Yesterday morning I learned someone I once knew passed away after a battle with cancer.
She left two very small children and her husband behind.
We were coworkers ages ago at a fashion forward boutique and casual friends. She left after having her first child and came back to work part time- picking up a shift here or there. Most of the time she lent her creative talents to design the windows or help with merchandising. We never really pursued a relationship outside of work but were friendly when we ran into each other outside of work and in our community after we both moved on from working at the boutique.
We had lost touch, I had no idea she was really sick until a mutual contact hosted a benefit on her website to raise money for her medical treatments.
I didn't realize how much of an impact K had on my parenting choices until I started to reflect on our relationship.
K was the first mama I ever observed nursing in public. My young (not yet even married or thinking about kids self ) did even know that breastfeeding was something people still did, let alone in public for the world to see. Her quiet confidence about nursing opened my eyes to a mama path that I myself later chose when I had Malone.
I have a distinct memory of K dressing the windows with her baby on her back. Before this moment of observation, I had always thought that you had to use a stroller or carry your baby in your arms. I had no idea a baby could be "worn." Wearing her baby seemed like a natural idea to K and eventually, to me too.
I wish that I would have pursued more of a friendship with K than just our causal work friendship that stayed within the confines of that boutique. I wonder what else I could have learned from her. And for her family and friends who are mourning her loss, I wish peaceful memories of reflection.