed out to sea. The setting sun tinted her white sails with a golden light, and as she disappeared from sight a voice at my side whispered, “She is gone.”
But the sea was a narrow one. On the farther shore a little band of friends had gathered to watch and wait in happy expectation. Suddenly they caught sight of the tiny sail and, at the very moment when my companion had whispered, “She is gone” a glad shout went up in joyous welcome, “Here she comes!”