It was quick. Her world and that of those around her changed in six short weeks. She and her husband returned from a short vacation to Barcelona one day. The next day she began her first of two rounds of chemotherapy.
I have a theory. God takes the good people early and quick to force the rest of us, less than perfect mortals, to take stock and reshape our priorities,
Faith spent her days helping others. She would do anything that needed doing. She provided delivery of meals to the less fortunate. She worked with self-advocates to develop expertise on emergency preparedness. She did research on international companies and their approaches to hiring people with disabilities for the U.S. International Council on Disabilities, where she was a member of the board of directors. She traveled to Istanbul with me twice in 2015 to train CEOs from disabled persons organizations from Iran on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She traveled with me to China and presented on the important role of persons with disabilities in emergency preparedness. She served as a senior, nonpolical, administrator in the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for over eight years. She was sous chef to her husband, a five-star chef. She helped me pack my suitcase and put on my socks and shoes when we traveled together. Once in Istanbul she pushed me up and down a 60 degree incline in my wheelchair, and we both lived to tell about it.
Faith was organized and purpose-driven. She had a passion for politics, the right kind, and reading James Patterson. Her heart was open to all. Her spirit was infectious. I spoke to her via FaceTime last Sunday. She was strong, optimistic, and gave me and Donald Trump an ear full on what to do and how to do it. She loved LaMarca prosecco and our many trips to Hawaii.
I am sure many of us have friends like Faith. We are the lucky ones. Cherish those friends. Let them know how much you value them.