Exactly one year ago today I wrote a post about our heroines. The women we clean for who have cancer. We clean for these women through a program called Cleaning for a Reason, a national non-profit that provides free cleaning to women undergoing cancer treatment via the donated time and products of cleaning or maid services across the country.
One of the women I mentioned in that post was a very bright candle in a sometimes dark world. Today the world is a little darker. That brilliant candle, Denise Blanchard, lost her battle with cancer on Friday morning.
There are no words in the english language to describe the sorrow, pain and immense sense of loss that Mardi, Bri and I all feel. Our hearts go out to her husband Phil and her children, Ashley, Ben and Callie as well as to all of the people who, like us, had the amazing good fortune to be blessed with knowing Denise.
The Cleaning for a Reason program is supposed to be something designed to give women who are battling cancer a little ray of sunshine. One less thing to worry about. We are supposed to lift the spirits of these women by providing them with free house cleaning services. And yet, I’m not sure who benefitted most from our work with Denise. You could walk into her home in a bad mood and walk out with an amazing sense of lightness. And, as we pulled out of her driveway you would think to yourself, ‘Did she just cheer ME up?’ Denise was kind and thought of everyone else first. She was also a fighter; whether she was bringing awareness to autism or “Fighting Like a Girl” against cancer she went after everything she did with tenacity, courage and grace.
The world is a poorer place without Denise but we feel so blessed to have met her. God has an amazing new angel and we just pray that He can comfort those she left behind until we can find the strength to carry on without her. And we will. Because that’s what Denise taught us.