My friend marita
On December 27th 2014 the world lost an amazing lady. Heaven gained an angel that day. Marita was my friend, she was a patient in our office. She was a fabulous lady. Wherever marita went she left a legacy. Every person who knew her, who would always remember her. I remember I met her at The Breast Show in town about 6 years ago. She was a strong presence at the women’s show and from then on was a strong presence in my life. Where ever Marita went she would leave a trail of strength and laughter. You knew when marita was in the room. She always came in with stories of helping others. Through her cancer journey she would often share tales of helping other women, even strangers at times, as they went through their own journey. Many times instant friendships were made through cancer.
Marita had cancer. She was 50. A loving wife and mother of three. Her youngest is 11. We attended her 50thSURPRISE party in her back yard in June 2014. Man was she surprised, her husband was able to pull it all together.
Marita loved to garden. When I say garden I mean she transformed her ENTIRE front yard into an urban garden. She grew, ate and made as much as she could from scratch. Her diet totally transformed over the last year. She grew and gave us kale, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins…you name it she grew it. At times there was so much kale coming to our house by the truckload we could barely keep up. We still have kale in our freezer from her. This is no pesticides- organic- made with love kale. The best kale you have ever had.
I celebrate marita’s memory in our chiropractic office. She was a huge chiropractic supporter and received chiropractic care up until her passing. Her family is patients as well . I have altered the way I communicate chiropractic because of her. I have altered my focus in the office. I dedicate every “ results visit” class in her memory. I do this to impress upon people the power chiropractic can have in transforming lives.
A little bit about Marita’s life legacy written by her husband and shared on social media.
Peacefully at Victoria Hospital on Saturday December 27th in her 51st year beloved wife of Max DeVries and proud mother of William, Mitchel and Lydia. Sister of Christian Stopani-Thomson, Gina Goad, Patricia Williams and daughter of Malcolm and Helga Stopani-Thomson passed away from cancer with her immediate family by her side.
Marita started her career in the military as a radio technician and soon moved on as an electrical technologist for CTV in London, Ontario. She thrived in her new career and started her family with energy and strength. Along the way, Sarah Brown joined our family circle and held a special place in Marita’s heart. With Marita’s enthusiasm for learning and her expertise, she was offered a position with Fanshawe College to guide the next generation. Within a season she recognized her passion for teaching, which lead her to obtain an Honours degree in teaching from the University of Western Ontario. Prior/during she was diagnosed and began her battle with cancer. As a result she became a strong advocate for cancer research and made it a priority to educate as many people as possible. She did it with humor and compassion, and supported the nurses passionately in their fight for job security. She participated heavily in activities at the college, university and high schools, her goal was always to engage with the students and give them guidance. One of her many accomplishments was the development and teaching of the technologist curriculum at Fanshawe College with Sara Johnson. She always put herself forward and wanted people to learn not just about their path in life, but also about life itself. Her final request was to have her ashes spread throughout her gardens. In lieu of flowers, donations to www.wellspring.ca/Londonwould be appreciated.
Lessons from marita
1. Until further notice celebrate everything- Every day live your life to the fullest. Be grateful and thankful for all that you have in your life not what you don’t have. #gr8tful365
2. Celebrate the little things- If we take our small accomplishments in isolation they may seem small. When we look at all of them together and can see the accumulation effect and the massiveness of all the small things.
3. Eat clean- what we feed our body matters. Watch all you put in. Throw away box food. Make your food from scratch. Grow what you can. Eat green food. Juice for nutrition.
4. Take time to walk on the beach. I gave marita and her family the use of our family cottage on the shores of lake Huron, for one week over their 12th anniversary at the end of August 2014. She still talked about the sunsets and the ability that her and her daughter had, to walk on the beach by the water and throw stones like kids.
5. All I want to do is live- this was what marita said to me one day as we hugged and cried. She so wanted to beat this cancer thing and show her oncologists wrong. She knew the chemotherapy and radiation were not the answer. She knew they were poisoning her. “ All I want to do is Live”
Through her journey she blogged to share what she was going though with others. She always thought of others and how she could impact their life using her own life.
At her memorial there was standing room only. Food piled as high as you could see. Stories and tears of Marita were flowing. You almost felt her presence there with a tiara on in the middle of the room, sharing yet another story, in true Marita fashion.
The life you lead here on earth matters, it matters with the people we touch inspire, impact and influence.
Her light will always shine on. Really it will-as her husband bought her a star in the galaxy. You can purchase a star, track it, mark it, name it and it will always be there in her name. The purchased this at “ Chapters” and have to have it registered with the national observatory to ensure the star they want is available. How cool is that.
“All I want to do is live”
One of the other powerful quotes from marita is
“ When this physical vehicle of a body is gone my soul will be here as long as it is needed”.