. How I Learned to Find Joy During Times of Grief « JO LEE MAGAZINE

Vogue – For my twenty-fifth birthday I wore a tiara and a strapless green dress that Blair had recently worn on the TV show Gossip Girl. For dinner I ate all my Italian favorites surrounded by my best girlfriends in a small private room on the Lower East Side with The Godfather (obviously the greatest movie of all time), streaming on the wall in the background. After dinner we danced and flirted with boys and had too many vodka sodas at our favorite spot in Nolita. Everything about that birthday celebration perfectly encapsulated who I was at the time: “carefree NYC girl, who loves her friends, Italian food, cute boys, and a good cocktail.”

The next day also perfectly captured who I was back then: a grieving child whose mother had decided the week prior to stop receiving treatment for the cancer that had most recently camped out comfortably in her brain. The cancer that had so weakened her immune system she spent the prior month battling Tuberculosis. The cancer that we all knew would soon take her life…

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