This has been sitting in my drafts for longer than it should have. I’m ashamed to post this, as it’s so incomplete and lacking in words, but I want to share the last time I saw Lisa with you.

I cannot wrap my head around what’s happened over the past few days. I’ve gone from numb to sadness to anger to confusion, and back again.

As some of you know, Dr. Lisa Kelly passed away unexpectedly. I haven’t known her for very long; at the most maybe a bit over two years.

The hardest part of her passing is that I had dinner with her the night before it happened. She was the picture of perfect health, and it seems beyond cruel that she was taken from us like this.

Our dinner together was over a year in the making. We’d been talking about getting together for a girls’ night for what seemed like forever, but trying to find a free moment in both of our schedules was tricky. And then, like magic, we suddenly settled on having dinner on Wednesday at Osteria La Buca (her choice). Her message to me about the place: “[it] has the most amazing flat bread pizza. I’ll break my diet for it.”

I was excited about this. My work day was a long one, and I was looking forward to unwinding with her over a cocktail. She looked absolutely adorable when she came in and I felt a little bit shabby next to her. She was wearing a red dress with a short jacket; I was wearing jeans and a shirt (my only saving grace was that I’d thrown on some eyeliner and eye shadow beforehand). We hugged, sat down, and kept the girl chat flowing: dating, shoes, the gym, and nothing in particular. We probably only stopped talking in between sips of wine or bites of food.

We said goodnight to each other and headed home. She headed east and I went south. I’d never have even guessed that would be the last time I’d see her.

I’m still in shock. There’s a lot I’m trying to come to terms with. I’ve replayed that evening over and over in my mind, trying to see if there was any hint that something was wrong.

This woman worked with babies and volunteered to go to places like Haiti and Mongolia to help save lives. This is a woman who practically told cancer twice that it wasn’t going to keep her from doing what she loved. This is a woman who found time in her life to sit down and have dinner with me.

  1. Crying my eyes out (finally) and so very happy to know that she spent her last hours chatting, laughing and loving with a girlfriend.

    Because girlfriends make it all worthwhile.

    • Kathleen Kelly
    • November 6th, 2011 6:56pm

    What a blessing to read this. Thank you.

    • Kathleen Kelly
    • November 6th, 2011 6:59pm

    I am sending the link to my Uncle Ray and Family. I hope you don’t mind.

  2. @Kathleen Kelly
    Please, feel free. This post is my only way I can share my memory of Lisa with everyone else who knew and loved her.

    • Kathleen Kelly
    • November 6th, 2011 7:13pm

    Thank you

    • Eileen Gilbride
    • November 7th, 2011 10:40am

    That is a lovely story about you and Lisa – it’s nice to know she enjoyed herself on her last evening. We are 2nd cousins of Lisa from England. What a good thing internet is so as to keep in touch.

    • Patricia OBrien
    • November 8th, 2011 9:45am

    This is a touching, simple story of life at its best – with a friend, a loved one, enjoying talk and food and sharing. I wish I could reach back through the veil that separates life from death and raise a toast – not to Lisa, but WITH her.

    • Ray Kelly
    • December 7th, 2011 11:49am

    Thank you for sharing this story with Cindy and I, it means a lot to know her frame of mind the night before.

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