I was attending my first WomenHeart meeting two years ago. The meeting was starting, and I quickly found a seat, sitting next to Caridad (Cari). There were maybe 25 – 30 women present and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Sometimes, the meetings have speakers or activities, but this evening was dedicated to sharing. I was to learn that taking the time to listen and learn from other heart patients, is an invaluable tool for all. As it came time for Cari to share, she started to tear up. In addition to heart disease, Cari had several other serious health issues. Having an opportunity to express her problems was difficult, yet she did so with profound dignity.
She told us about her Vision Board. It had words of encouragement, pictures of loved ones, and a photograph of the beach – a place she associated with peace and serenity. The first thing every morning she would look at it. It would lighten her load and help her start her day with feelings of thankfulness. At the end of the meeting, I spoke with her and our group leader, Annie, about having a Vision Board party for our WomanHeart group.
In January 2017, we had our VB party. What a great time. After working on our boards, we shared our completed projects with everyone. Here is Cari with her Vision Board along with Annie de Velasco, Andee Weiner and me. What a happy moment.
As I look at Cari’s Vision Board, I see pictures of her family and of course her beautiful beach. Most prominently we find the word, GRATITUDE, something integral to her well-being.
Cari passed away early last week. In the song, Seasons of Love, from the musical, Rent, we are asked, “How do you measure the life of a woman or man?” The answer is, “Measure your life in love.” Cari exuded love. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to know her, if only for a brief time.